|Demian Gass '20|
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Fourth year Williams College men's soccer head coach Erin Sullivan '96 returns six players who started at least 12 games last year for an 8-3-5 Eph team that advanced to the NESCAC Quarterfinals.
Bowdoin defeated Williams 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the teams had played to a double overtime 1-1 tie ending the Ephs' 2017 season.
Last season the Ephs allowed just 10 goals in 16 games, but only scored 19 goals of their own. Creating more offense will be a focus this season for the Ephs, while continuing to play their usual stout defense.
Lost to graduation were two All-New England players in forward Mark Sisco-Tolomeo and back Tobias Muellers. Goalie Bobby Schneiderman who started every game last fall has also graduated.
Sisco-Tolomeo's four goals last year led the Ephs. He assisted on one goal for a team leading nine points. Muellers was a senior captain who anchored the Eph backline. He scored one goal last season when he came forward on a corner kick. Schneiderman in 1,524 minutes saved 47 of the 57 shots he faced and registered a 0.59 goals against average.
Also lost to graduation were midfielder David Madding who played in 12 games, forward/midfielder Malcolm Singleton who scored two goals in 15 games, and back Milan Jones who made 12 starts and registered one assist.
Coach Sullivan will look to junior forwards Bobby Fabricant and Demian Gass to help generate more offense this fall. Fabricant was second on the team last fall in points with seven on three goals and one assist. Gass tied Fabricant with three goals last season to finish third on the team with six points. Fabricant played in every game last fall, while Gass appeared in 13 contests. Versatile sophomore Eli Petrik will also be counted on to generate goals for the Ephs. Several first-years have shown potential to contribute including Justin Adams, Will Felitto, and Nathan Song
|Eli Petrik '21|
During preseason Sullivan will be exploring ways to open up the Eph attacks as he and his new look coaching staff integrate several talented newcomers. Newly appointed first assistant Nick Thompson (Messiah '11) brings a wealth of postseason success as a player and coach and the addition of local product Jake Tietgens (Castleton University '17) bodes well for the development of a more dynamic attacking squad.
"We're focused on continuing to earn the same high-quality scoring chances we've created over the past couple seasons with more emphasis on precision in putting opposing goalkeepers to the test and converting chances to goals," stated Sullivan. "Our attacking players have looked outstanding in preseason. We believe we can open teams up more effectively this season and score goals in a variety of ways."
The Eph midfield returns several players with seniors Greg Andreou and Sean Dory expected to be feature contributors. Williamstown resident Eric Hirsch, now a senior, and junior Chris Fleischer played in every game last season and Hirsch notched one goal. Junior Paul Griffith and senior Ian Kagame may also see time in the middle of the pitch along with standout first-years Jake Saudek, Henry Osborn, and Mount Greylock graduate Brady Foehl.
Juniors Liam Bardong and Paul Griffith saw time in the middle of the field and on the back line as sophomores return and give Sullivan flexibility as contributors in midfield and in the back. Bardong netted one goal last season in 15 games and Griffith appeared in 11 contests.
Senior Scatt MacDonald started 14 games last season in the back and he returns along with sophomore Nick Ranieri (14 starts), and junior Andrew Mathew (14 appearances). This trio of upperclassmen will be counted on to stabilize the Eph backline. First-year Jules Oberg is expected to factor in the Ephs' rotation and contribute significantly in his first season while Jamie Holland also looks to compete for playing time in his first season.
"It's vital that we commit to disciplined defending from front to back and continue to maintain a strong defensive backbone," noted Sullivan. "We believe we have considerable depth on the backline, which is always important given the grueling nature of the NESCAC schedule."
|Nick Ranieri '21|
The early season scrimmages and matches will determine who will start in goal for the Ephs. Senior Aaron Schein is the lone returning keeper who logged minutes last year. Schein played 15:37 and did not get called on to make a save. Schein and sophomore George Taylor will compete for the starting position and have impressed in the early going. First-year Teddy Rader has also shown well in his first collegiate preseason.
"Both Aaron and George have looked sharp in the early going and we think there's tremendous quality and depth in the goalkeeper position," said Sullivan. "We believe both returners are capable of performing at a very high level and providing the consistency and vocal leadership that can help our team earn positive results."
"There is a great deal of positive new energy this year's Eph squad and the program and that's very promising for the season ahead," added Sullivan. "Our goals are always lofty, but our players understand we must earn things one step at a time. We're excited to step on Cole Field and see what this team is capable of and, as always, to represent Williams in a first class manner."
The Ephs will open the 2018 season with three straight home games. The season opener versus Trinity will be on September 8 at 2:00 p.m. The following weekend the Ephs will host Colby at 1:30 p.m. on September 15, and then host Babson on the 16th at 2:00 p.m.