Jumbos take NESCAC semifinal battle with Ephs, 1-0, in OT

Jumbos take NESCAC semifinal battle with Ephs, 1-0, in OT

AMHERST, MA — The Williams men's soccer team suffered a heartbreaking loss Saturday when No. 2 seeded Tufts scored an early overtime goal and walked away with a 1-0 victory in the NESCAC semifinals. 

After the two teams played a scoreless 90 minutes, Tufts would need one minute and 43 seconds to tally the game-winner. Max Jacobs was strong on the ball and drew a foul just outside the box. Junior Travis Van Brewer took the free kick and sent it into the box. Senior Zach Lane corralled the free kick and beat Eph goalkeeper Michael Davis who attempted to dive back to make the save, but could not.

The Ephs fall to 8-4-5 and await the NCAA tournament draw show, which airs on Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm. The Jumbos improve to 13-2-2 and will match up with the sixth-seed Middlebury College in the NESCAC Championship Game at Amherst on Sunday at noon. The Jumbos will be playing for their second NESCAC Championship in program history. 

Early in the first half, the Ephs' Will Felitto redirected a long throw in the from near the Eph bench on frame that just caught the fingertips of the Tufts keeper before being cleared off the line. With just under 10 minutes remaining, Eli Petrik fashioned an impressive attempt, jumping over an attempted slide tackle and splitting two defenders before ripping a shot aimed for the bottom left opposite corner from the top of the box, but Tufts keeper Erich Kindermann read the shot well and smothered the attempt.

With seconds left in the half, Tufts Zach Trevorrow earned the chance to drive a shot from just inside the box towards target after dodging three defenders, but his shot looking for the far bottom right corner was deflected by Liam Bardong out of bounds.

The Jumbos came out of the half on the attack as senior Gavin Tasker and Rojas fired shots that were blocked by Eph defenders. After a throw-in, the ball found its way to the middle of the field for Aroh. His left-footed shot went just wide left.

Bobby Fabricant fired a shot on goal for Williams that was saved by Kindermann. He had got the play going forward with a quick throw. The Jumbos then applied pressure enough to allow senior Drew Stern to fire a shot that went wide left.

With just 19:19 left on the clock in the second half, the Ephs lined up a free kick from 35 yards out and Jules Oberg's boot connected with Bardong in the box. Bardong sent a hard header towards frame that grazed the top of the bar as it just soared high. Just under 4 minutes later, Bardong had another close scoring chance off a header, however his shot from the top of the goalie box was met with an impressive reaction save by Kinderman who punched the ball towards the corner to safety

Tufts retook momentum in the final 10 minutes of regulation, with Max Jacobs drawing a controversial no call in the box on a near 1-v-0. 

The game was as even as the scoreboard, with both teams taking 13 shots and Tufts taking six cornerkicks to the Ephs' five. Kindermann improve to 3-0-1 on the season after making six saves in the victory. Williams' Davis made three saves on four shots on goal and fell to 7-2-3 on the season.