Williams Falls 14-9 to Midd in Season Finale
MIDDLEBURY, VT––Williams (3-10, 1-9 NESCAC) fell 14-9 to NESCAC rival Middlebury (4-9, 3-7 NESCAC). The Ephs and Panthers have met 50 times since 1950 with Middlebury leading the all-time series 32-18.
Williams was behind 7-6 at the half, with Colin Foster, Andy Grabowski, Mericos Rhodes, and Acierno combining for four goals in the first quarter. Middlebury kept pace with Williams, ending the quarter tied 4-4. Middlebury jumped out to the lead in the second half, scoring two goals in quick succession. Foster brought the game back within one at 10:29, Panther Bucky Pierce scored again to give Middlebury seven to Williams' 5. Evan Dedominicis had the last word of the half, scoring with just over eight minutes left to play.
Middlebury went on a 7-3 run in the second half, scoring four goals in a row in the third quarter. Williams first year Michael Hellstern broke the streak, scoring his first goal of the season with a minute left to play in the quarter. He was assisted by Steven Kiesel. Middlebury's Mike Giordano and Dedominicis exchanged goals in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to make the score 11-8. The Panthers then scored three goals in quick succession to make the game 14-8. Grabowski, assisted by Doggett scored the Ephs' final goal with just one second left to play.
Head Coach George McCormack that "They executed a bit better than us in the second half. They continued to do what they had done in the second half, but we didn't keep pace [like we had]."
Sean Dougherty and Nate Gaudino played the entire game in net for the Ephs and Panthers, respectively. Dougherty faced recorded 12 saves, while Gaudino recorded 11.
The game marks the end of the season for both teams as well as the last game for Williams seniors Michael Acierno, Sam Hargrove, Mike Ryan, Barry Frett, Greg White, Charles Gephart, Tim Goggins, and David Doggett. McCormack said that "We really appreciate their time and their effort. They were excellent leaders and we wish them the best."
McCormack was pleased with the team's attitude and effort over the season. "Overall," he said, "it was a great season in regards to the guys' efforts. Our defense was pretty steady all season and our offense continued to improve as the season went on. We're pretty excited about next season."