WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (8-5/5-3 NESCAC) snagged their eighth win today at home against Vassar College (6-7). The 14-5 victory was the result of solid defense and a deep bench, as well as significant offensive contributions from Andy Grabowski and Thomas Fowler.
Grabowski kicked off the game with four early goals, and Fowler tallied a hat trick. Several other Ephs contributed on either end of the field, including a number of players off the bench.
Williams played with strength and intensity from the very start. David Lee won the first face off of the game and assisted Andy Grabowski, who put his team on the scoreboard after only ten seconds of play.
However, for most of the first quarter it remained a one-goal game, with Vassar attack looking to answer back. Each keeper saw a handful of shot attempts.
Grabowski took matters into his own hands with 5:41 remaining in the quarter, scoring three more goals in under two minutes. Teammates Riley Hoffman, Jack Lauroesch, and Peter Crane were each credited with an assist.
Despite the four-goal lead, the game remained competitive. Vassar was looking for a comeback in the second quarter.
Sam Houston-Read netted the first goal for his team immediately following a timeout called by Williams.
This goal would inspire a series of shots from the Ephs for the rest of the quarter, including two from first-year Thomas Fowler. Another Vassar goal as well as two more for Williams were scattered throughout the final minutes prior to halftime.
Williams had a comfortable 8-2 lead when the second quarter wrapped.
The score did not dismay the Brewers, and they entered the second half with energy. Scott Brekne won the initial face off, allowing his team to start off the quarter with possession. However, neither squad could find the back of the net for several minutes due to strong defensive performances.
Each side was forcing turnovers, making it difficult to create offensive movement. Finally two goals were scored back-to-back, one per team.
A similar scenario played out minutes later, when Williams scored after a successful defensive clear. Shortly after, they were penalized with a man-down situation and Vassar capitalized on a scoring opportunity.
The score was 10-4 when the third quarter closed.
Andrew Nicol saw a lot of action in the final quarter of the game as Williams reestablished their control. Four more shots were fired off from the Ephs, including a third for Thomas Fowler.
Williams took a timeout, allowing Patrick Shayer to take the net.
Houston-Read scored the Brewers' fifth goal with minutes left, closing out the score at 14-5.
Coach McCormack praised his entire team: "Everyone contributed, and almost all of our goals were assisted. We like to see that."
He also noted very strong performances from Ryan Hamilton and Andy Grabowski.
Williams garnered 11 saves to Vassar's 9 and won 14 of the 22 turnovers. They outshot Vassar 35 to 24, though they gave up two more turnovers.
The Ephs are now focused on the future. "We have one more day to prepare for Amherst, which is always a great game," McCormack explained.
They will play NESCAC rival Amherst College away this Friday, April 18 at 6:00 pm.