The Hamilton College women's soccer team fell 2-1 in their NESCAC opening game against Williams College on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon on Love Field. The game marked the season opener for both teams.
Williams -- nationally ranked No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches Division III Preseason Poll and the defending 2017 NCAA Division III champions -- took an early 1-0 lead 1:44 after the opening kickoff. Kristina Alvarado tapped the ball to Aspen Pierson who delivered a shot from the right side of the penalty box, just inside the left corner of the net and past the outstretched arms of Hamilton goaltender Rachel Pike '21. In her first conference start, Pike made five of her six saves in the first half alone.
Cat Gambino '21 responded for the Continentals in the 18th minute to even the score 1-1 going into the half. Katie Tenefrancia '19 launched the ball into the Williams penalty box to Gambino who outmaneuvered an Eph defender and fired a low shot past Olivia Barnhill (5 saves). Gambino was second on the team last season with seven points, finishing her rookie campaign with three goals and one assist.
Sydney Jones scored the game winner with 26:14 remaining off a Williams corner kick. Hamilton's Kristin Hughes '20 came off the left post to make a defensive save, denying the initial shot attempt, but Jones controlled the rebound and tucked the ball past the goal line.
Hamilton hits the road for two games this weekend. First up, the Continentals travel to Lewiston, Maine, to take on Bates College for a NESCAC game on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. On Sunday at noon, Hamilton faces Sage College for a non-conference game hosted by Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, N.Y.