WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – The Ephs needed only 6 minutes to secure a goal and consequent victory against the Skidmore Thoroughbreds in a non-conference matchup. After taking the ball off of a defender, Nick Boardman sent a through ball on the right side to Eli Petrick, who made a quick wall pass through Chris Fleischer before running down the flank and sending a one-time cross into the penalty area. Demian Gass, who had been shutout in the Ephs' past few games met the ball on his run and drilled a first-time volley into the back of the net before Thoroughbred keeper Sebastian Bosch even realized he had struck the ball. This goal was all the Ephs needed to defeat Skidmore, though they did go on to score one more. With the win, the Ephs' record improves to (4-3-3), while the Thoroughbreds now sit at (5-4-2).
After Gass opened up the scoring, the Ephs seemed to gain control and move up and down the pitch with fluidity. The defense and attack seemed to communicate well and the Ephs saw long periods of possession, which kept the Thoroughbred defense on its toes. As the half progressed, Skidmore started to settle into the game and create chances in the Ephs' half, though they did not challenge Eph keeper Michael Davis much. The early goal was the only one of the half, sending the Ephs into halftime with a slight advantage. As Eph head coach Sullivan explained, "We brought much better energy and work-rate to today's game and positive results followed."
At the half, Williams and Skidmore had each recorded 4 shots and the teams' respective keepers had each made 1 save. The Ephs had earned 3 corners in the first 45 minutes, while the Thoroughbreds had only earned 1. Though statistically even, the game seemed to be leaning towards the Williams side since kickoff.
The second half started slow, with much of the play centering in the middle third of the pitch. Both teams struggled to get into a rhythm and string together passes. The Ephs quickly got back into their groove, however, and moved up the pitch with tenacity and purpose. They peppered the Thoroughbred goal with shots, but were denied numerous times by keeper Sebastian Bosch. Eph head coach Sullivan commented, "Our veterans played and led with an urgency we've been searching for and that really set the tone for the match."
In the 75th minute, Eph Eli Petrick sent an outswinging corner into the box. Nick Boardman elevated and directed the ball towards the bottom right corner. Sebastian Bosch, with no time to react, dove to his left, and, with his outstretched arms, he not only kept the ball out of the net, but actually caught it and held on. The magnificent save kept the Thoroughbreds in the game.
Minutes later, however, during a Williams counterattack, Thoroughbred defender Daniel Conricello brought Eli Petrick down illegally in the box, and the referee awarded the Ephs a penalty. In the 79th minute, Andrew Mathew calmly stood at the penalty spot, before sending a rocket into the goal, just right of the middle. Keeper Sebastian Bosch dove the wrong way, and Mathew effectively doubled his team's lead, while scoring his first goal of the season.
The goal saw the Ephs out with a home victory, their first of the season.
By the end of the game, the Ephs had taken 13 shots (6 on target) and the Thoroughbreds had taken 11 (2 on target). Williams keeper Michael Davis and Skidmore keeper Sebastian Bosch recorded 2 and 6 saves, respectively, during the game.
The Ephs look to capitalize on their momentum as they prepare for a non-conference game against Westfield State next Tuesday, 10/15. Eph head coach Sullivan gave a few words looking forward: "At this stage of the season, continuing to improve and being more consistent day in and day out is most important."