WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- After struggling to score in their last several games, Williams (5-1-3, 2-1-3 in the NESCAC) registered three goals to defeat the Curry College Colonels (7-6-1) 3-0 this afternoon at Cole Field, 3-0. Demian Gass '20 scored twice for the Ephs, and Colonel defender Eric Miller had an own goal after an unlucky bounce.
Both sides struggled to maintain possession but made several promising plays at the beginning of the match. Malcolm Singleton '19 displayed his speed and strong footwork on the right flank and attempted a shot after receiving a long pass from Kyle Brady '20, but the ball sailed just beyond the net. Curry midfielder Brandon Rinaldi earned an early corner kick that was headed away. Williams received two corner kicks soon after and completed a short play on the second, which allowed Brady to try a shot, but his attempt went high.
After about 10 minutes, the game settled down, and Ephs began to control the ball better. Bobby Fabricant '20 showed off his dribbling skills and won a corner. Nick Ranieri '21 sent a well-placed ball in back to Fabricant, but his header went just wide. In the 17th minute, Curry threatened in the Williams box as Christian Mancini slotted the ball to Ben Silvia, but his cross was interrupted by Milan Jones '18. Williams responded well after Scatt Macdonald '19 switched fields to Ranieri, who raced down the left sideline and crossed to David Madding '18, but Curry goalkeeper Paul DeMaio saved his shot. DeMaio also broke up Madding's breakaway run on the next play.
In the second portion of the opening half, substitutes Liam Bardong '20, Eric Hirsch '20, and Gass reinvigorated the Eph offense. Macdonald launched a free kick from just behind midfield, and Gass leapt up to put it toward the six, but DeMaio was able to secure the ball. Moments later, at 29:41, Jones fired a cross into the box, where the ball ricocheted until Gass launched a powerful header into the lower left corner of the net.
Gass scored again at 38:13 after dribbling from midfield and beating two defenders with impressive speed. He was eager to post a hat trick and had another breakaway chance off of a feed from Bardong that was stopped by DeMaio. Curry midfielder Jonathan Sarkis also attempted a shot from the 18, but the ball went above the net.
The Ephs played well defensively throughout the first half, and the offense warmed up after a slightly sluggish start. Williams led 11 to three in shots and seven to one in corner kicks at the break.
Curry came out strong at the start of the second half. Colonel defender Jared Mallers and Silvia had a strategic passing sequence, and Silvia tried a long-range shot that was blocked. Dave Stapleton also had a nice run into the box for the visitors but was eventually stalled.
Williams soon regained control and threatened the Curry defense. Gass recorded two more shots after receiving well-placed passes from Madding and Eli Petrik '21. Chris Fleischer '21 headed a free kick from Petrik just wide of the net, and long throw-ins from Ian Kagame '19 allowed the Ephs to penetrate the box.
As the match neared its end, play became increasingly physical, but the referees were reluctant to stop the clock. Macdonald and co-captain Tobias Muellers '18 remained stalwart along the back line, and Hirsch nearly scored off of a cross from Brady. At 83:31, Miller accidentally diverted the ball into his own net while attempting to clear a corner kick, and the score remained 3-0 until the final whistle.
Overall, Williams recorded 20 shots while Curry had four. Eph goalkeeper Bobby Schneiderman '18 made one save, and DeMaio had seven.
Head Coach Erin Sullivan '96 was glad that the team capitalized on offensive opportunities and remained steady on defense.
"For a team that's struggled to find the back of the net, it was nice to get some chances and create somewhat of a second-half performance that gave us a cushion," he said. "The backs and the goalkeepers have been outstanding. They've been consistent, and we're coming off three shutouts in a row, so obviously we've been controlling our end neutralizing some good attacking teams. I think the last few teams we've played have been very strong, and we're not just doing a better job in the back- we're defending from front to back."
On Tuesday, the Ephs will travel to New London, Conn. to face Coast Guard at 4:00 p.m.