WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Keene State senior forward Sami Smith scored two goals and assisted on one as the Owls topped Williams 3-2. Smith's two goals came in the second half breaking a one all tie.
With the win Keene State upped their record to 2-1 on the year, while the Ephs are 0-1. The win by Keene also snapped the Ephs' six-game win streak over Keene.
Down 3-1 late, Williams got a goal back at 66:53 when Hannah Goodrick scored on a backhanded shot to make the score 3-2 in Keene's favor.
A diving save by Gwendolyn Thayer with just 48 seconds left preserved the Owls' one-goal margin and secured the win.
At 36:19 Gwendolyn Thayer made a sprawling save on the Ephs' Hannah Goodrick and the Owls promptly went down the field and scored at 37:01 when Sami Smith netted an unassisted tally, putting the Owls up 2-1.
The Owls' lead grew to 3-1 when Sami Smith knocked in a rebound off a shot by Jensyn Dandeneau at 52:32.
The first scoring threat of the game came at 10:02 when Keene's Sami Smith was led into the circle for a one on one with Eph goalie Margaret Draper. Draper's quick release off the goal line enabled her to stop the Smith shot with her right pad to keep the game scoreless.
The Ephs got on the scoreboard first when Alex Bennett entered the circle and was headed to the right of Keene goalie Gwendolyn Thayer and Bennett quickly spun around to her right side and fired a shot into the right corner from 12 yards out. The goal came at the 16-minute mark.
Keene tied the game at one when Erica Stauffer scored off a feed from Sami Smith that put her on the right side of Eph goalie Margaret Draper. Stauffer was able to bang the ball past the left post before Draper could recover.
The game was tied at one at the end of the first half. Williams had a 10-6 advantage in shots and both Gwendolyn Thayer in goal for Keene and Margaret Draper for the Ephs made three saves and each allowed the one goal. Williams recorded three penalty corners in the first 35 minutes and Keene notched two.
On the night the Eph fired off 21 shots and the Owls registered 16. The Owls' Gwendolyn Thayer stopped eight shots and the Ephs' Margaret Draper stopped nine. Williams had nine penalty corners n the game , while Keene had three.
"Overall for our first game there were many things we did well," said Eph coach Alix Barrale. "Our passing was good, but we lacked that effort to finish so we were down 3-1. Suddenly with 10 minutes left we were a whole different team playing with urgency. We want to play with urgency all of the time. I'm proud that when we were down 3-1 we kept trying to answer back, but I'm disappointed we took so long to get to the point of playing with urgency. We have lots to work on."
Next up for the Owls is another road contest on Sept. 8 when they play at Springfield College.
Williams will return to action for another home game this Saturday when they host NESCAC foe Trinity at 12:00 p.m.