Ephs, Owls Play to Stalemate

Ephs, Owls Play to Stalemate

WESTFIELD, MASS - The Ephs had a number of chances as they outshot Westfield State 32-6. Ultimately, they couldn't capitalize on a second opportunity to claim a vicotry and they tied non-conference opponent Westfield State University 1-1.

Coming into this contest, the Ephs had won nine straight over Westfield State dating back to 1998. The Ephs had outscored the Owls 37-3 over the streak. The Ephs came into the contest 4-3-3 and 2-1-1 in non-conference matchups. The Owls entered the match 3-8 overall and 2-5 in non-conference contests.

Chances were hard to come by early in this contest. The first chance belonged to the Ephs Liam Bardong who headed on a cross from Eli Petrick but was robbed by a diving save by Owl goalkeeper Nick Chambers in the 9th minute.

Another chance came for the Ephs in the 23rd minute as Nick Boardman had a galloping run through the midfield and was fouled outside of the 18-yard box to the right of the goalkeeper Chambers. Demian Gass and Eli Petrick had a designed play which resulted in Petrick shooting the ball wide.

The Ephs had a late push in the latter stages of the second half. They won a corner kick and Jake Saudek played the ball into the box that reached the head of Henry Osborn but was denied again by Nick Chambers in the 37th minute.

The sides played a scoreless first 45 minutes. The Ephs outshot the Owls 9-0 in the first half with three shots on target. Chambers made three saves for the Owls. The Ephs had numerous set-piece chances throughout the first half but were unable to convert.

The first chance of the 2nd half belonged to Williams. Eli Petrick with a bicycle pass that found the head of Demian Gass' head for the 7th save of the afternoon for Chambers in the 51st minute.

The Ephs finally broke through in the 52nd minute off of a set-piece. Jules Odberg took a free-kick from midfield, slotted the ball to the left to Nick Ranieri who played a ball into the 18-yard box to the head of Will Felitto who headed it home to put the Ephs on the board. That tally was the 3rd of the season for Felitto and his 2nd in a non-conference matchup.

After holding the lead for six minutes the Ephs relinquished it. Joey Paier played a through ball to Shane Cervone who beat Ephs goalkeeper Teddy Rader to the ball and Cervone slotted it by Rader to even the score at 1-1 in the 58th minute. 

Williams had a big chance to break the stalemate in the 77th minute. Sophomore Justin Adams played a cross to the foot of Demian Gass who volleyed the ball over the net. Not even one minute later the Ephs had a set-piece free kick played in by Jules Odberg and the ball was loose in front of the net until Nathan Song of the Ephs placed his shot over the net.

90 minutes was not enough to settle these teams. The teams headed to overtime knotted at 1-1

Two uneventful overtime periods for both sides saw no real threats to break the draw. The match concluded as a 1-1 draw.

Eph head coach Erin Sullivan gave his thoughts on the draw. "When we put up 30 shots in a match we have to find find a way to score more than one goal. Period." 

The Ephs move to 4-3-4 on the season as the Owls move to 3-8-1 as this was their first draw of the campaign.

After this contest, the Ephs will celebrate their seniors on Senior Day this Saturday as they take on NESCAC opponent Bates. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 P.M. "We're looking forward to Saturday and to celebrating our six superb seniors on Cole Field," coach Sullivan said about their next match. "It will be a spectacular occasion, a formidable opponent, and we have everything to play for."