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April 11, 2013

Ephs Defeat Dutchmen 7-6 in Overtime

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Senior Colton Growney took three pivotal trips to the cage in the final five minutes of tonight's game between Williams College (4-5) and Union College (5-5). Scoring the fifth and assisting on the sixth goal for the Ephs, Growney helped to tie up the game in its final two minutes, taking his final trip to the cage with a seventh overtime goal and leading the Ephs to a 7-6 victory over the Dutchmen. The game was delayed due to lightning, and inclement weather kept the players at Renzie Lamb field until nearly three hours after the game's first face-off.

Growney's triad of key plays came at the tail end of a fourth period rally for the Ephs, who outscored their opponents 4-2 in the fourth period to erase the Dutchmen's three-goal advantage in the third.

Williams was off to a promising start as David Lee controlled the ball on the first face-off of the game. But, despite five shots from four separate attackers, the Ephs were unable to finish and lost the ball after a slashing penalty from Mack Von Mehren.

While the Ephs had managed to secure the first offensive possession of the game, Dutchmen attackers beat them to the scoreboard as Alex D'Amario scored off an assist from Nate Greenberg seven minutes into play. Union struck again after the next face-off, cutting right to the cage for a second goal from Nolan Connors assisted by Nolan Stauffer with 6:35 remaining in the first.

The Ephs were quick to respond with a rapid-fire goal of their own just two minutes later, Mericos Rhodes sending Evan DeDominicis to the goal to put the Ephs on the scoreboard for the first time. A third Union goal from Adam Rosenthal was the last of the period, which closed with the Ephs trailing the Dutchmen 3-1.  

The second period proved stagnant, as neither team's offense could consistently connect. Scoring efforts from both teams were undermined by constant turnovers in the period: 6 for the Ephs and 3 for the Dutchmen. The teams went into the half with the score remaining at 3-1.

The Union offense widened its lead at the opening of the third, capitalizing on a man-up opportunity when Von Mehren was sent off the field for his second penalty on the day. Dutchmen midfielder Rob Santangelo was quick to move on the advantage, looking to Greenberg who then scored his team's fourth goal five minutes into the half.

The remainder of the third period saw a host of penalties, but no resulting scoring. Two man-up advantage opportunities were afforded to Union and three to Williams, though neither team was able to translate the opportunity on the scoreboard. The Ephs trailed the Dutchmen 3-1 at the close of the third.

It was a goal from first-year attacker Conor Roddy that first sparked the comeback momentum for the Ephs.  The Williams offense came to life after Union's Kyle Christine was sidelined on a cross-checking penalty. A wide shot by Rhodes was recovered by first-year Ryan Hamilton and sent Roddy's way for his first goal on the day. Roddy's man-up score downsized the Eph disadvantage to 4-2 with 10 minutes left. Growney matched Roddy's effort with a goal of his own on the next possession and the Ephs had closed the gap to 4-3.

Union fought back as Rosenthal shot right to the cage after teammate Alex Stone commandeered the face-off. Rosenthal's bounce-shot effort brought the score to 5-3. But Roddy was quick to retaliate, scoring a second time off a pass from David Lee at center field. Dutchmen Santangelo and Connors teamed up for a sixth goal for their team, Connor's shot bringing the score to 6-4 with five minutes on the clock.

Eph defender, junior Stephen Upton upset the Dutchmen's next possession, forcing Christine to lose control of the ball. Upton's key check changed the momentum and allowed Growney to take his second trip to goal, putting the Ephs down 6-5 with less than two minutes remaining.

The Ephs took a time-out after a successfully clearing the ball with 17 seconds left. When play resumed, Growney fired a pass to sophomore Andy Grabowski who scored to tie the contest atsix all.

Though Union gained possession off the face-off in over time, the Ephs regained control after an unforced turnover, taking a time-out with three minutes to play. A shot attempt from DeDominicis proved unsuccessful but was followed a minute later by Growney who ended the game with his third successful shot on the day. 

While Union dominated Williams in groundballs, with 27 scoops to the Ephs 13, the two teams were evenly matched in shots: Union with 37 and Williams with 36. Both teams were handicapped by constant penalties, the Dutchmen playing at a disadvantage for nearly eight minutes in the game.

The Ephs will look to maintain this momentum heading into their Saturday NESCAC match-up at Colby. The game is set to begin at 1:00pm. 

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