Williamstown, MA—Skidmore (4-1-2) challenged Williams (4-1-2/2-1-2 NESCAC) on Cole Field this evening. It was another hot day on the field, and both teams would have to strain to keep their energy up despite the draining conditions.
Play began very evenly and neither side was able to make much headway against the other's defense at first. But by about 10 minutes into play the Ephs began to show their strength on the offensive. With the clock at 34:17, senior Mark Sisco-Tolomeo made the game's first shot on goal. However, Thoroughbred goalkeeper—sophomore Sebastian Bosch—made the save, and the teams were battling for ball control once again.
Though the majority of the action was keeping Skidmore on the defensive, there was still a lot of back-and-forth in the play. Williams continued with the strong offensive, and had another good chance to score in the game's 22nd minute. Senior Malcolm Singleton took a key shot that just barely missed the goal on the right side. Through pressure from the Thoroughbred defenders, the Ephs were able to keep up the attack. When there were around 10 minutes remaining of the period, the Ephs had swarmed the net. The ball was bouncing from player to player, from purple to green and back to purple again. Sophomore Demian Gass got control of the ball for long enough launch it into the net—a clean shot into the goal's lower lefthand corner. Gass put the Ephs on the board for the game's first point and landed his first goal of the season.
The final minutes of the half played out much the same as the first thirty five had, and the period ended with Williams leading 1-0.
Skidmore entered the second half with increased offensive aggression. Just 5 minutes into play, the team had its first shot on goal—a kick from sophomore Matt Schwab. Eph goalie Bobby Scnheiderman, a senior, caught the ball and sent it flying back onto the field. The match continued with neither team able make it onto the scoreboard. Coach Erin Sullivan commented after the game, "I'm not satisfied. I think today had more moments that we could have created, though it was a positive performance on the whole." The second period—like the first—presented many offensive opportunities for Williams that were not capitalized on.
After 90 minutes of play, Williams took the win 1-0, marking their first at-home victory of the season.
Coach Sullivan felt, first and foremost, that his team's response on the field today was a great one. "We're happy to have our first win on the home field," he says. After a tough weekend, with two tied games, Sullivan was pleased to see the team come out on top. "It was a little bit of a gut check week for us, playing two undefeated teams, and Skidmore is a big time opponent coming out of the liberty league," he explained post-game. "It was up to us to respond and declare who we are today. I think we saw a lot of that."
The home team's offensive lead, seen throughout the match and especially in the first half, is clear by the numbers. While the Thoroughbreds had a total of 8 shots, 3 of which were on goal, the Ephs took 20 shots during the game, 5 of these being shots on goal. What does not come across from the numbers, though, is the total team effort that goes into the game. "There were a lot of efforts from a lot of guys," said the coach, "and we really enjoy when we have a complete team performance like this one." When asked about standout individual players, he mentioned Liam Bardong, a sophomore who stepped into center back for the entirety of today's match. When a team comes out with strong offense like the Ephs did, it can be easy to overlook the power and importance of their backs. The defensive players on this team have stood strong through this season so far.
Three yellow cards were given over the course of the game. The first penalty occurred 18 minutes into the second half—Skidmore sophomore Ted Roach was given a yellow card. Two additional yellow cards were given in the game, one to Williams first-year Nick Ranieri and the other to Skidmore sophomore Dario Flores, both in the game's 43rd minute.
The Ephs will be taking the field at home again this coming Saturday, September 30. They will be playing Connecticut College at 2:00PM.
Looking forward,Coach Sullivan says, "We created a lot of opportunities today. That's a positive response. Now we have to reach for the next rung in the ladder."