Men’s soccer powers to undefeated record

Men’s soccer (5-0-1, 4-0-1 in the NESCAC) continued to dominate last weekend, hosting Conn. College on Sunday and Wesleyan on Saturday.

User Kushaina ’14 set up a goal in the men’s 3-0 win against Conn. College on Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS INFORMATION.

After a tough game against the Cardinals that resulted in a 0-0 draw on Saturday, the Ephs trounced the Camels 3-0 on Sunday in emphatic fashion.

With solid goalkeeping by Peter Morrell ’14, the men allowed Conn. College few attempts at the goal before taking control of the game. Putting pressure on the Camels, the Ephs wore out their opponents, refusing to give the Camels any advantage. Equally determined, Conn. College provided strong competition for Williams, resulting in a volley to see who would be first to take the lead.

The crowd was in for a surprise when the Camels scored the first goal − in their own net. The goal, set up by User Kushaina ’14, deflected off a Conn. College player and into the net, creating an unexpected opportunity for Williams. The goal at 43:53 gave the men a 1-0 advantage just before halftime.

The second half of the game saw a more powerful Eph offense. Taking control early in the second half, Kushaina scored the first proper goal of the game at 46:40. The goal, played off an assist by rookie Mohammed Rashid ’16, increased the Williams lead to 2-0.

“It was very nice … to see Rashid storm down a flank of Conn. College defense and play it across to User [Kushaina],” Head Coach Mike Russo said. The Ephs held on to the ball despite the Camels’ attempts to equalize the score. Noah Grumman ’16 ensured that there was no chance for a Conn. College rebuttal, driving the ball into the net at 68:15 to widen Williams’ lead to 3-0.

“Noah Grumman had his first college goal, and he has been a pleasant surprise for us,” Russo said.

The Eph men carried the lead until the end of the game, trouncing the Camels 3-0.

This victory came after a difficult game against Wesleyan on Saturday, which resulted in a 0-0 score after double overtime. The men had anticipated an arduous confrontation with Wesleyan.

“We knew Wesleyan would be a very good team, and we knew that it would be a very competitive and difficult match,” Russo said. “They are organized well defensively, so it is hard to ‘break them down.’”

The men demonstrated offensive prowess throughout the game, but Wesleyan proved to be a challenging adversary, pushing Williams into its second double overtime of the season. Co-captain Matt Ratajczak ’13 left the game with an injury just before the first overtime, forcing the Ephs to pull through without one of their star players. Ratajczak’s substitute, Luke Pierce ’15, proved to be an impressive and effective replacement, however. “He did a wonderful job against Wesleyan and Conn. College,” Russo said.

Meanwhile, Than Finan ’13, who has had a spectacular season thus far, continued to impress with four saves over the course of the game. Matt Muralles ’15 also played an excellent game, leading the Ephs offense in goal attempts.

The men will seek to extend their impressive record this weekend, hosting Utica on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on Cole Field.