Men’s soccer (5-0-1, 2-0-1 in the NESCAC) defeated Wheaton 4-1 Sunday to maintain its undefeated record after dropping Colby 2-1 Saturday.
Williams came out hard early against Wheaton on Sunday. Colin Ainsworth ’11 found Charlie Romero ’11 at the top of the box in the 14th minute, giving Romero the chance to put away the Ephs’ first goal of the day with a powerfully driven shot. The Lyons found the back of the net soon after in the 25th minute on a free kick from thirty yards out to tie the score at 1-1. Nick Pugliese ’12 slammed home a shot from 40 yards out, countering in the 44th minute of play to put the men up 2-1 at the whistle.
Head Coach Mike Russo fired his team up during halftime. “In the second half, we told the guys, ‘You have to come out on fire’ even though we were up 2-1 because we knew Wheaton was a very strong opponent,” he said.
Williams did just that, working to increase its lead in the second half and putting in two more goals in the 53rd and 90th minutes. Romero assisted co-captain Gaston Kelly ’11 with a low cross for a one-touch finish for the men’s third goal of the game, giving them a 3-1 lead. In the final minute of the game, the Lyons pulled their keeper up in a desperate attempt to score. Gordon Atkins ’11 sent a ball past the Wheaton keeper, who was at midfield, and Matt Ratajczak ’13 chased it down to score on an open net for a 4-1 win.
The game, however, was a physical battle until the end. Defensive back Andrew Trainor ’13 was sent off after receiving his second yellow of the match, leaving the Ephs a man down for the final 24 minutes of play.
Williams’ keeper Peter Morrell ’14 came up big, making some spectacular saves, including a stellar deflection on a breakaway in the 65th minute and a diving save in the first half of play, to finish the day with a total of seven saves and to help the Ephs finish with their largest goal differential this season.
Sunday’s victory followed a close match on Saturday afternoon. Williams pulled through in its fourth overtime game to defeat Colby 2-1.
The Ephs outshot the Mules 30 to 5 on the game, though Colby’s goalkeeper did well to hold Williams scoreless for the first 79 minutes of the game. With just ten minutes remaining in the match, Noah Cadet ’14 lifted a cross over to Romero, who buried the ball in the back of the net. The men’s 1-0 lead was short lived, though, as Colby’s Ben Desmond scored an equalizer at 85:32 to send the game into overtime. Ultimately, Williams persevered, with Ratajczak executing on a header off a corner kick from Kelly eight minutes into overtime to secure the victory.
Williams will take on archrival Amherst at Cole Field. Play will commence at noon on Saturday.