WATERVILLE, MAINE- On a cloudless day at the new Colby athletic complex, the Williams College Ephs (3-0/2-0 NESCAC) defeated the Colby College Mules (1-2/0-2 NESCAC) 1-0. Mark Sisco-Tolomeo '18, who posted the game-winner in last year's 2-1 victory over the Mules, scored the only goal of the match in the 23rd minute.
The Ephs entered the contest with a two-game win streak. They defeated RPI 1-0 on Wednesday after beating Trinity 2-1 in their season opener last Saturday. Colby routed Thomas 3-1 on Tuesday following their 1-0 overtime loss to No. 1 Tufts last weekend.
There was a lot of back-and-forth play in the opening minutes. The Mules had a couple of offensive chances after receiving two early free kicks. At 4:00, the service was partially cleared, but the ball hit the referee, which allowed Colby forward Jeffrey Rosenberg to attempt a cross that sailed over the net. About one minute later, the second Colby free kick bounced through the box and landed out of bounds.
Although Williams utilized long throw-ins to penetrate the Colby box, the Mules began to threaten offensively, particularly on counter-attacks, around the 7-minute mark. Midfielder Asa Berolzheimer attempted a couple of shots, and Eph goalkeeper Bobby Schneiderman '18 had to block a Wyett MacDonald header.
At 12:47, Williams earned a corner kick and attempted a short play. The ball bounced around in the box and was eventually knocked away, but the Ephs appeared to gain some momentum from the chance. Soon after, Demian Gass '20 lofted a ball toward the net, and Sisco-Tolomeo launched a strong shot off of the rebound and forced Colby goaltender Avery Gibson '20 to make a difficult save.
Just six minutes later, at 22:59, Sisco-Tolomeo headed a cross from Kyle Brady '20 toward the lower right portion of the net. Gibson could not come up with the save, and the Ephs took a 1-0 lead. It was Sisco-Tolomeo's first goal of the year.
Both teams created opportunities around the 30-minute mark. Gass headed a cross on-frame, but the ball traveled right toward Gibson, who easily scooped it up. Colby forward Lucas Pereira hustled offensively and applied pressured on both sides of the pitch. At 31:40, Gibson made another impressive save, stopping a well-placed shot from Eli Petrik '21. Avery Heilbron of Colby also released a powerful shot from the 18, but it went just high. His teammate Aidan Black displayed skilled footwork on the right flank.
With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Williams began possessing better as Andrew Mathew '20 made a nice run down the right side, and Petrik showcased his speed up the middle. At the break, however, the score remained 1-0. The Ephs led 6-5 in shots and 3-1 in shots on goal while both teams had two corner kicks.
Williams appeared even more composed when play resumed. Brady and Sisco-Tolomeo played strategically with each other, and Scatt McDonald '19 made an excellent defensive play. He stretched out to block Kyle Douglas's shot when Colby had a two-on-one advantage in the box.
During the 63rd minute, Colby nearly tied the game off of a corner kick. Douglas placed the ball well, and, after a scramble by the goal line, the ball landed in the back of the net. However, the referee had whistled to stop play a few seconds earlier, so Williams retained its lead.
The Mules played with increased intensity for the remainder of the game. Berolzheimer had several dangerous shots, including a bullet that ricocheted off of the crossbar. At 66:21, Douglas beat several defenders with remarkable dribbling skills, but Schneiderman easily blocked his shot. And although Colby sent the 6'7" Garrett Dickey and 6'6" Jacob Tower forward toward the end of the match, the Williams defense remainder strong. Co-captain Tobias Muellers '18 had some critical clearances, and Mathew used a bicycle kick to divert the ball away from the box.
At 85:12, Pereira received a yellow card after colliding with Schneiderman. Afterwards, Williams was able to close out the game. The Ephs earned a free kick and a corner kick in the final minute and were able to slow play and preserve their 1-0 lead for a third straight win.
"While we weren't our sharpest in possession today, we did have some quick and skillful attacking sequences," Head Coach Erin Sullivan said. "If we keep things simple and convert our chances, we can be a very dangerous team going forward."
Overall, Williams had 10 shots, including 6 on goal, while Colby recorded 11 and 2 on goal. Schneiderman made 2 saves, and Gibson made 5.
Tomorrow, Williams will travel to Bowdoin for the second match of their Maine doubleheader. Kickoff will be at 12:00 p.m. When asked about his approach for the game, Sullivan acknowledged, "The NESCAC is a grind, so it will be important that we continue to get contributions from a wide range of players."