Williamstown, MA--Following a 5-5 tie at the end of the first half, the Williams College Ephs (12-2, 7-2 NESCAC) fell to the Amherst College Jeffs (14-0, 9-0 NESCAC) 13-6 when Prescilla Tyler scored three consecutive goals for the Jeffs to start off an eight goal streak in the second half.
Though the Ephs dominated the first half play, forcing the Jeffs to make a comeback from a three-goal deficit, a strong second half for the Jeffs would determine their decisive victory. This loss ends the Ephs' ten game winning streak as the Jeffs remain undefeated for the season.
Amherst got on the board early with a free position goal by Tyler, but Williams answered back when Nancy Palmer netted an unassisted goal just a minute later. The Ephs then pulled away with three consecutive goals. Stephanie Gallo began the scoring streak off a pass from Bridget Malicki on a free position opportunity and then Rebecca McGovern charged from the top to score another unassisted goal for the Ephs. Amherst won the draw and battled back, but a save by Ali Pitch for Williams shifted the ball back to Ephs' attacking end. Anne Rehfuss proceeded to convert a fourth goal for the Ephs off a pass from Malicki to take a three-goal lead with 20:14 remaining in the half.
Tough defense by Williams held off the Amherst attack and Williams goalie Ali Piltch prevented the Jeffs from scoring with a key save. Nearly nine minutes of scoreless play followed as Amherst persisted hard on attack until Krista Zsitvay charged to goal from the top and netted a second goal for the Jeffs with 11:28 remaining in the half and another at 6:41 to bring the game within a goal.
Though the Ephs would reclaim a two goal lead when Alyssa Amos scored off a feed from Malicki directly in front of the goal, the Jeffs quickly answered back when Rachel Passarelli scored thirty seconds later. With 21 seconds remaining in the half, Tyler capitalized on a free position shot for the Jeffs to tie up the game 5-5 at the end of the half.
Williams head coach Chris Mason said, "We started off well, but then even through that time we struggled a little bit with ball possession and taking care of the ball. Amherst was a little better at getting ground ball and coming out with it." This difficulty would prove detrimental for the Ephs moving into the second half.
The Jeffs proceeded to dominate second half play as they pulled away with eight consecutive goals. The Ephs initially came out strong when Alyssa Amos won the draw and proceeded to score just over 20 seconds into the second half, but this would be the last goal of the game for Williams. Three consecutive goals by Tyler allowed the Jeffs to take the lead for the first time in the game since her initial goal and would begin the Jeff's run. Williams' defense held off the Jeffs' attack for over six minutes, during which time Piltch had two impressive free position saves. However Alex Philie evaded her defender and curled around the crease to give the Jeffs a three-goal lead with just under fourteen minutes remaining in the contest.
The Ephs gained possession following a time out, but a turn over in front of the goal enabled the Jeffs to control the game once again as they passed the ball around on their attacking end and ran down the clock. The Jeffs proceeded to put in three more goals to establish a solid six-goal lead over the Ephs with 4:28 remaining in the contest
The Ephs transitioned the ball down to their attacking end but were unable to convert another goal. Amherst regained possession and Rachel Passerelli netted another goal off a pass from Sarah Spector with just 18 seconds remaining in the contest to end the game 13-6 in Amherst's favor.
Piltch ended the game with ten saves and Amherst goalie Christy Forrest ended the game with two saves. Amos led the Ephs with two goals and Tyler led the Jeffs with five goals.
Reflecting on the game, Mason remarked, "It's hard once you get behind on a good team. We try to be a threat and yet not force it, but we did force some things that were not open. We just need to keep working on ball handling and ball security, and we get to go against another great team on Wednesday."
The Ephs will take on Middlebury College at home on Wednesday April 23rd at 5:00 PM in their final regular season game.