Williamstown, MA- Today was Senior Day here at Cole Field, and the Williams College Ephs gave their all to the seven graduating seniors, leaving everything on the field in a hard fought 1-1 draw.
Williams' record moves to 7-2-3 (4-2-1), while Bowdoin's record stands at 7-3-3 (3-3-2).
The energy and effort levels were high from the outset, and both teams fought for possession throughout the first half. The first dangerous chance for either team came in the 13th minute when Bowdoin's Jason Oliver got the ball on a breakaway towards Williams goalie Christian Alcorn.
Luckily for the Ephs, Oliver's shot was quickly deflected by Alcorn and subsequently kicked away by defender T.L. Guest for a corner kick that amounted to nothing for the Polar Bears. Bowdoin's second close opportunity came in the 26th minute, when Moctar Niang headed the ball right into Alcorn who trapped it millimeters from the goal line, between his body and the post. This save garnered a huge roar from the crowd and pushed momentum towards the Ephs, but they were unable to create actionable openings for the remainder of the half, sending the squads into half time deadlocked at zero.
Both teams ratcheted up the intensity in the second half, and it was especially clear that Williams wanted to salute its seniors with a big win today. However, a temporary roadblock appeared in the 54th minute, when a free kick from Bowdoin's Matty McCall landed on the foot of Ethan Ellsworth, who tapped it past Alcorn to break the deadlock and give the Polar Bears a 1-0 lead.
Not to be deterred in such an important match, Williams pressed on, and was rewarded in the 74th minute, when Mohammad Rashid took a corner and booted it right to Mark Sisco-Tolomeo, who headed it past Bowdoin goalie Noah Safian to tie the match at one apiece. Williams had one more solid chance in the 82nd minute, when Rashid played a cross from Andrew Mathew towards goal, but Safian moved quickly to his right and saved it. However, neither team was able to capitalize on the energy and passion shown throughout the 90 minutes, and so, the match moved into overtime.
With this being so meaningful for so many on both sides, it seemed only likely that somebody would come away victorious in the 10 minutes of overtime. However, it was not meant to be. A 98th minute rocket from Williams' Greg Andreou that went high and left was either team's best chance in the overtime period, and both teams came away with a singular point.
Eph head coach Erin Sullivan acknowledged that this match resulted in only one point, but a meaningful one, saying, "...in the season, in the standings, off back-to-back games, this is a really important point, one that will show up in the standings after the next three games. We feel that there's a chance that the results this weekend will carry us into the postseason tournament, and now we really want to compete and aim for a top-4 seed to play at home."
On the match, Alcorn and Safian each recorded two saves.
Williams travels to Hamilton on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. match, while Bowdoin plays host to Connecticut College next Saturday at noon.