Men’s soccer endured a disappointing 1-0 loss last Saturday against the evenly matched Trinity Bantams. The Ephs were able to rebound the following day, redeeming themselves with a 4-2 victory over Babson.
The Ephs’ defeat of the Beavers restored pride and confidence to the team after the loss on Saturday. “I thought our guys showed great resilience on Sunday by beating Babson 4-2,” Head Coach Mike Russo said. “It was a total team effort led by the midfield play of Sam Empson [’09] and Dan [Curbelo]-Zeidman [’09] and a good effort in the back by Joe Vella [’11] and Brian Dolezal [’09].”
The Ephs notched three goals during the first period to pave the way to the win. In both the first and second halves, Williams dominated in shots on goal (14 compared to Babson’s five in the first half, and 13 to Babson’s seven in the second). The resilient Eph offensive line was spearheaded by Vella, Curbelo-Zeidman, Sam Denton-Schneider ’09 and Empson, pushing back the Beaver defense in an impressive offensive showing. On the defensive front, Doezal and Chris Gocksch ’09 provided solid support.
Within the first 15 minutes of the game, Empson took an indirect kick which ricocheted off of a Beaver defender and landed in the net as an own-goal, putting the Ephs ahead. Soon after, Empson crossed the ball, creating the opportunity for Vella to head the ball straight into the net.
However, the Beavers fought back as Billy Nickerson shot a ball past Andrew Graham ’10, shrinking the Ephs’ lead to one. In response, the Ephs scored again just minutes later, as Curbelo-Zeidman took a cross by Gaston Kelly ’11 and kicked in the Ephs’ third goal of the half.
Early in the second half, the Ephs secured their win by scoring one more goal just under four minutes in. Curbelo-Zeidman ran the ball down the field and chipped the ball to Denton-Schneider, who netted the fourth and final Williams goal. Although the Beavers managed to score one more time towards the very end of the half, they could not overcome the Ephs strong lead.
“[In the Babson game], we scored when we needed to and everyone contributed to the team’s success,” Empson said. “It really showed what a resilient team we have, bouncing back after a game that most of us believed we deserved to win.”
The Ephs were not as successful in capitalizing on opportunities and scoring goals the previous day. On Saturday, Williams suffered a 1-0 loss in an ill-fated struggle against Trinity. Although Williams dominated in shots on goal, the men couldn’t capitalize on the oppurtunities.
“In the Trinity game, we played well but could not finish the chances that we created and their goal was a great strike by their forward,” Russo said.
In the first half, the Bantams steadily challenged the Ephs as they approached the goal box, but the Ephs fought back consistently. In spite of the determination each team showed, neither team was able to score. At halftime, the Bantams and Ephs appeared evenly matched and ready to continue the fight.
“I thought we played well and just made one small mistake in the second half that led to their goal,” Empson said. “Statistically, we dominated them.”
The Ephs came on strong right from the starting whistle of the second half. Just a minute and a half after playing time had begun, Pierre Meloty-Kapella ’10 came close to scoring but Trinity’s goalkeeper Zac Trudeau managed to block the shot. Trudeau continued this trend, with an eventual total of 11 saves.
Trinity scored the lone goal of the game when Bantam Nick Cantone crossed the ball to teammate Samuel Wisner, who snuck it by goalie Graham. The Ephs continued to stage an effort at a comeback into the final minutes; Kelly, Empson, Meloty-Kapella and Peter Gordon ’09 created opportunities, although in the end they proved fruitless.
In the second half, Williams outshot Trinity 17-3. Williams also had eight corner kicks during the period, while Trinity had none.
“Overall, we just need to work on finishing,” Empson said. “We should have had at least two or three goals in that game”
Hoping to follow up their Sunday win, the men will play Wesleyan this Saturday.