HARTFORD, CT – The Williams College Ephs defeated NESCAC rival Trinity College 9-8 today, largely due to a stellar five-goal performance by sophomore Jack Lauroesch.
Each team entered the game with something to prove. For the Ephs (2-1/1-1 NESCAC), defeating Trinity (0-2/0-2 NESCAC) meant continuing their winning streak after Wednesday's victory. The Bantams were hoping to collect their first win of the season, and relished the home field advantage. As with every league game, the stakes were high.
Williams and Trinity constantly traded goals back and forth, and with each additional point the competition heightened. Neither team was able to pull away for greater than a two-goal lead throughout the entire contest.
Sophomores Jack Lauroesch and Conor Roddy came through in the fourth quarter, pushing the Ephs to tie the score and ultimately regain the lead.
The victory gave Williams the league win that they had been working towards.
The first ten minutes of play were indicative of the contest's competitive nature. Each team fought hard for the first goal, but strong defense on either side made this difficult.
Finally, Bantam Michael Lofrese netted a goal with 5:48 remaining in the quarter. But rather than setting off a Trinity scoring streak, the goal sparked a fierce intensity in the Ephs. Almost immediately, Peter Sullivan answered back to tie the score.
The remaining minutes of the first quarter made up for the early lack of scoring. Jack Lauroesch brought the Ephs to a 3-1 lead with a pair of goals, and Bantam Terence Owen found the back of the net with 2:25 remaining.
The second quarter was a fierce battle. Both the Williams and Trinity defenses came alive, causing a pattern of forced turnovers. Williams goalkeeper Dan Whittam had a strong presence, rendering a handful of Trinity shots unsuccessful.
The Williams attack also tried to score, though several shots landed just wide of the net. A successful Trinity clear yielded a quick goal, tying the score at 3-3 before time expired.
The Ephs welcomed halftime as a chance to regroup and prepare for the remainder of the competition.
David Lee's strength and consistency on faceoffs proved to set the tone in the second half. He worked the ball down to his teammates on attack, and though they were able to get off several shots, none were successful. Several minutes of competitive play gave the teams' defenses another chance to shine, and both Whittam and Trinity goalkeeper Zaverucha contributed.
With 10:18 left on the clock, Joe Kinney tallied a goal, regaining the lead for Williams. This, however, would inspire a fight back from the Bantams, who went on a three-goal run in a matter of minutes. Matthew Hauck contributed to all three plays.
In the last few minutes of the quarter, Williams fired off two more goals and Trinity tallied another. The Ephs were down 6-7 when the third quarter came to a close.
A last-second penalty on Williams would render them man-down to open the fourth quarter. Trinity took advantage to score their eighth goal early in the quarter, but it would be their last.
Despite a valiant effort from Trinity, the fourth quarter was dominated almost entirely by Williams. Several shot attempts finally paid off as Lauroesch netted his fourth and fifth goals of the game, which tied the score at 8-8 with 9:44 on the clock. At this point, it was clear that the Ephs were determined to finish the job.
A few more minutes of Williams possession yielded the game-winning goal from prolific scorer Conor Roddy. With eight minutes still remaining, the Ephs' new challenge was to maintain the lead while a hungry Trinity squad fought back.
Zaverucha defended his net with strength for the final minutes, and despite their effort Williams was not able to increase their lead. The final buzzer sounded, and the Ephs relished another victory.
The win was a result of thorough play and strong teamwork. The Ephs outshot their opponents 54 to 20, demonstrating the strength of the team's offense.
Another contributing factor was the always-consistent David Lee, who won 15 of 20 faceoffs. Coach George McCormack applauded Lee's performance today.
Zaverucha played a critical role in net with 24 saves, while Whittam tallied 6.
"Their goalkeeper played a great game," McCormack observed. "But we had a strong fourth quarter, which really helped."
McCormack commented on his squad's depth and versatility after a true team effort. "Stephen Upton played a great game. Peter Sullivan and Riley Hoffman, both defensemen, scored for us. And Jack Lauroesch stepped up and really did an excellent job on attack."
With another win under their belt, the Ephs will face this Tuesday, March 11 at 6 PM.