After an NCAA Final Four appearance last fall, the Williams men’s soccer team has a lot to live up to this year.
Returning five starters, the Ephs began their season impressively by finishing the week at 3-0 with wins over Hamilton, Clark and Westfield State. On Saturday the Ephs faced Hamilton at Cole Field where they battled to a 1-0 win. Defenseman Matt Magiera ’00 scored the only goal just seven minutes into the game on a penalty kick.
Throughout the entire game the Ephs continued an intense offensive attack, taking 21 shots on goal, but had difficulty getting a score. The defense, however, kept Hamilton in check, and despite losing much of the backfield to graduation Williams stayed tough and held Hamilton to only six shots on goal. Junior Goalie Ryan Spicer made three saves in the shutout.
On Wednesday, Williams traveled to Worcester where they faced Clark University in the rain. The inclement weather did not deter the Ephs as they rolled to a 3-1 victory.
Magiera netted Williams’ first goal off a corner kick from Josef Powell ’02. Fifteen minutes later, First-year forward Alex Blake drilled an unassisted shot past the Cougar goalie, giving the Ephs 2-0 halftime lead.
In the second half Williams increased its lead to three as midfielder Shawn Boburg ’00 scored on a cross from forward Jason Stojkovic ’00. Clark got on the board 78 minutes into the game with its only goal.
In goal for Williams Spicer made two saves while Neal Appleman ’00 had one. Head Coach Mike Russo indicated he was pleased with the results.
“It was rainy and the field was pretty bumpy at half time,” Russo said. “We had to re-emphasize the importance of protecting a 2-0 lead, and then we scored another goal. Overall we were very satisfied with the performance.”
The first game of the Ephs’ season matched them against Westfield State, and less than two minutes into the game, forward Michael Cortese ’01 scored on a cross from Boburg. After going scoreless for the rest of the first half, the Ephs netted another early in the second as Cortese kicked in his second goal of the game. The defense was strong again, holding Westfield to only eight shots, as Spicer made six saves.
With a 3-0 record, Williams has a week until its next matchup against Keene State on Sunday at Cole Field.