CLINTON, NY -- Williams senior defender Greg Andreou headed home a free kick sent forward by senior defender Scatt Macdonald in the fifth minute and the Eph defense made that tally stand up, securing a key NESCAC road win, 1-0 at Hamilton College.
With the win the Ephs extended their undefeated streak to five matches and improved to 8-3-2/NESCAC 4-2-2, jumping up to a tie for third place in the conference. Hamilton fell to 7-6-1/NESCAC 3-5-1.
With two games remaining, away Saturday at Tufts and home next Tuesday versus Middlebury, the Ephs are tied with Bowdoin and Middlebury.
The goal by Andreou was his fourth of the season and his second game-winner.
Over the course of their unbeaten streak, Williams has tended to strike later in matches, and Eph head coach Erin Sullivan has repeatedly urged his team to generate faster starts offensively. He got his wish today, as senior midfielder Greg Andreou headed home the early goal. Andreou would keep that same energy for the rest of the match, recording seven shots on the day and five in the first half to keep the Continentals' netminder Thomas Benson busy.
Benson would have had even more work if not for the terrific play from his backline, who blocked two shots and altered several others in the first 45 minutes.
Obviously, the second half saw no goals, but Hamilton kept searching for the equalizer. A 49th minute shot from Aidan Wood landed just left of the net, and two chances from Roth Wetzel in the 51st and 68th minute were blocked in a testament to the tremendous play from Williams defenders Macdonald, Sean Dory, and Jules Oberg.
Overall, the Ephs blocked a total of six shots on the day, and while the defenders did not completely erase all potential chances for their goalie Aaron Schein, they certainly did well in deterring and affecting Hamilton shots, enabling Schein to record his sixth clean sheet of the season. Schein is tied for second in that category among all NESCAC keepers.
After the match, Erin Sullivan seemed enthused by the result, noting, "We grinded out an important road win today with many different players stepping up. As injuries have taken their toll, the depth of our team is really showing. Belief and readiness have been contagious within our squad and both will continue to be important down the stretch."
Williams' netminder Aaron Schein was busy today. Schein was called on to make six saves, but Hamilton's Thomas Benson faced an even more hectic workload, recording a remarkable eleven saves.
The Ephs will head back out on the road Saturday to face undefeated NESCAC rival Tufts at 2:30 PM, while Hamilton finishes up its regular season against Colby Saturday at 1:30 PM.