WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- In each team's final regular season match, the Middlebury College Panthers dispatched the Williams College Ephs by a final score of 2-0, scoring a goal in each half.
With this result, Williams finishes at 8-5-2/NESCAC 4-4-2, while Middlebury ends their campaign with a record of 10-2-3/NESCAC 6-2-2.
The Ephs started the match with several stellar chances, mostly via the enterprising work of Will Felitto '22, who shot a wide ball in the 6th minute, had a point-blank header saved in the 7th minute, and hit a third ball high in the 16th minute. Apart from Felitto the Ephs struggled to develop an offensive attack early on in this match, and against a dangerous opponent in Middlebury, such a deficiency would prove to be costly.
In the 13th minute, Fazl Shaikh got the ball out of a scrum at the top of Williams' penalty box, and passed it into Kyle Moffat, who noticed teammate Ben Potter open on the right side. Moffat then looped a ball to his junior teammate, who scissor-kicked the ball into the lower left-hand corner of the net for the first goal of the match. Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at the half.
The second half was considerably less eventful, and was much more dominated by physicality than the first half. Mid-air collisions and unusually rough slide tackles abounded, and the choppy nature of play seemingly erased either side's ability to muster any sense of rhythm.
With about 15 minutes to go, Williams appeared to gain a second wind and started to press forward, but an 81st minute fast-break tap-in goal from Henry Wilhelm silenced any Eph designs on a comeback.
Despite an unfavorable box score result, Eph head coach Erin Sullivan seemed positive about his team's performance, saying, "We've been conceding the first goal too often and did again today, but got some really good individual performances from some new faces. From here on, it's about getting stronger ahead of Saturday, and going into [the NESCAC Tournament] with a positive mindset and belief."
Williams' netminder Aaron Schein and Middlebury goalkeeper Matthew Hyer saved one shot apiece on the day.
Currently, Middlebury is in third place in the NESCAC, and Williams is in sixth place. It remains to be seen who their first-round opponents in the eight-team conference tournament will be, but each team will know once the information is tabulated and posted on NESCAC.com.