CLINTON, NY – The Williams College Ephs (7-4; NESCAC 3-3) lost for the first time in 5 games, falling 3-0 in a conference match-up against Hamilton College (7-4; NESCAC 5-3). Both teams were coming off a hot streak of winning 5 of their last 6 games, but the Continentals were able to edge the Ephs with the help of 2 goals by Hamilton senior, Eva Rosencrans.
Hamilton set the pace in the first half testing the Williams defense with their maintained offensive pressure. After several chances, Hamilton's Michaela Giuttari sent a leading pass from the neutral zone into the circle on the right side of the field. Eva Rosencrans ran onto the ball and sent a blistering shot past Eph goalie, Margaret Draper, giving her team a 1-0 lead 13:12 into the game.
The Continentals continued to keep the ball in the Williams end for much of the half, but the pace seemed to dramatically pick up at about the 20-minute mark. With less than 5 minutes remaining in the 1st half, Michaela Giuttari came sprinting down the left side of the field. The fast break consisted of another Continental player and only one Eph defender. The lone Williams defender focused her attention on the Hamilton player without the ball in order to take away the passing option, while playing the 2 on 1. This gave Giuttari a clear path to the goal, which allowed her to get deep inside the circle without any defensive pressure. Draper read the play and decided to come out of the goal to make a stop. She made an incredible dive, separating Giuttari from the ball and redirecting it out of play to prevent the Continentals from notching another goal before the end of the half.
Draper and the Williams defense were able to hold on during the first half as the Continentals outnumbered them 10 to 3 in shots on goal and 5 to 1 on penalty corners.
The second half opened with a lot of Williams offensive force, generating a corner and 3 shots within the first 3 minutes. Hamilton did not let this last long and reacted to it by bringing the ball down to the Williams end and releasing a few shots of their own. Immediately after Michaela Giuttari took a shot, Draper came out to make the save, preventing a goal but drawing a penalty stroke for Hamilton. At 40:43, Rosencrans was appointed to take the stroke (her first of the season) and pushed the ball just inside the right post a couple feet of the ground. Draper could not get to the ball in time, marking Rosencrans' 2nd goal of the game and 11th of the season.
For the next twenty minutes, the Ephs battled hard and did not let being down by two goals deter them from wanting to score. Over this stretch, Williams had 4 penalty corner opportunities and registered 7 shots (4 on net), but unfortunately, could not connect with the back of the goal.
At the 59:30 mark, the Continentals were able to capitalize again. Off of a corner, the inserted ball went to Lizzie Clarke, who was positioned at the top, center of the circle. Clarke passed it off several feet inside to the left, where Margaret Revera wound up and blasted a one-time shot through the Williams defense, remaining untouched as it slipped into the net.
Moments later, Hamilton carried the ball towards the Williams end and had another great attack getting the ball past Draper. Before the ball was able to cross the goal line, though, Caroline Taverna sprinted towards the net and was able to make the defensive save to keep the game at 3-0.
The Ephs had a much stronger second half, ending the game with 10 shots on goal and 7 penalty corners to the Continentals' 15 shots on goal and 6 penalty corners. Both goalies played phenomenally with Margaret Draper of Williams making 12 stops and Julia Booth of Hamilton making 10.
"We came out flat in the first half and got caught on our heels," commented Williams' head coach, Alix Barrale. "We were hesitant going to the ball and so we were out of sync making defensive plays. Luckily Draper kept us in the game with some spectacular saves." Reflecting on the second half, Barrale said, "we picked it up, but our ball handling was not good enough. Hamilton capitalized on the few opportunities they had, including a stroke. We will continue to work on these areas and look to rebound from this disappointing loss."
The Ephs take Williamson field this weekend playing against Wesleyan on Saturday, October 15th at 11am and Bowdoin on Sunday, October 16th at 12pm.