Williamstown, MA—Williams (3-1-2/2-1-2 NESCAC) took on Bates (3-1-1/1-1-1 NESCAC) at Cole Field this afternoon.
Bates started with ball possession and was able to carry the ball into the Williams defensive zone. They maintained offensive control through the first few minutes of the game, and put an early score on the board. Less than three minutes into play, Bates senior Nate Merchant shot the ball past Eph goalkeeper, senior Bobby Schneiderman, and into the net, giving his team an early lead.
With around 30 minutes on the clock, Bates had a corner kick, which was handled skillfully by the Williams defense. The ball was sent up the field, and the Ephs were back on the offensive. With 29:00 on the clock, senior Malcolm Singleton took a shot on goal. Bobcat goalie, junior Robbie Montanaro, made the save, but this was not the end of the Williams offensive surge. Just 30 seconds later, sophomore Andrew Mathew scored after a corner, with sophomore Chris Fleischer on the assist. The game was now tied.
At the end of the first half, neither team had scored again.
The second half got off to a difficult start for Williams when, after quite a bit of back and forth, junior Scatt Macdonald was given a red card. Eph coach, Erin Sullivan, said about this moment, "I think the game sort of turned on the red card." From then on, the Ephs were playing one man down.
Yet the team did not let this stop them. Coach Sullivan shared, "I don't fault the player; I don't fault the referee. In this case, I look to the fact that our response was pretty positive." When Bates got a corner 2 minutes after the card, the Ephs took control of the ball and ran it into the opponent's territory. Marc Sisco-Tolomeo had a shot on the goal, but it was saved by the Bates goalkeeper. Though the offensive attempt was unsuccessful, the coach reported, "I was really pleased with the will for the team to try to go for more at that moment."
There were several other strong runs for goal by the Williams team, and both sides had a few shots, but none succeeded. When the clock ran out, the teams were still tied with 1 point each.
The game went into two 10-minute overtimes but ended with no more points on the board. Each side had a shot on goal in the first overtime period, both of which were saved. Fleischer was also given a yellow card in the final two minutes of this period. The second overtime was closely matched, but neither team was able to make it to the goal.
Williams and Bates tied 1-1vafter 110 minutes.
The end result of this game came down to a number of different elements. "Certainly," says Sullivan, "the early goal hurt us. But there was a great response in the second half." In addition to continuing to resist Bates after the red card, not allowing their opponent a second goal, the Williams players managed to keep pushing on offense throughout the second half of the match and into the overtime periods. In the coach's words: "I think given how many minutes we played, the depth of our team really showed today."
This game ends a tough weekend for the Ephs, with back-to-back home games both ending in a tie after the double overtime. Anticipating the competitions to come, Coach Sullivan looks on the bright side, saying, "You always want to win at home, but you definitely don't want to lose. So, we come away with something, and we move forward from there." He also pointed out that, through the difficult moments, there was some great playing from his team. "Any time you get a goal from your right back, that's awesome," he says, referencing the scoring of today's only Eph goal by Mathew, a defender. Sullivan added, "Really, over the course of the weekend, our backs and goalkeeper stood tall and made sure that we came away with some sort of points." Playing like this will be key for Williams' success in games to come.
The Ephs will be playing at home again on Wednesday, September 27, at 4:30PM when they host Skidmore.