Saratoga Springs, NY- A 10-day break caught the Williams Ephs off-guard for their game today, as they took a disappointing 1-1 draw with Skidmore on the fourth and final match of their road trip.
Williams runs its record to 6-2-2 (3-2-1), while Skidmore's record stands at 5-4-3 (2-0-2).
Williams dominated the beginning of the first half, consistently gaining possession of the ball and constantly pushing forth onto Skidmore's side of the pitch. After 10 minutes, the Ephs had already recorded two corner kicks and two shots, and it looked like the time off had served as rejuvenation for the stagnating squad. This early burst of energy was capped off beautifully in the 13th minute, when a throw-in by Malcolm Moutenot landed on the heel of junior forward Malcolm Singleton, who tapped it past Skidmore goalie Derrick Yam into the lower corner of the goal, giving Williams an early 1-0 lead. However, it seemed like Williams had just been searching for a score, because after the early notch on the scoreboard, their offensive pace decreased, and the midfield was seemingly unable to create regular high-quality chances. The rest of the half saw just one four shots from Williams, with only one on target, which came only two minutes after Singleton's goal. Going into the half, the Ephs were rapidly losing momentum, and despite the one-goal lead, had very few reasons to feel secure.
Early in the second half, Skidmore proved these fears correct, with a 52nd minute shot on goal from junior midfielder Austin Okoye that was barely gathered by Eph goalie Christian Alcorn. Not six minutes later, another snipe from freshman forward Matt Schwab was blocked, and all of a sudden, Skidmore was on the offensive. Like Williams' early buzz of activity, this offensive flurry was also rewarded in the 66th minute, when a free kick from sophomore defender Ben Poole was headed by Schwab right to junior midfielder Kevin Santos, who slotted it past Alcorn to tie the match with less than 30 minutes to go. Santos' goal reinvigorated the Williams offense, as midfielder JC Bahr de Stefano and forward Damien Gass each fired a missile towards Yam that was fortunately blocked to preserve the tie. The closest either team got to breaking the tie came in the 81st minute, when Thoroughbred forward Alex Ricci hit the post with a shot that came within inches of giving Skidmore the lead. However, both defenses stood strong and made enough plays to maintain the draw and give each team a point coming away from the match.
On the match, Alcorn recorded three saves, while Yam recorded two saves.
Williams returns to Cole Field on Saturday, hosting Wesleyan at noon, while Skidmore makes the short trip to Troy to face RPI next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.