Men’s soccer (10-1-2, 5-1-2 in the NESCAC) clinched a 1-0 win in overtime over Tufts on Saturday. The win puts Williams in a tie with Bowdoin for second in the NESCAC heading into the last week of regular season conference play.
In their seventh overtime game of the season, the Ephs outshot the Jumbos 15 to two in over 99 minutes of play. The men didn’t get their offense going strong until the second half, during which Williams took seven shots to Tufts’ one. The two teams’ stalemate continued through the end of regulation and into sudden death overtime.
The game-winning goal came at the end of the first overtime period off the foot of forward and co-captain Gaston Kelly ’11. Despite an early yellow card, Kelly was a strong presence on the field, taking four shots on goal before rocketing a long shot past Tufts keeper Alan Bernstein to score the only goal of the game at 99:47. The Eph’s performance earned him NESCAC Player of the Week honors. Kelly’s shot came after a brief but impressive campaign up the field: Co-captain and defender Joe Vella ’11 played a high ball to forward Charlie Romero ’11, who then headed the ball down the field. Exhibiting excellent footwork, Dan Morrisroe ’12 took one touch before turning and making a quick pass to Kelly who took a big strike to score the game winner.
Head Coach Mike Russo, who is now celebrating his 26th season of at least 10 regular season victories with the Ephs, described the game as “a very tough match. Tufts defended with numbers and were very well organized and difficult to break down.”
Strong pressure from the Eph defense shut down the Jumbos’ offense, allowing Tufts only two shots on goal over the entire game. Eph netminder Peter Morrell ’14 was only required to make one save on the day, while the men’s offensive onslaught forced Bernstein to make eight saves before allowing Kelly’s goal.
Despite the statistics, Russo noted that while the Ephs deserved their win, “it could have been otherwise if not for Gaston’s strike.”
On Friday, the team will return to Cole Field to take on NESCAC No. 1 Middlebury in its last game of the regular season at 2 p.m. If the men overcome the Panthers and Tufts defeats Bowdoin in the two teams’ weekend match-up, the Ephs will advance to the NESCAC Tournament as the number one seed.
The NESCAC Quarterfinals will commence at noon on Sunday. Seeding is still unfinalized, so the men’s opponent and the time of the match are as yet undetermined.