LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 1 nationally ranked Williams College got all the scoring it needed in the fifth minute, riding a 1-0 well into the second half in an eventual 3-0 NESCAC victory over the Bates women's soccer team Sunday afternoon on Russell Street Field.
Williams (6-0-1, 4-0-1 NESCAC) received goals from Georgia Lord, Sarah Hollinger and Dawn Penso, and held its opponent scoreless for the fifth time in eight games this season.
Bates (2-5, 0-5 NESCAC) next plays at Trinity on Saturday at 11am.
"What the score line doesn't show, is just how well our team defended today," said Bates head coach Kelsy Ross. "Our transitional shape was fantastic, along with our energy and effort. I'm really proud of the composure our group showed when under fire today."
The Ephs started out the game on the offensive, and cashed in with the game's first goal less than four minutes in, after constant pressure in the initial minutes. After a teammate's pass was deflected by a Bates defender, Georgia Lord gathered the carom at the top of the Bates penalty area and tucked the ball inside the right post and past a defenseless Bates sophomore goalie Katherine Nuckols (Los Angeles, Calif.).
The Ephs kept up the pressure and crashed the Bates goal with three shots in a span of several seconds of the 12th minute, with Nuckols making diving saves of back-to-back shots by Aspen Pierson and Sarah Scire, then Bates forward So Kim (Thornhill, Ontario) stepping up to block Sydney Jones' shot from the left side.
The action evened out over the remainder of the half, with Bates putting two shots on goal, including a clear turnaround shot by junior Sarah DiPillo (Medway, Mass.), and the Bobcat defense kept Nuckols from facing additional shots on goal.
Play remained even well into the second half. Nuckols preserved the one-goal deficit in the 56th minute by charging out of the goal and smothering an excellent chance created by Lord.
But in the 70th minute, Williams doubled its lead on a corner kick. Ilana Albert delivered a towering ball that passed over the reach of Nuckols and came out to Sarah Hollinger, who tapped in a low ball past a defender and under Nuckols' reach.
Williams added an insurance score in the 86th minute. Rain Condie left the ball off in the left wing for Dawn Penso, who lofted the ball high and looping inside the back corner to make it 3-0.
Williams outshot Bates by a 17-4 margin and had three corner kicks to Bates' one.
Williams goalie Olivia Barnhill made three saves in her fourth shutout of the season. Nuckols tallied seven saves for Bates.
"Now that we have a stronghold on our defensive effort, we'll spend next week fine-tuning our attacking shape," said Ross. "We're halfway through the NESCAC season, and have shown that we can play with the top contenders in the country. We'll shift our focus to a nice NESCAC road trip next weekend, and look to bring some points home."