Men’s soccer (3-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC) capped an exciting week with a 4-2 win over Babson last Sunday, the four goals being the most they have scored in a game this season. On Saturday, they lost an overtime thriller at Trinity 2-1, and on Sept. 11, they defeated Westfield State 1-0.
On Sunday, the men traveled to Babson. Looking to rebound from an overtime loss to Trinity the day before, Williams scored early and often. A mere 90 seconds into the game, Williams drew a penalty that was coolly converted by Matt Muralles ’15. Four and a half minutes later, the Ephs were on the score sheet again. After some nifty footwork on the right flank, Jonathan Westling ’16 whipped in a cross that Patrick Gordon ’17 converted for his second goal of the season. Gordon’s goal at 6:02 gave the Ephs a 2-0 lead.
The men did not stop there, as they continued to pressure the home team. A goalbound shot by Zach Grady ’15 was turned away by the Babson keeper. In the 31st minute, forward User Kushaina ’14 stole a pass near the Babson box, took two touches and fired a shot into the bottom left corner to increase the Williams lead to 3-0. Babson nearly pulled a goal back a few minutes later as one of their shots just skimmed the crossbar. However, the Ephs struck again in the 39th minute. Chris Conder ’15 played in a cross from the left flank that found the head of Matt Kastner ’14, who made no mistake in converting the opportunity for his first goal of the season. Kastner’s score gave the Ephs a 4-0 advantage. Babson got one goal back before halftime, capping a wild first half and sending the teams to the locker room with Williams up 4-1.
In the second half, Babson increased its pressure and was rewarded with a goal in the 90th minute. However, Williams held on for a much needed 4-2 win.
“It was a great effort by the entire team, as we played with intensity the whole match,” Head Coach Mike Russo said. “I am very pleased with the finishing, as we finally capitalized on the opportunities we created.”
On Saturday, Williams traveled to Trinity for a big NESCAC game. Despite some strong early play from the Bantams, some fine saves from the Ephs’ goalkeeper and co-captain Peter Morrell ’14 kept the Ephs in the game. After a fantastic save by Morrell, the men broke forward on an explosive counter that Westling eventually converted, as he ripped an unstoppable shot from the top of the box just inside the left post for his first goal of the season. The unassisted goal from Westling at 29:52 gave Williams a 1-0 advantage.
The game then began to settle down, with Williams dominating most of the possession. However the game escalated into a frantic frenzy in the final 10 minutes. In the 86th minute, Trinity evened the score with a header past Morrell. In the ensuing overtime, it appeared as if the Ephs might have an edge, as Muralles’ shot from 20 yards out beat the Trinity keeper but caught the right post. Much to the men’s dismay, Trinity scored a heartbreaking goal in the second overtime, as a corner kick fell to Shaun McGann, who made no mistake in ripping a first-time volley past Morrell. Trinity’s goal at 95:24 pushed the team past Williams 2-1.
“We played a very disappointing first half, even though we led 1-0,” Russo said. “We were outplayed. Peter Morrell in goal was outstanding. The second half was much better, as we controlled play but again disappointing when we could not hold a 1-0 lead with four minutes left.”
On Sept. 11, Williams hosted Westfield State in its first home game of the season. The men dominated the game, outshooting Westfield 28-4. However they struggled to find the back of the net, as the Ephs sent shot after shot just wide or just over the crossbar.
Murrales broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute. He moved with grace and fluidity throughout the entire game, ghosting past Westfield defenders; he was in the right place at the right time, as he headed home the game’s only goal from a free kick by Andres’ Burbank-Crump ’15.
“We played okay, but we were not composed enough when taking our shooting opportunities,” said Russo. “When you have 28 shots, you should score at least three goals, but still, we are happy we won.”
The men will host rival Amherst this Saturday at 12 p.m.