The men’s soccer team had a successful two weeks as it shut out three opponents and improved its still-perfect record to 10-0-1. With the wins, Williams moved up to sixth place nationally and retained its first place ranking in the New England region.
Saturday the Ephs faced the Tufts University Jumbos at Cole Field. The rainy weather and sloppy field made scoring tough, but Williams was able to pull out a victory. The first and only goal of the game came only 34 seconds into the match. Josef Powell ’02 received a pass from Ted Giannacopoulos ’02 and sent it up to Alex Blake ’03.
Blake then took the ball to within eight yards and blasted a shot into the upper right corner of the Tufts goal. Blake leads the team in goal with seven, while Powell leads with six assists.
The Ephs and Jumbos battled back and forth for the rest of the half but neither team produced anything more. The second half was much of the same, with the Ephs totaling 25 shots on goal. Williams’ defense worked for the entire half and pulled through in the final moments. Tufts had a corner with only 30 seconds remaining but the Ephs held on to walk away with a 1-0 win. Ryan Spicer ’01 made one save in his fifth shutout of the season.
Coach Mike Russo said that he likes the way the team is developing, commenting, “It was nice to see that our forwards are starting to create more and more havoc for the other team’s defense. Alex Blake is really starting to find his niche as a big goal-scorer.”
A week earlier, Williams met rival Amherst and despite a slow start came back to defeat the Lord Jeffs 2-0. Spicer recorded another shutout and made four saves on the day, including some key stops in the final minutes of the game.
After a scoreless first half, the Ephs came out firing in the second and netted their first goal with only five minutes gone. Giannacopoulos got a rebound from an Amherst defender and placed a shot into the corner of the goal giving the Ephs a one-goal advantage.
The Ephs continued to attack the Amherst goal and nearly 30 minutes later Blake was tripped, giving Williams a penalty shot.
Matt Magiera ’00 put the shot past the Amherst goalie, giving Williams a 2-0 lead. In the final minutes Amherst brought on a strong attack but the Williams defense stayed tough and fought them off.
The previous Wednesday, Williams traveled to Babson where it faced a tough team but once again came away with a victory.
Assistant coach Eric Watson was expecting a difficult game but was pleased with the Ephs’ work saying, “It’s always a tough game down here, so we’re happy with the result.”
Neither team connected in the first half but the Ephs stepped it up with ten minutes gone in the second to score the only goal of the game. Giannacopoulos sent it to Blake who dribbled past a defender and blasted a shot into the goal. This gave the Ephs a 1-0 lead that they would hold onto for the rest of the game. Goalkeeper Neal Appleman ’00 notched his second shutout this season as he made four saves in the 1-0 victory.
The Ephs next travel down the road to MCLA for a 2:30 matchup tomorrow. With only three games remaining in the season, the Ephs look to retain their position atop the regional rankings in preparation for the postseason.