WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – In a midweek NESCAC conference match-up, the Williams College Ephs (10-3/NESCAC 6-2) downed the Hamilton College Continentals (7-6/NESCAC 3-6) 3-1.
Williams came out to a strong start as they generated a lot of offensive pressure leading to five shots on goal in the first six minutes. At 5:59, senior Kara Sperry tallied the first goal of the game off an assist from junior Brigid Bruno. After multiple scoring changes and two shots on goal by Annie VanWagenen, Bruno got possession of the ball right in front of the cage and took a shot. The ball came towards Sperry, who timed her hit perfectly to redirect it into the back of the net.
In the next five minutes following the goal, Hamilton picked up their energy and pressure, which produced three penalty corners and two shots on goal. Although Hamilton had these chances, each attempt was unsuccessful as Eph goalie, Margaret Draper, turned away the shots and stood her ground.
With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Williams maintained their pressure as they received an offensive corner. Although the shot from the top of the circle by VanWagenen landed in the back of the net, it was disallowed due to obstruction.
The rest of the first half remained scoreless and it wasn't until the 43:32 mark, where Williams struck again. The play started by junior Kit Rosen, who came sprinting down the left side of the field and rifled a long pass into space in the circle. Brigid Bruno ran onto the ball just inside the circle and one-timed a powerful shot past Continental goalie, Mary Kalb.
Roughly 10 minutes later at the 53:15 mark, the Ephs found the back of the net yet again. Kit Rosen had the ball at the bottom of the circle on the right side of the field and made a centering pass right in front of the net. Sophomore Alex Bennett received the pass directly in front of the Hamilton goalie and released a shot. Continental goalie, Mary Kalb got a piece of the shot with her left foot, but ended up redirected it into her own net.
Despite the Williams momentum, they were unable to keep Hamilton off of the scoreboard entirely. At 69:34, Sarah Stinebaugh took a shot from the right side of the circle forcing Margaret Draper to make a diving save to prevent the goal as she stretched out to kick the ball with her right pad. Although Draper made this original save, the ball popped out to Casey Brown who converted the rebound into a goal.
"Overall, I thought this was a well-played, exciting match," said Williams' head coach Alix Barrale. "I was very happy with our goals because Hamilton has a really strong defense and our goals came from nice touches on the passes into the circle. Hamilton forced us to play at a fast pace and once we got used it, we were very effective bringing the ball down the side line, crossing it, and creating opportunities."
After 70 minutes, the Ephs ended the game with 12 shots on goal and 5 penalty corners to the Continentals' 7 shots on goal and 6 penalty corners. Draper had 6 stops for Williams and Kalb had 9 for Hamilton.
Williams will be back in action at home this Saturday at 1pm as they take on Tufts.