CASTLETON, Vt. – Playing physical, neck-and-neck soccer with the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer defending National Champions, the Castleton University women's soccer team fell to the Williams College Ephs – 2-0 – at Dave Wolk Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Castleton falls to 3-8-0 overall, while Williams remains undefeated, improving to 8-0-1.
Backed by a stingy defense and a career performance from goalkeeper Loren Henderson, Castleton kept Williams off of the scoreboard in the first half. The Ephs would eventually tally a couple of scores in the second to stake a 2-0 advantage and then remained steady on both ends of the pitch to hold on.
Henderson saved a career-high 14 shots in the match, including 11 in the first half alone. Her previous high of 12 came earlier in the year, during the Spartans 4-2 win against Rhode Island College. Henderson was forced to pull out all of the stops as she saw 32 shot attempts from Williams. Making multiple diving or punching saves, including a couple in one-on-one situations, the Rutland, Vt. native remained confident throughout.
On the other end of the turf, Williams' keeper Olivia Barnhill improved to 7-0-1 during the season. She faced just two shots, making saves on both. Tallying the final 17-plus minutes of action in goal, Whitney Lincoln did not see a shot-on-goal.
Coming out of the halftime break with aggression, Williams pushed the ball. With slightly over a minute gone in the frame, Sydney Jones scored her seventh goal of the season with help from Aspen Pierson. As the Spartan defense surrounded Pierson who dribbled with the ball, she threaded it between defenders to a waiting Jones in front. The latter went with it, quickly poking a chip-shot goal from about 15 yards out.
In the 66th minute, Williams notched its other goal in the contest as Madison Feeney put the pass from Victoria Laino in the back of the twine. Feeney, receiving the ball in stride, took one glance, spotted the opening and laced a left-footed one-timer from inside the 10-yard line past Henderson's right side.
Castleton's best chance came in the first half as Makenzi Bellando found herself with a breakaway opportunity. As the defense closed on her, Bellando was able to shoot the ball, but it carried wide right. Karly Meachem and Megan O'Shea would tally the Spartans other two shots.
Women's soccer will now head out on the road for its next two matches as it makes its first stop at No.5 Middlebury at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
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