TROY, N.Y. - The sixth-ranked Williams College men's soccer team scored three second-half goals on its way to shutting out Husson University, 3-0, in the opening round of the D-III NCAA Tournament, this afternoon at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
Coming off their NESCAC championship victory the Ephs didn't miss a beat as they improve to 15-2-1 and advance to the second round on Sunday at Renwyck Field (1pm), where they will face the winner of the Rensselaer/Eastern Connecticut State first round game. The Eagles concluded their season with a 10-9-1 overall mark.
Williams held play throughout much of the first half, creating a number of scoring chances. In the 15th-minute, the Ephs' Charles Romero was sent in one-on-one with Eagles goaltender Miguel Dominguez (eight saves), who was able to stick out his right leg for the save. The Ephs best chance of the opening stanza came in the 40th minute, when a header by Conor Smith off a corner-kick was cleared off the goal-line by a Husson defender. Williams took a 13-0 shooting edge into the break, including a 7-0 advantage in shots on target.
Nonetheless, the Eagles kept things close for much of the game, until Romero broke open the scoreless tie in the 70th minute. After Pierre Meloty-Kapella advanced the ball down the left backline, drawing the Husson defense, he dumped a pass back over the middle for a waiting Romero, whose shot from the top of the penalty area caught the right side net.
The goal proved to be the spark needed to push the Eph offense to top speed as Williams would add two more goals over the next eight minutes to put the game away.
The second score came just a minute after the first when Gaston Kelly's corner kick connected with the head of Joe Vella who redirected it into the top left corner of the net giving the Ephs the 2-0 advantage.
The Ephs' Alex Johnson slotted home a third goal off a cross from teammate Peter Houston in the 78th minute to punctuate the scoring burst and erase any remaining hope for the Eagles.
Andrew Graham earned the win, saving the only shot he faced, before giving way to freshman Than Finan (Williamstown, MA) in the 85th minute