MEDFORD, MA -- In a showdown between the last two undefeated teams in the NESCAC, Tufts (9-0, NESCAC 5-0) took control of the game early and gave the Ephs their first loss of the season, 20-6.
Austin Carbone scored the first goal of the game for Tufts, coming from behind the goal just after a Williams (7-1, NESCAC 4-1) penalty was released at 7:52. Shortly after, Jake Gillepsie scored another goal for Tufts at 6:55. Bryson Gilbert-Bono then put one in for the Ephs while in a man up at 4:14 to reduce the deficit to one.
On the next possession Williams had an unsuccessful clear, which lead to a third goal for Tufts by Connor Bilby. Then John Upgren scored the final goal of the quarter for Tufts at 1:10, coming from behind the goal and putting in an underhanded shot to the bottom right corner of the net.
In the first quarter possession was a large factor, as the Ephs were just unable to get significant possession time for their offense. Williams was only successful on three of their six clear attempts. Additionally, when they had the ball they committed a lot of unforced turnovers.
In the second quarter Tufts maintained control of the game. Kyle Howard-Johnson scored early for Tufts at 14:14 with a rip to the bottom right corner from the top of the box. Peter Gill followed that goal with another one in the bottom right corner a minute later.
On the next Williams possession the Ephs seemed to change the flow of the game. Williams had a possession lasting four minutes and ending in a goal from Tanner MacIvor on a beautiful shot from the top of the box at 9:01. At 6:55 Alex Okemah scored another goal for Williams to reduce the deficit to three goals. However, that was Williams' last goal until the fourth quarter; the Jumbos went on a five-goal run to finish the half with two goals from Austin Carbone, and one each from Alex Okemah, Connor Bilby, Kyle Howard-Johnson, and John Upgren. Throughout that run they were finding the bottom right corner of the net as a sweet spot. At the end of the half Tufts was ahead 10-3.
Tufts was able to control the third quarter as well. They scored five goals in the quarter while shutting out Williams. In the quarter Tufts had two goals from Austin Carbone, and one each from Garrett Clarke, Ben Andreycak, and Zach Richman. Again, Tufts was finding success targeting the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Tufts opened up the fourth quarter scoring the first three goals, one each from Howard-Johnson, Upgren, and Carbone. Eventually Steven Kiesel scored one to stop the Jumbos scoring run at thirteen goals, and start a three goal run for Williams, with goals by Andy Grabowski and Joe Kinney. Nico Pollack scored the final goal of the game for Tufts at 2:03 to end the run and give Tufts a 20-6 lead.
Though the goal deficit was large, it wasn't a lack of effort that caused Williams to lose. Williams' head coach Mike McCormack said, "I thought the guys worked hard, the effort was definitely there. We just didn't get the result that we wanted."
As for how the Ephs will look to improve after the loss McCormack said, "Working on the fundamentals will definitely be a part of it."
In recent years Tufts seems to have just had Williams' number as they have now won eight of their last nine games. However, Williams still leads the all time series 35-28.
Bryson Gilbert-Bono, who had one goal and two assists, led Williams. Austin Carbone led Tufts with five goals and two assists.
The next game for the Ephs is April 4th at 1:00 when they will play Amherst at home.