Defense helps women's soccer against top-ranked Williams

Emilie Klein WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Samantha Rizzo and the defense for the Colby College women's soccer team needed a terrific shot from defending national champion and top-ranked Williams College in a 1-0 setback to the Ephs in NESCAC play.


"We were disciplined defensively, showed grit, and a willingness to compete," Colby head coach Kristin Shaw said. "That is the expectation of every player in this program and they lived up to it today."

The Mules dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the NESCAC. The goal by Williams (4-0, 3-0) was the first allowed by Colby in the field of play. The other goal allowed this year was a penalty kick in a 1-0 loss to Tufts.
Colby gave Williams all it could handle, with Rizzo making six saves and doing a solid job of controlling the box. Mule defensive starters Lindsay Ayers, Georgia Lubrano, Nora Mabie, and Katherine Senechal battled through constant Williams pressure.
"Georgia and Katherine did a phenomenal job dealing with their two very dangerous forwards," Shaw said. "However, it was really the defending higher up the field with our forwards and midfield line that was pivotal. Those two blocks did well putting the opposition under pressure and not allowing them to transition as quickly as they wanted to play."
The Ephs had a 20-3 advantage in shots and a 13-1 margin in corner kicks. Colby, though, played to a 0-0 halftime draw before Sarah Kelly scored the lone goal at 63:47. Williams was putting on heavy pressure at the time and a clear went directly to Kelly, who took a dribble and ripped a 25-yard shot off the lower part of the crossbar and over the line. The referee did not immediately signal a goal on the play.
Rizzo's best save may have come with about 32 minutes left in the second half on a Williams transition. She made a diving stop to her right, barely got her fingertips on the ball, and was able to deflect the shot just past the left post.
 
"Sam was fantastic for us in goal," Shaw said. "She played big and her play today gave her teammates the confidence to play big."
Olivia Barnhill did not have to make a save for the Eph shutout.
The Mules get the week off before playing three road games in four days starting next Saturday. Colby heads to Trinity College for an 11 a.m. start Saturday and then plays another league game at Connecticut College at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The Mules play at University of Southern Maine on Tuesday before playing six of their final eight games at home.