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Williams rebounds from tough national championship loss

2015 Division III Women’s Soccer

Teammates tackle Kristina Alvarado of Williams after the championship game’s lone goal. JEFF JACOBSEN / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results


Williams 1, Washington-St. Louis 0


Williams 2, Centre 1

Washington-St. Louis 1, Messiah 1 (Washington-St. Louis won on penalty kicks, 3-2)


Kayla Deckert, Messiah

The heartbreak of losing last year’s national title match on penalty kicks was still fresh when the Williams College women’s soccer program started focusing on this season. “Everyone was like, ‘We can get back to this point,’” senior midfielder Mai Mitsuyama said.

The reason for such confidence: Eight consecutive NCAA tournament trips made Williams a playoff-tested squad, and Kristi Kirshe and Audrey Thomas, who combined for 35 of Williams’ school-record 59 goals in 2014, returned. And while their offense was far from prolific in 2015, scoring just 2.1 goals per game, the Ephs still won 11 games by two or more goals.

Williams (21-1-2) shut out Bowdoin College, 2-0, to win its seventh New England Small College Athletic Conference title, shut out its first two NCAA championship opponents and didn’t allow more than one goal in a game through the rest of the tournament. So all Williams needed to win the national title Dec. 5 in Kansas City, Missouri, was Kristina Alvarado’s breakaway goal in the 42nd minute against Washington University in St. Louis, giving the Ephs a 1-0 victory that not only fulfilled Williams’ goal of getting back to the championship match, but gave the program its first national title as well.