WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The fourth-seeded Williams College men's lacrosse team (9-7) advanced to their third NESCAC semifinal with a 10-4 win over visiting fifth-seeded Connecticut College (10-6) this afternoon on the Ephs' Farley-Lamb Field.
With the win the Ephs advance to play top-seeded Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut next Saturday in the NESCAC Semifinals. Wesleyan downed Bates 16-11 this afternoon.
Goals were hard to come by in the first half as the teams were tied at one at the end of the first quarter. The Ephs established a two-goal halftime lead out scoring the visiting Camels 3-1 in the second quarter.
Williams opened the scoring in the contest when John Hincks scored 90 seconds in off a feed from James McFarland. Connecticut College tied the game at one when Jordan Foster scored an unassisted goal 42 seconds after the Hincks score.
Outstanding play by Conn goalie Hunter Rosenthall kept the game tied at the end of the first quarter as he stopped four shots inside of 10 yards by Williams.
Williams gained a 2-1 lead when John Hincks netted his second goal just 10 seconds into the second quarter with the Ephs a man up. Jared Straus was credited with the assist on the Hincks score. The Ephs extended their lead to 3-1 when Kevin Stump took a pass from Cory Lund and fired into the upper right corner.
With 11:19 left in the first half Connecticut College's Jack Rutter registered an unassisted goal to narrow the Eph lead to 3-2. Kevin Stump scored his second goal of the contest at 8:38 when his shot towards the left post bounced off a Conn defender and rolled past Rosenthall to put Williams back up by two, 4-2.
Stumps' second goal was the last goal of the first half.
In the first half Williams out shot Conn 20 to 10 and the Ephs owned a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal. Conn won six of seven face offs in the first half, but the Camels committed seven turnovers to the Ephs' five. Williams collected 12 ground balls to eight for the Camels.
Williams wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the third quarter as the Ephs netted two goals in the first five minutes with John Hincks scoring his third goal and then Hincks assisted on a Brendan Hoffman goal, giving Williams a 6-2 lead.
With 5:07 remaining in the third quarter the Ephs' Kevin Stump set James McFarland in close and McFarland scored on a high shot and the Eph lead was five, 7-2. Conn answered the McFarland goal just eight seconds later when they won the faceoff and PJ Kelleher scored off a pass from AJ Vazquez.
With 1:10 remaining in the third quarter the Ephs notched their eighth goal. John Hincks connected with Cory Lund as Lund came around the goal to Rosenthall's right to catch Hincks' pass and then turned and fired into the net over Rosenthal's left shoulder.
Williams took an 8-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
Connecticut College opened the scoring in the fourth quarter when PJ Kelleher scored from distance off a feed from Gareth Gacetta at 9:03 and the Williams lead was down to four, 8-4.
Exactly three minutes after the Kelleher tally the Ephs' Brendan Hoffman netted an unassisted goal when he squeezed past two defenders and beat Rosenthall with a quick shot into the left side of the goal and the Williams lead was back to five, 9-4.
Eph head coach George McCormack praised the efforts of his defense after the game. "The difference today was the defense and an opportunistic offense," noted McCormack. "They play a very good zone so patience is key and our defense played much more aggressive than they did in our last game and this was a great bounce back win for us."
Connecticut College goalie Hunter Rosenthall made 11 saves on the day and allowed 10 goals, while the Ephs' George Peele stopped 9 shots by the Camels and allowed four goals.
Connecticut College collected 30 ground balls on the day to 25 for Williams. Conn turned the ball over 18 times, while the Ephs committed a dozen miscues. Williams out shot Connecticut College 40-29.