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Women’s Soccer (updated: WINS, 2-0!!) NCAA Elite 8 vs. Ithaca at 1 PM EST, Cole Field

The Williams women’s soccer team takes on the Ithaca Bombers today at 1 PM EST on Cole Field for the NCAA Elite 8/sectional final. Audio for the game will be available for free on Teamline, with the team’s regular online announcer Will Slack broadcasting.

The soccer parents will be picking up the NCAA admission fees for all Williams students who come down to Cole Field. Yesterday had quite a loud and loyal fan section, thanks in part to a similar parental funding incentive.

It will be another cold day, but may be a little bit warmer than it was yesterday. Expect rough, slippery going for the players as the temperature is not expected to reach above 29; as Will points out, cleats don’t work well on frozen ground. There may be flurries.

Go Ephs!

LAST UPDATE: Williams wins, 2-0. Looks like William Smith beat Amherst 1-0 in OT (but Amherst was the better team on stats — as we learned last year, anything can happen in these games).

UPDATE: At the start of the broadcast, Will just said it was 10 degrees warmer than yesterday (and I don’t hear the wind howling the way it did yesterday  Will says it’s very windy, and I hear it now), but still extremely cold. He expects the footing to be much improved. They’ve moved over to the men’s field today (because they chewed up the women’s field in yesterday’s semis). There is a good-sized Ithaca parent section present, in addition to very vocal Eph students, parents, and other fans.

Here’s what the end of the second half looked like yesterday:
















photo by Kris Dufour, copyright Williams College

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#1 Comment By nuts On November 23, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

It’s good to have our own Will Slack broadcasting the game. Go Ephs!

When teams advance to the NCAA elite 8, why no video such as via D3cast? The cost is about $1000 per game, or $500 per school when the AD’s split it.

#2 Comment By sophmom On November 23, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

Another beautiful photo by Kris Dufour.

Is it snowing in W today?

#3 Comment By lgeorge On November 23, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

Not snowing. A little warmer than yesterday. Winds are down.

I think that Teamline is running a video, but it is pay-per-view and Williams isn’t picking up the tab for that (just for the audio).

#4 Comment By PTC On November 23, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

Cool audio. Too bad it is not live blogged… with streaming video. Williams just scored. 1-0.

#5 Comment By lgeorge On November 23, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

Williams 1 – Ithaca 0 at 12:49 remaining in the first half.

Wheaton (last year’s — and the year before’s? — champ) has advanced to the final 4. The other six include our game and Amherst and William Smith (playing right now).

On the men’s side, Amherst and Midd are in the Elite 8. Amherst, which beat Swarthmore in the Sweet 16, is playing #1 Trinity (TX).

#6 Comment By lgeorge On November 23, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

Ten minute halftime. Still 1-0, Ephs.
From something Will said about a kick by the Eph goalie, I take it that the wind, if it remains steady, will now be significantly against the Ephs. I did not hear it at first, but the wind seems to be quite strong.

I hope everyone is getting warm. I worry about the players on the sideline and whether their feet are freezing. Those cleats don’t offer much protection.

#7 Comment By lgeorge On November 23, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

Our Sarah Wild ’11 scores after yellow card to Ithaca,
2-0, Ephs

#8 Comment By lgeorge On November 23, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

Williams wins, 2-0, and goes on to the Final 4 in (I believe) two weeks. The Amherst women went 0-0 in regular play and are battling it out with William Smith in OT.

The men’s Elite 8 games are tonight.

#9 Comment By Will Slack ’11 On November 23, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

The wind had a bad section in the middle of the game, but was largely better behaved.

How much you heard it also depended on how the phone was wedged into my skullcap. I don’t have really much to add onto the commentary – we had a good game, and kept Adrien WELL covered.

There was no video coverage.

Stats are here: http://livestats.internetconsult.com/ithaca/wsoc/

#10 Comment By hwc On November 23, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

Amherst men had a good weekend. They beat 11th ranked Swarthmore 1-0 Saturday night and knocked of 1st ranked Trinity (Texas) 1-0 tonight to advance to the final four.

#11 Comment By Larry George On November 23, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

Did the Midd men make it into the final four, too?

#12 Comment By JeffZ On November 23, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

The days of Williams beating Amherst in men’s soccer (let alone dominating them as they once did) are likely numbered if not extinct — Amherst’s new coach brought in a ridiculous recruiting class in his first year, including a transfer from Conn College who was all-league as a Sophomore (not often folks transfer between NESCAC schools …), and three frosh who were supposedly Div I recruits, including a goalkeeper from Germany who was looking at Duke, a Div I power. Men’s soccer at Williams, on the other hand, seems to be one of the sports where the changes in recruiting policy have had the heaviest impact … then again, women’s soccer seems to be bringing in plenty of all-american caliber players, so who knows.

Going to be a tough road for women’s soccer in the Final Four — between Wheaton and Messiah (who will likely make the finals should the Ephs get past Wheaton) those are the two teams that have combined to dominate women’s soccer over the last decade. But in some ways it will really be fun to finally be the underdog as opposed to overwhelming favorite, which they’ve been in basically every game they’ve played over the last two years. No matter what happens, making the final four is an incredible accomplishment, congrats!

