LEWISTON, ME – The Williams College Ephs (3-3; NESCAC 1-2) faced off against the Bates College Bobcats (4-2; NESCAC 2-2) in an early season in-conference game. In a hard-fought game, the Ephs pulled out a win in overtime.
Williams dominated the offense at the beginning of the first half, having two shots and a penalty corner in the first ten minutes of play. Soon after, at 10:21, Williams was able to convert. First-year Isabel Perry took a shot from the top of the circle, sending the ball towards the left post, and the stick of teammate Alex Bennett. The Junior was able to deflect the ball past the Bates goalie Adelae Durand, giving Williams a 1-0 lead.
Bates started to wake up after the goal, however, and the game became much more balanced as the half went on. Led by strong defense on both sides, nobody was even able to get a shot off for the rest of the half, except for one by Bobcats first-year Alexandra Leahy in the 18th minute that was blocked.
The Ephs led the start of the second half in possession, keeping the action mostly in Bates half of the field. They aggressively tried to stay on the offensive, not allowing Bates to clear the ball easily or spread the field in transition. Alex Bennett peppered the net with shots, with three between the 39th and 42nd minutes, but Williams was unable to turn these chances into goals.
The Bobcats turned the tables in the 53rd minute when Junior Lauren Foster took a penalty corner. She passed it to teammate and Shelbie McCormack at the top of the circle, who then passed it to Leahy. She wound up and ripped a ball through multiple Williams defenders, giving Ephs goalie Margaret Draper no chance to make a save. The goal at 52:38 tied the game at 1 apiece, and swung the momentum away from Williams.
Williams seemed to have regained the lead in the 62nd minute off of a shot from Alex Bennett from a penalty corner. After receiving the pass from fellow Junior Hannah Goodrick, Bennett was able to take an uncontested shot that nestled into the top left corner of the net. However, the referee decided to call back the goal due to it being judged a dangerous shot. Immediately afterwards, the Bobcats moved the ball into Williams end of the field, and received two penalty corners in a row. On both occasions, Draper blocked the shots, and the kept the score even. Without any other scoring opportunities in the half, the game went to overtime.
Overtime was a hard fought, fast-paced period of play. Bates started off well with two shots that were very close to ending the game. However, the Ephs bounced back, and earned a penalty corner. Like the goal that was called back, the ball went in to Alex Bennett, who shot for the top left corner again. However, this time, Senior Rachel Brissette was there to deflect the ball into the cage, and end the game in thrilling fashion.
At the end of play, the Ephs ended with 3 shots on goal and 5 penalty corners, while the Bobcats finished with 4 shots on goal and 4 penalty corners. Williams goalie Margaret Draper made 3 saves in the win. Bates used two goalkeepers, Adelae Durand in the first half, and first-year Alyssa Souza in the second and overtime. The tandem of goalies made 1 save.
"I'm very proud of the team's ability to rebound after a disappointing loss to Amherst [on Saturday]" said Williams coach Alix Barrale. "We played great defense the entire game and had many chances offensively. Bates never let up and were consistently strong in their defensive circle, which made it challenging for us to convert in front of the net. Overall, this is a great win for us!"
The Ephs will return to Williamstown to play Springfield College on Wednesday, September 28th.