MEDFORD, MA – Tufts (9-3-2/6-2-1 NESCAC edged visiting Williams (8-3-3/5-3-1 NESCAC) 1-0 in a game played on a slow turf and in a fairly steady rain.
Both teams had difficulty mounting offensive forays. Williams managed only three shots on goal and Tufts fired but seven on frame in the contest.
Tufts scored the only goal of the game at 7:11 when Gaston Becherano scored off a feed from Kevin Lawson. The Becherano tally came on Tufts' first shot on goal. Tufts created the goal out of a turnover just outside the Eph penalty area. Lawson threaded the needle finding Becherano deep in the box for what would prove to be the game-winner.
In the first 45 minutes the Ephs had two shots on goal and the Jumbos mustered up three shots.
Eph goalie Christian Alcorn stopped two of the three Jumbo shots, while Tufts' Scott Greenwood stopped shots by the Ephs' Greg Andreou at 3:23 and one by Malcolm singleton at 9:23.
In the final seven minutes of the game the Ephs increased pressure on Greenwood firing off two shots (one on goal) and earning two corner kicks, but all of the late attempts came to naught and the Jumbos emerged victorious 1-0.
Tufts' Scott Greenwood saved all three Eph shots and Eph netminder Christian Alcorn denied six of seven shots by the Jumbos.
Both teams had three corner kicks in the contest and both were whistled for 11 fouls.
"Disappointing performance offensively today," stated Eph head coach Erin Sullivan. "We need to create more threatening chances and simply show more quality near goal."
Sullivan also noted, "It's the first time we've been shutout this year, so we look for a strong response from our attacking players during the week ahead."
Williams leads the all-time series versus Tufts 41-7-2, however, Tufts has won the last three games in the series and the last four games played in Medford. The Ephs' last win in Medford was in 2007, 2-1.
Tufts entered today's game with a six-game unbeaten streak that included NESCAC wins over Amherst, Middlebury, Connecticut College, and Trinity and a 2-2 tie with Hamilton.
Each of the last four games Williams had gone to OT or double OT and the Ephs were 2-0-2 in those four contests.
With one game now remaining in the regular season Tufts sits in second place in NESCAC, while the Ephs are in third. On Tuesday Tufts travels to Bowdoin and Williams will host Middlebury.
The winner of the Williams versus Middlebury contest will finish third in NESCAC. If the Williams – Middlebury contest ends in a tie the Ephs would claim third and Middlebury would be fourth and both teams would have a first round home game in the NESCAC Tournament that begins on Sat. Oct. 29.
A loss to Middlebury could drop the Ephs out of the top four and place them in fifth if Connecticut College defeats Wesleyan in their regular season finale. While the Ephs and Connecticut College would have identical records under that scenario (5-4-1), the tiebreaker favors Connecticut College. The first tiebreaker is head to head and the Ephs lost at Connecticut College 2-1 back on Oct. 1.