Men’s soccer (3-0-1, 1-0-1 in the NESCAC) kicked off its season at home with a 3-1 victory over Babson on Sunday to maintain an undefeated record on the season thus far.
The Beavers got on the board early on with a ball placed far post on an opportunity from inside the box at the 11-minute mark. The Ephs responded just before the close of the half with two consecutive goals in the 39th minute. Co-captain Gaston Kelly ’11 found the back of the net first, on a rebound off his own shot. Seconds later, Patrick Ebobisse ’13 drove a cross into the box, which Babson keeper Peter Crowly mishandled, putting Williams up 2-1 at the whistle.
Assisted on a through ball from Peter Christman ’13, User Kushaina ’14 sealed the game for the Ephs in the 58th minute, sliding a shot past Beavers keeper Jackson Klein to bring the score to 3-1. Throughout the game, the Ephs created many opportunities, outshooting the Beavers 19-9 and taking seven corner kicks to the Beavers’ five.
“In the Babson game we showed our depth,” Head Coach Mike Russo said. “We used some players who didn’t play much Saturday to start the match on Sunday. They came out with good intensity and pressure on defense and quick ball speed offensively to keep Babson on their heels. This was a very important win for us because we didn’t get the result we wanted on Saturday.”
Saturday, Williams played Conn. College to a frustrating 0-0 overtime tie. In spite of outshooting the Camels 19 to six and having a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks, the Ephs were stopped again and again by the exceptional play of goalie Casey Marini, who finished the game for the Camels with nine saves. Williams’ defense likewise stood strong, sending the team’s third consecutive game into overtime.
Russo noted the extremely defensive nature of Saturday’s game. “Our keeper didn’t have to make a save on a shot,” he said. “They didn’t create much from that [offensive] perspective, just a few crosses and one shot which went wide. It was frustrating because we had six or seven good opportunities.”
The Ephs had better luck last Wednesday, scraping out a thrilling 3-2 win against New Paltz State in extra time. Williams came out aggressively from the beginning, with Charlie Romero ’11 taking on the New Paltz State defense to score his first goal of the season in the first minute of the game, putting the Ephs up 1-0. The rest of the half and the first 20 minutes of the second half remained scoreless for both teams. Romero, however, delivered again in the 66th minute, scoring an insurance goal on a breakaway to bring the score to 2-0.
However, in the last 10 minutes of regulation, New Paltz State found net with a pair of goals that tied the game at 2-2 and sent it into overtime.
The Ephs reclaimed control as they outshot the Hawks 5-1 in extra time. Kiel Bonhomme ’11 shone, scoring his second consecutive game-winning goal off an assist from Romero with just seconds left in overtime.
“Overall, I was pleased with the result, considering this was a midweek game against a decent team,” Russo said. “We were able to go into overtime and win the second in a row which was a solid start to our season.”
Williams will take to Cole Field on Saturday, squaring off against Colby at noon in its third NESCAC game of the season. The men will continue their weekend with a 2 p.m. game against Wheaton on Sunday.