SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -- Today's contest between the Williams College Ephs (1-1/0-1 NESCAC) and the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds (0-3) was sure to be competitive. After an upsetting loss to Bowdoin College on Saturday, the Ephs entered their second game of the season hungry for a victory. The Thoroughbreds, who had a home field advantage, were also looking to seize their first win of the season.
The game began with Skidmore possession, though the ball was soon turned over to the Ephs, who were unable to capitalize on their early ball control despite a few scoring attempts. Henry Thomsett scored the first point of the contest, firing a shot past Williams goalkeeper Dan Whittam.
Thomsett's goal set a competitive tone, and each side fought hard for the next several minutes. Finally, Michael Fahey scooped up a loose ball and the Ephs saw an opportunity. With 5:51 remaining, Joe Kinney ripped a shot from the left side of the circle, assisted by Eric Kelley.
David Lee fed off of the excitement and won the subsequent faceoff. Though Skidmore attempted to fight back, Williams defense applied great pressure. A turnover by Skidmore's Thomas Park became an opportunity for first-year Eph Thomas Fowler, who gained possession and scored the team's second goal. The next faceoff was also in favor of the Ephs.
The Thoroughbreds were feeling the heat. Their attack fired back-to-back shots, but these were rendered unsuccessful thanks to Whittam's presence in the net.
Skidmore was not going to surrender. A few forced turnovers rattled the Ephmen, and the Thoroughbreds called a time out in the final minute. This proved advantageous, as prolific scorer Quinn Hawkins netted a goal before time expired.
The second half opened at 2-2, with tensions higher than ever. The possession consistently switched off between teams until Peter Sullivan gained control. The Ephs took the opportunity to call a time out of their own.
Despite the strategy session, the Ephs lost the ball to Thoroughbred Clark Demos. Moments later, with 10:46 remaining, his teammate Kevin Mulvey regained Skidmore's lead.
Staying true to the competition's neck-and-neck nature, Joe Kinney answered back with his second goal of the contest, assisted by Tanner McIvor.
Each team's offense stepped up to the plate. For the next several minutes, they swapped possession. Several shots barely missed the net, contributing to the building suspense. Finally, Kevin Mulvey scored his second goal of the season, tallying the fourth for Skidmore with 3:54 on the clock.
The Ephs faltered briefly, and a penalty gave the Thoroughbreds a man-up advantage. Though they maintained possession, they were not able to score. Williams called another time out.
Fahey took a shot when play resumed, but it went wide. Soon after, the Thoroughbreds reclaimed possession, and with only 0:13 left in the half, Seth Burger netted a fifth for his team. The quarter closed at 5-3.
Half time recharged the Ephs in a big way, and their determination was at an all-time high in the third quarter. Although each team took several shots, it was Eph Bryson Gilbert-Bono who finally saw the back of the net. With 5:07 left in the quarter, the score was 4-5. This marked a decisive shift for the Ephs.
Steven Kiesel followed Gilbert-Bono's lead, ripping a shot past Diaco from the top of the box and tying the score.
The Thoroughbreds could not answer back, even when granted a man-up opportunity due to a penalty on Williams. They took a time out with 1:48 left, but the score remained tied when the clock ran out.
The Ephmen continued to dictate the pace of the competition in the fourth quarter, despite a few disruptions from Skidmore.
Conor Roddy reestablished the lead for the last time. With 9:50 remaining, he scored off of an assist from Michael Fahey. And about three minutes later, he scored again. With a two-goal lead, Williams had all the momentum.
David Lee continued his successful faceoff streak, and worked the ball down to Tanner MacIver and MacIver netted the eighth goal for Williams, with 4:25 remaining.
The frustrated Thoroughbreds were called for a penalty, giving the Ephs a man-up situation. However, Skidmore did not give up, and fought back with a handful of shots on goal.
A successful Williams clear worked the ball to Thomas Fowler, who closed out the scoring for Williams with their ninth goal. Williams defense held off their opponents for the remaining minute and a half. The sound of the final buzzer was one of pride for the Ephs after a successful battle.
It was a true team victory, with six different goal scorers. Williams proved stronger in faceoffs, ground balls, and clears, though the numbers were relatively close. Diaco had a better day in goal, with 11 saves. The Ephs' success was in large part due to outshooting the Thoroughbreds 37 to 14.
Eph head coach George McCormack praised senior Peter Sullivan: "He did an excellent job at LSM today, especially on ground balls." McCormack also credited the team's success to their strong man-down defense and good ball possession. "We shut them out in the second half," he pointed out. "Offensively, both Connor Roddy and Tanner McIvor stepped up in the fourth quarter."
The Ephs plan to continue their winning streak at 1:00 PM this Saturday at Trinity College.