WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Faced with the prospect of consecutive overtime matches, the Williams Ephs rose to the occasion, defeating the Babson Beavers 2-1 on a frantic Demian Gass '20 goal with just eight seconds to go in regulation.
With this result, Williams remains undefeated at 2-0-1/NESCAC 1-0-1. Babson drops to 2-1-3/NEWMAC 0-0-1 and sees their 5-match unbeaten streak end.
This match was active and filled with foreshadowing right from the start, as an Eli Petrik '21 cross to Gass was headed just left of the goal in the second minute, and both teams were off to the races from there. Just four minutes later, a corner from Babson freshman midfielder Ross Shellow was deflected by Williams goalie Aaron Schein '19 right onto the foot of freshman midfielder Mitchell Collins, who slotted it into the net to put Babson on the scoreboard.
Babson was unable to put together a sustained attack for the rest of the half, and that's because Gass and the Ephs were dogged in their pursuit of a tying opportunity, an opportunity they would finally convert in the 26th minute. Gass took a free kick from the top left corner of the box, and hit a wall of Beaver defenders. After bouncing around the penalty area momentarily, the ball landed at the feet of senior defender Sean Dory, who poked it into the top right corner of the net to tie the match at one. The Ephs entered the halftime having tied up the score, but would not be content with a second straight tie, a mindset made evident by their play in the second half.
Williams resumed their aggressive style as soon as the second-half whistle blew, winning numerous headers and constantly looking up the field to generate an attack. This soon resulted in a 52nd minute corner kick from Chris Fleischer '20 directed towards striker Bobby Fabricant '20, but in Fabricant's attempt to head the ball, he collided with Beaver goalie Steven Heintzelman. Fabricant left the game with an injury and would not return.
However, despite losing one of their most proficient attackers, Williams continued to dominate possession and create chances at a prodigious rate. In the 66th minute, the Ephs took two corner kicks, the first being saved by Heintzelman and the second resulting in a fast and high laser from Fleischer, and shots from Nick Boardman '22 and Petrik both landed wide in the following minutes.
This onslaught continued to build and build and it began to wear down the Babson defenders. As the final seconds of regulation wound down, the Ephs entered the offensive third of the field again, this time led by defender Jules Oberg '22. The Babson defense blitzed Oberg, but in their effort to contain the freshman, Oberg noticed Gass streaking by him on the left wing, and played a through ball into the box. Gass took one touch, and roped it past Heintzelman for the game-winner and keeping the Ephs undefeated.
Babson goalie Steven Heintzelman recorded four saves, while Eph netminder Aaron Schein made three saves for the third consecutive match.
After this match, numerous members of the Williams camp sung the squad's praises. Senior leaders Scatt McDonald, Sean Dory, and Greg Andreou all complimented their team's effort and relentless aggression, while coach Erin Sullivan celebrated Oberg's performance, saying that his quality play throughout the last several matches represents the Ephs' improved squad-wide depth this season.
Williams travels to face archrival Amherst on Saturday at 2:30 PM, while Babson hosts Springfield next