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NCAA Women’s Soccer Final Four: Ephs vs. Wheaton (IL) 5 PM EST Friday in Greensboro (UPDATED)

The Ephs (19-0-1) will play the Wheaton College (IL) Thunder (21-3-2) at 5 PM EST on Friday in Greensboro in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Final Four. 

According to their local paper, one Wheaton player is out battling cancer and several others have sustained season-ending injuries. Nonetheless, they are quite a formidable team. The defending national champions, Wheaton has won the championship three times (2004, 2006, and 2007) in the previous four years, losing only to Messiah College in 2005. (Messiah, last year’s runner up, is in this year’s Final Four, playing William Smith in Friday’s other semifinal.)

Williams, too, is extremely formidable. Undefeated this season, they are 36-1-1 in their last 38 outings, and are ranked #1 nationally.

The live free video should be here. If that does not work, try linking up through the Williams sports page. UPDATE: You need to download Silverlight.2.0(2).dmg ahead of time for the NCAA broadcast to work on your computer.

 If you are in Williamstown, go to Paresky to see the game on the big screen, thanks to arrangements made by Will Slack ’11. And if you are anywhere near Greensboro, please try to go out to support the team.

Lots of background information about the teams here.

GO EPHS!

team photograph copyright Williams College

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Comments Disabled To "NCAA Women’s Soccer Final Four: Ephs vs. Wheaton (IL) 5 PM EST Friday in Greensboro (UPDATED)"

#1 Comment By David On December 3, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

Nice post. And let me add my voice to the many readers that appreciate all your athletic (and other) posts. Great stuff! Hope that you find the time and energy to keep doing them.

#2 Comment By Will Slack ’11 On December 3, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

The Paresky screen has now been hyped enough that I am sufficiently nervous that the Webcast won’t work. Murphy’s Law looms…

#3 Comment By sophmom On December 3, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

That’s too bad about the Wheaton player. I wish her a healthy recovery.

Meanwhile, I had no idea the girls soccer team was so accomplished. Good luck with the Paresky plan. Will. I heard you’re a really good commentator. I look forward to hearing you at some point.

#4 Comment By JeffZ On December 4, 2008 @ 8:08 am

Sounds like Wheaton is a real feel good story — if they weren’t playing the Ephs, I’d be rooting for ’em.

Another nice article on the Sports Info website on the soccer team:

http://athletics.williams.edu/sports/wsoc/2008-09/news/1203_Ephs_arrive_in_Greensboro

#5 Comment By lgeorge On December 4, 2008 @ 8:55 am

Thanks for the heads up, Jeff.

It was also fun to see sophomore soccer star Sara Wild’s photograph featured in the indoor track team season preview. http://williams.prestosports.com/sports/wtrack/2008-09/news/1203_Women-s_Track_-_Field_Season_Outlook
She earned All-American status and was fourth at NCAAs last year, and qualified in the 800 during the outdoor season. Sara has really come into her own as a soccer player in the last year as well. I especially enjoyed some sweet moves where she snuck it in while opponents were blocking her more senior teammates. She’s a great finisher.

The indoor track team eagerly awaits Sara’s return and that of fellow soccer player Lizzie Danhakl, another stand out. Lizzie came in 9th at NCAAs last spring and holds the school record in the 800. (A note to the Wheaton Thunder: we have some FAST players.) I’m sure the Ephs indoor team will happily put off that arrival, hoping it will be with gold medals in hand. It looks like Coach Brooks Fletcher has a great team in the making in his first season back in the Purple Valley as head track coach, and the success of their teammates at soccer is sure to give the runners a big boost.

Go Ephs!

#6 Comment By JeffZ On December 4, 2008 @ 9:56 am

Those are some impressive multi-sport athletes, another proud Williams tradition. Star football players Brian Morrissey and Ryan Powell are both key contributors to the lacrosse team, for instance, and a bunch of other football players double as wrestlers or baseball players.

Glad Fletcher Brooks was named head coach … losing Ralph White was a big blow to that program and was never really adequately explained, but hard to imagine a better replacement than Brooks, who has a big-time Williams connection (his brother Ethan is arguably the best athlete in recent Williams history and Fletcher was himself an assistant coach at Williams), and did a tremendous job at MIT.

Oh, and based on the picture in the sports info photo, looks like the Ephs have at least one injured player as well (as it appears one player is on crutches in the photo …).

#7 Comment By lgeorge On December 4, 2008 @ 10:11 am

Re injuries: Gabby had quite the shiner during sectionals but it seems healed now — selfishly, I’m glad because her sheer joy just lights up their victory pictures <-- fingers crossed. After playing in the snow and on the ice, where their cleats did little good, I'm not surprised about any injuries. Sorry about reversing Fletcher Brooks's names. Williams seems to be thrilled to have him back, and I hope his presence will help heal the program post-extended White incident (I hope as well that Coach White is doing well post-Williams). It will be exciting to read about how Brooks's team does. I really liked his emphasis on easing Sara and Lizzie back onto the team safely. That's not only good for the athletes but makes for a strong, loyal team.

#8 Comment By JeffZ On December 5, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

Well, Amherst about to go down, losing 3-0 in the second half. Hopefully the Ephs fare better!

#9 Comment By Larry George On December 5, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

Some will surely think I should root for them more often then.

Jeff, our women will have to play under the lights. Do you think it will affect their game?