Campus Corner

Williams College women win NCAA Division III soccer championship

Williams College players celebrated after beating Washington University 1-0, Saturday during the NCAA Division III soccer championship game at Swope Soccer Village.
Williams College players celebrated after beating Washington University 1-0, Saturday during the NCAA Division III soccer championship game at Swope Soccer Village. jledford@kcstar.com

The Williams (Mass.) College women’s soocer team, kept attacking until the final whistle. Even with the 1-0 advantage over Washington-St. Louis, the attackers kept looking for a final goal throughout the second half.

That aggressiveness did not lead to an extra goal, but Williams did not need it as it took down Washington-St. Louis 1-0 at Swope Soccer Village.

Williams mobbed its goalkeeper after clinching its first national title in program history.

“It is all unreal, surreal and all those kind of those things, senior captain Zoe Trutner said of the championship moment.

“I’m so proud of this team and impressed with how we battle this season. Every single day I’m impressed with someone new with our team, and it’s inspired me all the way through.”

Washington came out attacking early with two excellent chances that hit off the cross bar. Standout forward Katie Chandler had a great shot from outside the box that clanked off the top 4 minutes into the match.

Chandler has been the sustaining offensive force for the Bears during the season and had eight of the team’s 16 shots on Saturday.

“We would have loved to put some of those chances away, but soccer is a cruel game,” Washington coach Jim Conlon said.

Williams came back with nicely crafted attacks of its own in the first half. The Ephs finally found a breakaway in the 42nd minute when Crystal Lewin found Kristina Alvarado, who slid the ball past Washington’s goalkeeper.

“In the past I’ve been anxious getting on the ball, but this one in particular I was very confident,” Alvarado said of the goal. “I just had this feeling that I could do this.”

Throughout the first half, Williams was by the physical play of Washington, but Williams kept grinding. By the second half, the Ephs took control. They dominated the possession in the midfield.

“We stayed calm, composed, patient,” Williams coach Michelyne Pinard said. “We trusted our system. We trusted each other. We worked off the ball, we kept it and that’s what the second half was all about."

After the chaos of winning subsided, Williams stood holding up its NCAA trophy, soaking up the moment. Williams lost in the NCAA title game last year, so winning it this year was really satisfying for this group.

“I remember as soon as we lost, everyone thought, ‘we can get back to this point.’ ” senior captain Mai Mitsuyama said.

“Then we spent all our time and energy on getting back to the national championship. And now being able to win is just weight off our shoulders now.”

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