WILLIAMSTOWN, MA- The #9 Williams College Ephs (11-1, 7-1 NESCAC) defeated the #15 Bates College Bobcats (8-4, 4-4 NESCAC) on a first-half goal by Emma Ticknor '20 and an outstanding defensive game. The Ephs have now extended their win streak to 11 straight games and 7 straight NESCAC wins.
The Bobcats had a very early chance with a penalty corner at 1:08. But Grace Fitzgerald's pass to the circle was overtaken by Eph defenders and the Ephs quickly sent the ball down the field to notch their own penalty corner at 1:46. Simone Veale '21 and Catherine Torres '23 both took shots at the goal but were blocked by Bobcat defenders (1:51, 1:56). Another Eph penalty corner at 2:41 provided a scoring opportunity for the Ephs when Ticknor gained possession of the ball, but her shot went just wide of the net (2:50).
Claire Fitzpatrick '21 sent the ball flying towards the net at 4:40 but was blocked by the defense. The Ephs quickly recollected the ball and a long pass found Emily Batchelor '23 close to the side of the net, and she sent the ball to Ticknor who made the close shot through the legs of Bobcat keeper Ellie Bauer to put the Ephs up 1-0 (5:16).
The Ephs threatened again with a penalty corner at 6:47 and a shot from Veale went just wide of the net (6:55). The Bobcats had a chance to retaliate with their own corner at 14:59 but were unable to find a clear shot to the Eph goal as the buzzer sounded.
The second quarter proved to be a battle of defense, as neither team took a shot in the 15 minute period. The Bobcats had the only offensive threat of the quarter with a penalty corner at 26:38 but were unable to convert the ball into a shot.
At the half, Eph keeper Abby Lloyd '20 had no saves and allowed no goals. Bobcat Keeper Ellie Bauer had no saves and allowed one goal. Grace Biddle would takeover in the box for the Bobcats in the second half.
Another strong period of defense from both squads began the third quarter, with the Eph offense finally breaking through with a penalty corner at 38:01. Batchelor found Veale at the top of the box and she fired a shot that bounced away off the stick of a defender. Another quick foul notched another penalty corner for the Ephs, but they were unable to find a shot and defensive play continued (38:10).
The Ephs tested Biddle with a shot from Torres at 42:25, but Biddle kicked the shot away quickly. Another shot by Ticknor at 43:52 was cleared out by the Bobcat defense. The Ephs notched several penalty corners in a row, and the final shot of the quarter came off the stick of Fitzpatrick but was saved by Keeper Biddle.
Into the final quarter, the intensity on the field picked up as the Ephs fought to keep their one-goal lead. The Ephs offense tried to increase the lead with a corner at 48:27, and the pass from Batchelor found the stick of Fitzpatrick who fired the ball into the pad of Biddle (48:23).
The Bobcats made their final attempt with a corner at 49:49 but were unable to make a clean shot at the goal. The Ephs made the last offensive push with a shot by Batchelor, but Biddle kicked the shot away (56:49).
The one early goal proved to be all the Ephs needed for the day, downing the Bobcats 1-0 with an incredible defensive showing.
"That was such a hard-fought win and I'm incredibly proud of the way we played today. Bates did a good job of disrupting our game and the way we play, and they made us panic a bit. But we really fought to play our game and get every yard. After having time off for a bit, we came back a little nervous, but the early goal really fired us up and kept us in the game. Definitely a nerve-wracking game, but I'm excited to see what we do in our last couple regular-season games." - Coach Barrale
The Ephs next matchup will be against NESCAC rival Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine on Saturday, October 26th at 11 am.