Quite a fall for NESCAC sports: Midd and Bowdoin each win national titles, Amherst and Williams still in the running for the same, and Tufts, Amherst and Williams each had additional teams with top national finishes. Williams, Midd, and Amherst should each be near the top of the fall Sears Cup standings when they are announced …

#13 Comment By David Kane On November 23, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

Men’s soccer at Williams, on the other hand, seems to be one of the sports where the changes in recruiting policy have had the heaviest impact … then again, women’s soccer seems to be bringing in plenty of all-american caliber players, so who knows.

Don’t forget that recruiting for mens and womens sports is, I have heard, significantly different in the amount of admissions support required. For some reason, there are many more smart (above certain admissions minimums on things like the SAT) female athletes than male athletes. So, a given increase in recruiting standards hurts male sports teams more than females.

Note also that some of the stuff that mens soccer used to do back in the day was, uh, not completely consistent with Morty’s vision for athletic preferences. I had a Middlebury parent complain to me that Williams was more or less the Jamaican national team a decade ago . . . not that there is anything wrong with that! (And, to be clear, I have no idea if that was a fair complaint.)

Will women’s soccer final four by available via video? Do we already know the date/time of the games?

#14 Comment By Larry George On November 23, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

A bit off topic, but I had a Wellesley parent complain rather bitterly to me about how “totally unfair” it was that Wellesley had to compete against the Williams women in one of the spring sports (“Why don’t you all skip this playground and just go compete in Division 1? You don’t belong here.” She was a little embarrassed when I pointed out that I figured Wellesley’s team was drawn from a pool of about three times as many female students as Williams has (and that the Williams team had an extremely high average GPA so it wasn’t as though Williams had compromised its academic admissions standards in recruiting the team).

But, on the topic, I remember that tightened admissions standards were thought to be certain to keep Williams from being competitive in men’s basketball — but then Williams went on to win a national championship several years later.

I’d note also, as I have before, that there continues to be something of a crisis in college admissions for males, with a smaller percentage of males than females in the traditional age pool applying/attending/graduating (the difference within some racial and ethic groups is quite large) and with females overall tending to present stronger statistical credentials. There seem to be a lot of reasons and also mysteries behind the disparities.

#15 Comment By Larry George On November 24, 2008 @ 2:15 am

“Will women’s soccer final four by available via video? Do we already know the date/time of the games?

Don’t know about the video, but I’d think CBS College Sports/NCAA.com would carry it. They are the ones who were supposed to have the D3 cross-country, which did not work for me, so I am a little skeptical. Makes me appreciate the great job Jumbocast has done for two years in a row with volleyball NESCAC championship and NCAA regional championship tournaments.

The three remaining games will take pace in Greensboro NC. Semis are the 5th (a Fri.) and I would imagine the final is the 6th.

In its semi, Williams faces Wheaton, which has won three of the last four championships, including last year’s. In the other semi, William Smith faces perennial powerhouse Messiah. I would think Messiah would be heavily favored over WSC, which got there by upsetting Amherst in OT after being outplayed on stats for the whole match, but one never knows in tournament play. (I saw photos from that game, played in heavier snow than the Williams Sat. one; it looked like an outdoor ice hockey game, with bodies all over the ice frequently.) Greensboro won’t be warm but it could be a relief after the frigid, snowy New England weather of this past weekend.

#16 Comment By JeffZ On November 24, 2008 @ 5:26 am

re: men’s basketball, I will note that Williams won the championship based on the strength of players recruited in 1999-2000 … now I am not sure exactly which admissions system was in place at that point, but the Ephs haven’t had an all American in hoops since the class of 2004, and have only had a few guys who even made first team all-conference. That being said, they do have some very strong players on the current team. Amherst during the same time period has been bringing in stronger and stronger recruits all the time … I am not sure that Amherst is allowed to make bigger concessions for basketball recruits (possibly, but probably not), but their coach does, I believe, get more top-line recruits in per year. Part of this could be his pull as probably the most senior and the most successful coach at Amherst, part may be that something has to give considering Williams has more varsity sports than Amherst (amherst has no varsity wrestling, skiing, or crew teams), but the same number of total TIPS.

For all the (accurate) talk of Williams as an athletic power, if you go sport by sport in which they compete with Amherst, the two teams are now pretty even overall (with Amherst now totally dominating in certain sports in which Williams used to be stronger, like women’s ice hockey, women’s lacrosse, and men’s basketball … and Amherst recently breaking through to beat Williams for the first time in years or even decades in other sports, like men’s tennis and men’s soccer). This is probably a good thing, as rivalries SHOULD be even rather than totally one-sided (football and men’s basketball have both been less fun in recent years with the respective dominance of Williams and Amherst). But I just think there is this misconception that Williams is this overwhelmingly dominant force in NESCAC athletics, when looking beyond just the Sears Cup (which awards points in a way that generally tends to favor the Ephs), Middlebury, Amherst, and Trinity (overwhelming strength in football, baseball, men’s and women squash, plus a few other very stong programs) are all now more or less at Williams’ level of success. Middlebury, in fact, always has been. Again, not saying this is a bad thing, just that perceptions need to be adjusted.

#17 Comment By Larry George On November 24, 2008 @ 10:01 am

It’s a good thing, so long as no school that has an athletic culture/wants to be a player falls too far behind, particularly in a lot of sports.