MIDDLETOWN, CT — If this keeps up, the Williams College field hockey team may have to adopt the 'Cardiac Kids' moniker so often used in sports these days.
Julianna Kostas and Meredith Wright scored second-half goals Saturday and the Ephs withstood multiple Wesleyan chances in the final 70 seconds to hold onto a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals at Smith Field.
The victory improved the Ephs to 9-3 overall and 5-2 in the NESCAC, while Wesleyan fell to 4-8 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Williams will host Hamilton in another key conference match-up Wednesday at 6 p.m.
"I am very proud of the way we fought back on the road and especially considering we're coming off a 10-day break between games," Ephs' head coach Alix Barrale said. "It was a great win and hopefully we can build on it heading into next week."
Wesleyan got the scoring started in the first half with about 12 minutes remaining when Lauren Yue sent in a penalty corner to Hannah Plappert, who connected on a very fast line drive shot into the lower left-corner of the Ephs goal.
The Ephs picked up their pace of play immediately after the Wesleyan goal with senior captain Annie VanWagenen getting her own shot attempt off a penalty corner. Her hard shot however was stopped by Wesleyan keeper Sarah Grundy.
The Ephs then had another penalty corner sent in by Rachel Bressette. The ball found its way to Katie Pattison, but her shot was wide of the net. A minute later Hannah Goodrick sent in a penalty corner that was re-directed to VanWagenen, who got off another scoring chance that Grundy turned away.
It would be mostly Ephs in the second half however, as the visitors scored just 8:08 into the half. It came off moments after another Grundy save off a shot by Alex Bennett. VanWagenen controlled the rebounds and slid a center pass through the circle from right to left, finding Kostas unmarked. Kostas quicky re-directed the ball into the open left-side of the goal.
Williams had a few other opportunities, but the middle of the second half had more of a back-and-forth flavor to it. However, the Ephs kept working and produced penalty corner after penalty corner.
They took the lead with 13:03 to go with a goal similar to their first. Grundy made a save off a VanWagenen shot off a penalty corner. Pattison controlled the rebound and flipped the ball back in front of the goal, where Wright re-directed over Grundy and into the top r-right side of the net.
"We settled down in the second half and started to execute better," Barrale said. "Better passes, better communication. We knew we were going to have to score off rebounds because she (Grundy) is just so talented."
The Cardinals were not finished just yet however, as they had four penalty corner chanxes in the final 2:58 of the game. The most dangerous came off the stick of Yue, but her shot was stopped by Draper and when the ball trickled by her, cleared away nicey by Emma Grauberger.
Williams had a 15-5 advantage in shots and a 9-5 edge in penalty corners. Draper finished with two saves in the victory.