WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (7-5, 5-3 NESCAC) edged league opponent Colby College (6-6, 3-5 NESCAC) today at home 10-7, after a particularly strong showing in the first half. The Ephs had been seeking redemption after Wednesday's loss to Hamilton College, and their determination was evident from the very start.
The Ephs' Andy Grabowski and Colby's Derek Youngman were today's high scorers, each contributing hat tricks. Several other Ephs stepped up on both ends of the field, including junior Dan Whittam in goal. The victory was earned thanks to a full team effort.
The first quarter was a success for the prolific Williams attack, who tallied four goals in the first six minutes of play. Conor Roddy opened the game with the first two goals.
Colby College struggled to get the ball past Whittam, whose sharp reflexes were critical to today's result. However, after about nine minutes, Derek Youngman scored his first of three and both teams were on the board.
Andy Grabowski and Steven Kiesel then closed out with two more goals, making the score 6-1 at the end of the first quarter.
After the game, Eph head coacg George McCormack pointed to the impact of the first quarter on the game's outcome. Not only was the attack on fire but the defense was also solid from the beginning.
The competition increased in the second quarter. Each team traded one goal early in the period, and the last several minutes remained neck-and-neck. Whittam's strong presence became clear as he snatched several of the Mules' shot attempts.
David Lee had a big impact in the first half, winning several of the face offs and sparking some great offensive movement.
At half time, the score was 7-2.
Although our Ephs were in a good position at the half, the experienced squad knew better than to relax against a fellow NESCAC team. The second half would determine today's winner.
The third quarter reinforced this idea as Colby fought their way back into the contest.
Though Jack Lauroesch and Andy Grabowski netted early goals to further increase their lead, the Mules were still determined. Three separate Colby players scored on Whittam, and despite another goal from Grabowski, the score was getting closer.
The fourth quarter was a shutout for Colby keeper Tyler Will, frustrating the Ephs. Two Colby goals were scored early, and despite their continued effort until the buzzer, it was not enough.
The Ephs' teamwork and communication skills came through in the final minutes as they were able to successfully hold onto the ball amidst Colby's pressure. The clock ultimately expired, confirming another Williams victory.
"The guys came out really strong today. They wanted to prove themselves after two recent losses, and they did," McCormack noted after the game.
"Our man-down unit played really well, and Whittam was key in the net. All around, it was a good team effort."
That seems to be a theme for this year's team.
The Ephs take on Vassar at home on Wednesday, April 16 at 4:30 pm.