This past weekend, Colby women’s soccer fell short versus two top-ranked NESCAC teams. On Saturday, they played the Williams Ephs and on Sunday, the Amherst Mammoths. Historically, the Mules have struggled versus both teams, but they didn’t let neither the past nor the NESCAC rankings dampen their spirit.
Captain Maddie Fisher ‘23 gave insight into the team’s mindset heading into this weekend.
“I think our team has really embraced having a bit of an underdog mentality, going into these games ready to leave it all out there knowing we have really nothing to lose. At the same time every one of us has confidence in each other and this team that we are so capable of showing up, competing, and holding our own against top ranked teams. And I think that’s the exciting part of the NESCAC is that you really never know what is going to happen and every single game in the league is a really competitive game!” Fisher said.
The Mules played their hearts out this weekend. Starting on a windy Saturday morning, the Mules narrowly lost to second-ranked Williams 2–1. In the first eight minutes of the half the Mules jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Jackie Portogallo ’24. This was the first time the Mules scored versus the Ephs in their last 3 matchups.
However, it didn’t take Williams long to respond to the Mules’ goal, the Ephs tied the game 8 minutes later. After the Williams goal, they kept the pressure on the Mules defense. Colby players were scrambling back on defense as the Williams players relentlessly attacked. Despite Williams’ accurate passes and Colby fouls commited, the half ended 1-1. The Mules’ defense stood strong.
After the break, both teams came out with a ton of energy, both looking to break the tie. For the next 40 minutes, both battled hard but neither could find the back of the net.
The Goalie play was extremely strong. Both keepers handled powerful shots and gave their offenses chances to take the lead.
Towards the end of the game, the Ephs started to take control. In the second half, Williams made 8 substitutions to Colby’s 2, and stamina became a factor. The Ephs dominated the ball for the last 15 minutes of play and their fresh legs allowed them to creep behind the Colby defense and tap in an easy goal that escaped the hands of the Colby keeper.
The Mules failed to score after the Williams goal despite an exciting last minute push that had everyone in the stands on edge. As time expired, the Williams crowd let out a sigh of relief, knowing the Mules were so close to an upset. 2–1 was the final score.
After Saturday’s lost, the Mules played again on Sunday morning but didn’t find much success. The Amherst Mammoths came out and played fast and physical versus Colby. They dominated possession for most of the first half and scored two goals. Colby had a breakaway opportunity a couple minutes before the end of the half but the Amherst defense prevented a goal. Colby was rewarded with a corner kick, but they couldn’t convert and the half ended 2–0.
Once again, the Colby Mules had great energy coming out of the break, but Amherst’s physicality proved to be too much. Amherst defenders stuck to Colby offense and didn’t give them much room to work towards the goal. The Mammoth’s aggressiveness was too much at times, they were called offsides multiple times; but that didn’t stop their game plan. Towards the middle of the second half, Colby was able to stay on offense and apply some pressure, but no goals came out of it. By the end of play, the Mules’ passes were sloppy and the game was soon over.
Overall, Pepper Joseph `24 lead the Mules offense and gave multiple attacks putting two shots on net
Despite the losses, the Mules have a lot to look forward to heading into this year.
“I think our team battled and showed incredible mental toughness. It’s pretty difficult physically and mentally to show up and bring 100% to two NESCAC games on back to back days and I think we showed grit and heart and left everything we had on the field on both days,” said Fisher after the weekend. “I love our team because it is truly one of the most supportive, loving, and encouraging environments I’ve ever been a part of. Our team shows up for each other even when it gets hard or we face challenges and adversity. The reason we were able to battle and compete this weekend is because everyone on this team works so incredibly hard, believes in each other, and supports each other. We have pride in this team and this program.”
~ Julian Cangieter-Hernandez `25