WILLIAMSTOWN, MA––It was senior day today at Renzie Lamb Field and despite an early lead, Williams (3-7, 1-5 NESCAC) lost 10-9 to Colby (7-3, 4-3 NESCAC). The Ephs and Mules have met 13 times since 1990. Williams leads the all-time series 8-5.
The Ephs honored their seniors––Michael Acierno, Sam Hargrove, Mike Ryan, Barry Frett, Greg White, Charles Gephart, Tim Goggins, and David Doggett––before the opening face-off. The senior class contributed two goals and two assists to the game. Their effort was assisted by Andy Grabowski (Philadelphia, PA) who led the Eph offense with three goals. The Mules were led by one of their seniors, Jonathan McIvor (Sudbury, MA), who recorded five goals and one assist.
The opening minutes of the quarter were characterized by back-and-forth play and missed chances by both teams. Stephen Upton (Alexandria, VA) scored the first goal of the game at 12:33 after Tucker Dayton (San Francisco, CA) carried the ball up field, giving the Ephs the opportunity to score. The Mules responded about four minutes later. Colby settled the ball in Williams' end, before Ian Deveau (Portsmouth, RI) hit John Jennings (Danvers, MA) who was cutting through the box. The teams exchanged another pair of goals, tying the game 2-2 with eight seconds left to play. After working the ball around the periphery, Mericos Rhodes (Seattle, WA) received the ball at the top of the box. Rhodes took the time to wind up before ripping a high-speed crank shot on goal. Rhodes goal game the Ephs a 3-2 lead heading into the second quarter.
Head Coach George McCormack said "The seniors as a class are the leaders on the team and they've given us everything they've had for the past four years."
The second quarter would prove to be as high-paced as the first. After winning the opening face-off, David Lee (Hillsborough, CA) dodged his defender to bring the ball into the offensive end. A turnover a few minutes later gave Colby a fast-break and Nick Hunnewell (Chestnut Hill, MA) brought the ball into the Ephs' end. McIvor scored his second goal of the game at 11:43, sending a high-arcing shot to beat Sean Dougherty (Smithtown, NY). Colin Foster (Niksayuna, NY) took a holding penalty with 6:07 left in the quarter. Colby was unable to capitalize on the man-up situation. Instead, Hargrove picked up a loose ball behind Colby's net, hitting Dedominicis above the Mules' crease. Jennings' behind-the back goal two minutes tied the game at 4 and was the final word of the half.
McIvor scored just under a minute in the third quarter, jump-starting a five-goal Colby run. Colton Growney (Berwyn, PA) shook the Mules' momentum at 12:31 when he scored an unassisted goal. Growney's effort was not enough, and Colby would score three more goals before the half was over. The Mules' seventh goal of the game was off a miracle play by Greg McKillup (Washington, D.C). The junior got off the shot just as he was being hit by an Eph defenseman, with the ball trickling past Dougherty for the goal. Grabowski, assisted by Eric Kelley (Wilmington, DE) scored with .2 seconds left in the half. Defenseman John Maimone-Medwick (Manhasset, NY) carried the ball across the midfield line and sent it to Kelley at the top of the box. Kelley roll-dodged to beat his defender, hitting Grabowski who was waiting at the crease. Grabowski's goal brought the Ephs within three.
McCormack said "It was a very competitive game we had a bad third quarter that came back to haunt us. We need to be more consistent. Our offense played their best game of the year. Our defense was not as consistent as they've been in the past, but it was still a good game."
The Ephs' momentum carried into the fourth quarter. Hargrove, assisted by Steven Kiesel (Excelsior, NM) scored just twenty seconds into the quarter to make the score 9-7. McIvor returned fire, scoring the game-winning goal with 12:55 left to go. Last-minute efforts from Acierno and Grabowski almost sent the game into overtime, but the Ephs fell just short, losing 10-9.
Dougherty faced 18 shots and recorded 8 saves. Colby's Peter Reilley (Marblehead, MA) faced 19 shots, recording ten saves. The teams each recorded 19 groundballs, and Williams outshot Colby 35-27.
Colby travels to in-state rival Bowdoin on April 17th at 7pm. Williams will host Hamilton on the same day. Play begins at 6pm.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, McCormack said that the team needs to stay focused on "playing our game and staying to true to our fundamentals for all four quarters."