Williamstown, MA - - Williams College sophomore Mark Sisco-Tolomeo opened the floodgates for the Ephs with his goal in the 55th minute that broke a 0-0 tie at the time and kick-started the Williams offense on their way to a 4-0 win over the Hamilton Continentals on Cole Field.
With the win, Williams improves to 7-4-2/4-3-1 NESCAC. The Ephs have two games remaining in the regular season and both are NESCAC contests. Williams will host Tufts on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and go on the road for a matchup with Middlebury next Wednesday.
Today's result spelled out the fourth straight loss for Hamilton, whose record fell to 5-9-0/2-7-0 NESCAC. Hamilton will travel to Colby on Saturday to likewise round out their regular season against a NESCAC opponent.
A scoreless first half saw few dangerous chances on either side of the pitch, however the attacking patterns that would eventually lead to three of Williams' four goals were on display in the early going. Junior midfielder Malcolm Moutenot had his way on the right flank throughout the whole game, repeatedly playing well struck balls across the box or forcing corner kicks, keeping the Hamilton defense under constant pressure. Hamilton was up to the task in the first half, swarming Williams attackers and rapidly taking away any free space that could have been exploited by players such as Eph senior Mohammed Rashid.
Hamilton keeper Harris Pollack did well to keep the Ephs off the scoreboard in the half, often coming out of his net to take away balls in the air from opposing strikers. Pollack was kept busy throughout the second half as well, finishing with six saves. Hamilton's best effort of the first 45 minutes came when a free kick from just over half-field took several bounces around the box before falling at the feet of sophomore Elijah Morris, whose shot was blocked by a Williams defender.
Williams' dynamic multi-pronged attack took over in the second half against an increasingly fatigued Hamilton back line. In the 55th minute, Moutenot received a ball from Rashid on the right side and was able to slip in a hard cross on the ground, where it was gladly received by Sisco-Tolemeo and deposited in the goal.
Eleven minutes later, a ball from junior midfielder JC Bahr de Stefano was misplayed by a Hamilton defender, allowing Rashid to run onto the loose ball and finish a one on one opportunity against Pollack, putting the Ephs up 2-0
The 77th and 80th minutes of the contest both contained goals for Williams that seemed to be almost replays of one another and the first goal. First, Moutenot again exposed the right flank and again played a low cross that was flicked on by Bahr de Stefano to a waiting Rashid, who tapped the ball into the back of the net from point blank range. Next, a ball down the right side to Williams sophomore forward Malcolm Singleton led to another cross, this time finished by freshman defenseman Greg Andreou.
Williams head coach Erin Sullivan pressed his players at halftime to pick it up defensively. Sullivan said, "We tried to get some guys to tighten the screws defensively and work a little harder initially. It was the defensive plays and the little scraps that we fought for that locked the game for us." Sullivan also pointed out the play of seniors Troy Ritter and Noah Grumman, who each made plays defensively that led to Williams goals on the other end.
Senior captain Geoff Danilack and the rest of the Williams back line played a remarkably clean game that only required three saves from junior keeper Christian Alcorn. The win marked the first home shutout for Williams since their first game of the season when they blanked #2 Oneonta State 2-0 on September 9. Aaron Schein played the final seven minutes in goal for the ephs had recorded one save,
Hamilton's Harrison Pollack had eight saves on the day.
Williams will now look forward to a home matchup with reigning NCAA Division III National Champions Tufts on Saturday. Sullivan said that the team's preparation for their next game remains the same, adding "the most important thing for this group is to keep a level head and not get too high or too low within the flow of the game. I think we've gotten much better at that."
The improvement shows. A rocky start led to a 3-4-0 month of September. In October, the Ephs are 4-0-2 with 15 goals compared with only 8 in the previous month. They will look to continue that offensive momentum when the Jumbos come to town on Saturday.