Middletown, Ct --- While the first quarter has been a struggle all year for the Ephs, Williams came out strong against Wesleyan. Corey Jacobs dominated on face offs all day and took the opening one straight to the goal. Wesleyan responded though. Connor Malangone caught a high pass from Adam Michael and scored to tie the game.
Williams then put itself in an unenviable position as Mike Ryan '12 was called for a slash and Ben Bourke '12 for unnecessary roughness. The Williams defense did not panic. Despite being down two men for one minute, the Ephs forced two turnovers and allowed no shots.
The offense built on this momentum and Tommy Murray '11 found Ryan Prokesh '14 for the goal on the ensuing possession to take back the lead.
The Ephs continued their strong play as Henry Mills '11 made a great save to give the ball back to the offense. Coach George McCormack decided use a timeout to set up a play. It paid off. Sam Hargrove '12 found Mike Ryan to give Williams a 3-1 lead.
Wesleyan snuck a goal in as Aidan Daniell scooped a loose ball and found the back of the net to close the deficit to 3-2. The Eph defense, led by Alex Mendels '11, harassed the Wesleyan offense for the rest of the half, throwing good checks and forcing several turnovers. The Ephs took a 3-2 lead into halftime.
Wesleyan stepped their game up in the 3rd quarter as the Ephs' momentum stalled. The Cardinals scored two unanswered goals, both from Connor Malangone, to take their first lead of the game 4-3.
Neither team would score again though both had their chances. Henry Mills kept the Ephs in the game with several spectacular saves. On the offensive side, Murray and Will Stewart '13 both had good looks at the goals but could not convert. The Ephs managed only six shots in the second half.
With time running out, the Ephs' desperation showed. Tucker Dayton '14 was called for a slash with 1:41 remaining. After killing the penalty, the Ephs still could not get the back the ball. Wesleyan appeared to have to victory secure as a Cardinal attack-man found himself in front of an empty net. But Mills came out of nowhere to make the save. He then proceeded to carry the ball down the field and with ten seconds left he found Tommy Murray for one last chance.
Murray dodged from behind the goal and fired a last second pass across the crease where Ben Bourke was waiting. Wesleyan goalie Grant Covington made sure he never saw the ball, intercepting the pass and sealing the victory. Covington finished with 4 saves and gave up 3 goals.
Both teams played with passion and intensity in a game that was sloppy at times. Coach McCormack pointed to the play of his senior defensemen as particularly noteworthy. Henry Mills led the way tallying 12 saves while allowing 4 goals.
He was also happy with the start commenting, "More so than any other game we came out fired up to win."
Unfortunately, the Ephs could not translate the fast start into a complete game, failing to score again after an early second quarter goal. McCormack said, "Turnovers were our main nemesis." The Ephs had 28 turnovers on the day.
Williams looks to rebound against Plattsburgh St. Wednesday on Renzie Lamb Field. The game starts at 6 p.m.