New London, CT- It was close but no cigar today for the Williams Ephs, who fell 2-1 on the road to Connecticut College.
Williams drops to 6-2-1 (3-2-1/NESCAC), while Connecticut College improves to 6-2 (3-2/NESCAC).
Eph head coach Erin Sullivan lamented his squad's shortcomings today, saying, "We had a promising start today but just didn't do enough on both sides of the ball to grind out a result on the road. We have to concentrate on our defensive clearances and be sharper for the full 90 minutes."
The Ephs started out quick and strong and made their mark early, as a fifth minute cross by forward Mohammed Rashid fell right on the foot of partner Malcolm Singleton, who chipped in the ball off the far post to give Williams an early first half lead. However, for much of the rest of the half, this was a battle for possession. Both teams strung together strong drives down the pitch, using quick, effective ground balls and crafty dribbling to penetrate the defense, but both back lines were on their A-games, and were able to parry all challengers. This changed in the 31st minute, when an Eph foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick for the Camels.
Senior leader Pat Devlin hammered a ball into the top left corner of the net over the reach of Eph goalie Christian Alcorn, and once again, the match was tied. Heading into the half, neither team had a decided advantage.
As has been typical with the Williams Ephs this season, the defense dominated much of the second half. The Camels kept attempting to force a momentum swing, with persistent strong runs and excellent forward balls keeping possession on the Williams half of the field. As coach Sullivan referred to, the Ephs weren't able to clear the ball as often or well as they would have liked, which resulted in many dangerously positioned throw-ins, free kicks, and corner kicks.
Credit to Williams though, for much of the second half, the Ephs got it done, and were able to thwart Connecticut College's chances time and again, frustrating the Camels. Finally, in the 82nd minute, they got their wish, as forward Christian Murphy dribbled up the right side of the pitch on a breakaway and fired a shot. Alcorn deflected this, but the rebound landed opportunely in front of sophomore Chris Lockwood, who gathered the ball in stride and, without hesitation, fired the ball towards the far post and in.
Williams actually had multiple chances to salvage a tie out of this match, including several throws in Camel territory, but Camels' goalie Mark Cameron came up clutch and stopped the Ephs every time to preserve the victory.
On the match, Alcorn and Cameron each recorded five saves.
Williams continues its road trip next Tuesday in a non-conference matchup against Skidmore at 6:00 p.m., while Connecticut College travels east to face in-state rival Eastern Connecticut State next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.