By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
For the second time in three seasons, the Williams College women’s soccer team captured the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship, thanks to 1-0 victory this afternoon against the University of Chicago in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The championship win caps an impressive campaign by the Ephs, who won 22 of 24 contests this fall. Their lone setback occurred at the end of October when Middlebury College defeated the Purple and Gold by a score of 1-0. Williams would rebound from the loss, winning its next nine contests, including today’s national title game and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.
Natasha Albaneze netted the game’s lone goal early in the second half, which provided the Ephs with the lead for good. Danielle Sim and Natalie Turner-Wyatt assisted on the strike – the goal was Albaneze’s 10th of the season.
Chicago attempted to answer multiple times over the next 35 minutes, but saw various attempts denied, including a late shot off a corner kick from Hanna Watkins sail wide of the Williams net.
The Maroons concluded the game with 14 shots, including six on net, while the Ephs tallied 12 attempts (four shots on goal). Williams’ Olivia Barnhill ended the match with six saves, while Chicago’s Katie Donovan and Miranda Malone combined for three stops.
Prior to today’s national championship win, Williams defeated Washington (Mo.), 1-0, in December 2015 to claim their first-ever NCAA Division III crown.