The men’s soccer team bounced back from last week’s tie with Middlebury with two shutouts this week, beating Bates and Springfield College. With these two victories the Ephs’ record improves to a solid 7-0-1, good enough to be ranked second regionally and ninth nationally.
Saturday, the Ephs faced the Bates Bobcats and notched their fourth shutout this season, rolling to a 3-0 victory. It was a full team effort and the defense was key, as it held Bates to only five shots on goal for the entire game. The Eph offense kept attacking the Bates goal, tiring out the Bobcats’ defense and goalie.
The offense first struck late in the first half when junior Graham Davidson assisted classmate Mike Cortese to give Williams the 1-0 lead. Cortese took Davidson’s pass and nailed a shot into the upper right hand corner of the net past the Bobcat goalie. Minutes later, the aggressive offense scored again, bringing the Williams lead to two goals. Midfielder Walker Waugh ’02 sent the ball upfield to first-year Alex Blake, who was able to break away from the Bobcat defense and net the Ephs’ second goal of the afternoon.
Beginning the second half down 2-0, Bates came out a little stronger. However, the Eph defense stepped up and was able to hold the Bobcats back. At the other end of the field, the offense continued its attack, taking a total of 23 shots on goal for the day.
About midway through the second half, Williams scored the decisive third goal, as goalie Ryan Spicer ’01 sent the ball to Josef Powell ’02. With a strong pass to Blake, Powell was able to split the Bates defense and set Blake up for a one on one with the Bobcat goalie.
Blake chipped a shot over the goalie’s head into the top of the net, scoring his second goal of the game and fifth of the season. Williams ended with the 3-0 triumph over NESCAC foe Bates. In goal, Spicer tallied his third shutout of the year with one save.
Earlier in the week, Williams took on Springfield College at Cole Field. The Ephmen came out firing, scoring early with only 11 minutes gone. Ted Giannacopoulos ’02 moved the ball upfield through the defense, and passed it off to the midfielder Powell.
Spotting forward Jason Stojkovic ’00 moving towards the goal, Powell crossed it through the box and Stojkovic fired a shot into the Springfield goal, putting the Ephs up 1-0. Williams continued to battle it out with Springfield for the remainder of the period and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The beginning of the second half was much of the same, with Williams attacking the goal on offense, taking a total of 22 shots, and the defense stopping Springfield’s attempts.
The Eph attack eventually made its way through the Springfield defense as Cortese netted an unassisted goal, giving Williams a 2-0 lead. Seven minutes later Williams scored unassisted again as Richard Bode ’02 knocked in a rebound to give the Ephs their final goal and a 3-0 lead.
In net for Williams was Neal Appleman ’00 who made two saves and notched his first shutout this year.
Head Coach Mike Russo was pleased with Williams’ effort and victory saying, “They [Springfield] are a good team; they were 7-2 coming into this game, so I think 3-0 is a good result.”
Tomorrow afternoon the Ephmen travel to play Babson, and on Saturday they will take on the Lord Jeffs in an 11:00 meeting at Cole Field.