Ephs Triumph Over Bates 1-0 After Overtime Goal

Ephs Triumph Over Bates 1-0 After Overtime Goal

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – Eph defender Jules Oberg took two paces and buried the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal from the penalty spot in the 5th minute of the second period of overtime. Bates keeper David Goodstein dove to his left, but even while fully extending his arms, he was unable to get a hand to the ball. The late goal saw the Ephs triumph over the Bates Bobcats 1-0. Eph head coach Sullivan commented on the goal: "In the end late season games can come down to one moment and today we were resilient enough to make the final play."

With the win, the Ephs improved to a record of (5-3-4, 3-2-2 NESCAC), while Bates' record changed to (8-4-1, 4-3-1 NESCAC).

The game started off quickly with the Ephs gaining control within the first few minutes. Their first chance came in just the third minute, after Andrew Mathew won the ball in defense and it up to Bobby Fabricant, who curled a cross into the box. Demian Gass elevated and directed the ball towards goal, but was unable to put it on target. 

The Bobcats' first chance and most threatening attack of the game came in the 20th minute, when a Bates corner landed at the feet of Eric Opoku, just outside of the 18-yard box. Opoku tapped the ball forward and fired a low shot towards the bottom right corner. With numerous bodies in the way, Eph keeper Michael Davis was unable to see the ball until the last moment, as the ball was entering the goal. As soon as he saw the ball, however, Davis dove to his left, arms extended, and pushed the ball wide of his post, making a great save and denying the Bobcats an advantage.

The rest of the half saw play centered in the Bates half of the pitch, with Williams building inroads towards their goal. The Bobcats struggled to maintain possession, as the Ephs kept up the pressure. "We connected passes to unlock the weak side of the field much better today. This has been a focal point all season but it's much easier said than done in our league where every team defends well and every area of the pitch is closely contested," reflected head coach Sullivan.

The teams went into halftime with 4 shots each, though the Ephs had 2 on target compared to the Bobcats' 1. 

As the second half kicked off, Bates seemed to kick into gear. They started to push forward more aggressively and move the ball with purpose. The Ephs maintained their pressure from the first half, which made for some exciting play in the middle of the field, though there were not many dangerous chances. Overall, the Ephs still seemed to be in the driver's seat, as they created more opportunities than the Bobcats. "We were fortunate today but we made some of our own luck by competing for spaces better and making earlier runs off entry balls," head Coach Sullivan explained. In the end, neither side was able to score and the two teams found themselves heading to overtime
After two halves of play, both teams were physically drained, and play started slowly. Not much happened in the first period of overtime. As the second half commenced, Williams put pressure on the Bates defense. In the 5th minute, as Eph Justin Adams crossed the ball into the box from the right side, a Bates defender illegally challenged Demian Gass as he elevated to head the ball. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, from where Jules Oberg sealed the Eph victory.As the second half kicked off, Bates seemed to kick into gear. They started to push forward more aggressively and move the ball with purpose. The Ephs maintained their pressure from the first half, which made for some exciting play in the middle of the field, though there were not many dangerous chances. Overall, the Ephs still seemed to be in the driver's seat, as they created more opportunities than the Bobcats. "We were fortunate today but we made some of our own luck by competing for spaces better and making earlier runs off entry balls," head Coach Sullivan explained. In the end, neither side was able to score and the two teams found themselves heading to overtime. 

After 90 minutes, the Ephs had recorded 14 shots, while the Bobcats recorded 10. Eph keeper Michael Davis had made 2 saves, while Bobcat keeper David Goodstein was forced to make 6.

In the end, the Ephs had recorded a total of 18 shots, while the Bobcats had recorded 12. Michael Davis still had 2 saves, while David Goodstein made another, increasing his total to 7.

Eph head coach Sullivan commended his team: "I'm proud of our seniors for the way they set the tone and competed to defend Cole field today. We're improving every day and this team has so much more inside of them."

The Ephs, after securing this vital win, look forward to their next game against Hamilton, which is on Wednesday, October 23 at 3:00 PM. Meanwhile, the Bobcats play their next game against Amherst on Saturday, October 26.