Williamstown, MA -- For the third time in four matches, Williams played 110 minutes, and continued to struggle closing out games, losing a double overtime thriller to Bates 2-1 off a breakaway goal by Bates junior Peabo Knoth.
Overall, Bates runs its record to 5-1-1 (2-1-1 NESCAC), while Williams drops to 3-4 (2-3 NESCAC).
Williams coach Erin Sullivan seemed more pleased with his team today, saying, "I think we had much better rhythm of play...closing out matches is extremely difficult at this level, against any opponent..."
At the outset, it was clear that this was not the same Williams team that lost in double OT to Amherst yesterday. Williams' attack came out fast and furious, as the Ephs recorded five shots in the first twenty minutes, keeping the ball in their half. Bates recorded just one shot on goal in the first half and the Bobcats were clearly outmatched in the 45 minutes. The half ended at a 0-0 deadlock.
Williams kept up their ferocious attack to begin the half and 10 minutes in, Bates goalie Sam Polito deflected a shot from Sean Dory, only to find brother Brandon waiting to poke the ball into the net for a 1-0 Eph lead.
The Ephs didn't let up after that, continuing their crisp passing and strong runs, but Bates was starting to wake up. The Bobcats' runs became more incisive and they started to wear Williams down. Bates' attack continued to improve, and with less than two minutes to go Bates' Nate Merchant slotted in a goal to tie the game. Yet again, a Williams match headed to OT.
Bates started strong in the OT, keeping the ball firmly in their offensive half, but Williams wouldn't give up. Brandon Dory ripped a shot in the 97th minute, Mark Sisco-Tolomeo took a header off the ensuing corner, and Malcolm Moutenot's hit a low to the ground screamer, all providing great opportunities to win the match, but for the second day in a row and third time in the last four games, Williams was going to play past the 100-minute mark.
Bates controlled the second OT period from the start and finished the Ephs quickly, as Knoth ran down the field, beating the entire Eph defense and slotting the ball past Eph goalie Christian Alcorn to send Williams to its 4th loss in five games.
After the game, Sullivan agreed that the team's biggest obstacle right now is itself, suggesting, "...Ultimately the great lesson in sports is that you have to master yourself..."
Bates goalie Sam Polito stopped 10 of 11 shots by the Ephs to register the win, while the Ephs' Christian Alcorn stopped four of six Bates attempts.
Next Saturday, Williams hosts Connecticut College at 1:30 p.m., while Bates hosts Trinity on Saturday for a 2 p.m. matchup.