WILLIAMSTOWN, MA- On an emotional Senior Day, the Williams College Ephs were unable to eke out a victory in a pivotal conference match, drawing against the Bowdoin Polar Bears by a 1-1 score.
With this result, both squads run their record to 7-3-2/NESCAC 3-2-2, and remain tied for fifth in the conference, trailing Amherst by a game in both the win and loss column.
It was a sleepy first half in Williamstown, with neither team doing much of anything in the first 45. An 11th minute ground-ball goal from freshman midfielder Harry Cooper punctuated a quiet offensive attack from Bowdoin, and a possible 30th minute chance to tie from Williams' Will Felitto '22 was ruined by a hand ball.
The second period of regular time was far more active on both sides. After a flurry of shots on both sides in the first fifteen minutes, highlighted by a near-miss from Bowdoin's Drake Byrd and an airmail from Chris Fleischer '20, the Ephs evened up the score in the 59th minute when Fleischer shot a ball that deflected off a Polar Bear defender and landed in the net.
From then on, Williams owned most of the momentum. Liam Bardong '20 booted a ball just over the net in the 66th minute, while Will Felitto had a chance from the right side that was blocked just two minutes later, but the most climactic moment of the half came in the 77th minute when Bowdoin goalie Chris Kingston stopped two Eph shots in quick succession. The first chance came from a streaking Justin Adams '22, who approached from the left side and fired a line drive straight into Kingston's midsection, and the second came from Greg Andreou '19, who dribbled once, spun around a Bowdoin defender and ripped a shot that Kingston batted away and out of danger. While the Ephs would enter Bowdoin territory again, the Polar Bears had gained enough confidence from their successful stops that they successfully neutralized all potential Williams attacks.
The overtime periods, while rife with shouting and emotion, were not particularly eventful in terms of playmaking. In the 93rd minute, Adams ran past a Bowdoin defender and played the ball back towards Fleischer, who knocked the ball out for a corner, and in the 99th minute, a Bobby Fabricant '20 header was pushed up and out of the net by Kingston, but otherwise, neither team was in imminent danger of losing the match and points.
After the match, Williams coach Erin Sullivan seemed enthused by the result saying, "This was a really important point. When you gain in the standings and in the overall point totals, it matters, especially in this league." When asked about his cadre of seniors playing their penultimate regular season match at Cole Field, the fourth-year coach said "This senior class has been a big part of the transition with this coaching staff, and it's exciting to see them earn points and results here down the stretch."
Williams net minder Aaron Schein saved two Bowdoin shots, while Bowdoin goalie Chris Kingston recorded seven saves on the day.
Williams travels to face Hamilton Wednesday at 3 PM, while Bowdoin is home to face NESCAC rival Bates Wednesday at 3 PM.