Williams College and Elizabethtown College met at SUNY Cortland to open their NCAA Tournament runs on Saturday night. The former played three games in NECSAC Tournament play without conceding a single goal in regulation. Elizabethtown also had a successful season as the Blue Jays picked up their first-ever Landmark Conference title.
Williams College Ephs: Schein; Ranieri, Dory, Macdonald, Matthew; Bardong, Boardman, Fleischer; Gass, Felito, Hirsch.
Elizabethtown College Blue Jays: Gately, Sullivan, Gochnauer, Rainey, Connolly; Colasanto, Wiliamson, Haaf, Sanchiz; Visser, Waso.
The opening 15 minutes saw no clear-cut opportunities for either side as the teams felt each other out hoping to get a sense of how their opponent played. The first chance came through a set piece opportunity. On the corner kick, Williams’ Andrew Matthew leaped highest but his headed-effort went inches over the crossbar.
The Williams College “Ephs” portrayed aerial dominance in the 22ndminute to break the deadlock. After two headed flicks found Demain Gass at the far post, the forward made no mistake heading the ball past the Elizabethtown goalkeeper.
After bouncing off multiple players and the post, the Blue Jays found their equalizer in the 42ndminute. Gilbert Wasso showed why he led his team in goals this season and he stayed persistent and made sure Elizabethtown found their equalizer prior to the halftime whistle.
Gass was in search of his second goal at the start of the second half and the forward nearly found it in the 7thminute. After picking up the ball at the corner of the penalty area, the Junior curled an effort aimed at the far corner. Unfortunately for Gass, Brian Gately was ready for the effort and pulled it in.
It was Jorge Sanchiz who scored the goal to break the deadlock giving “E-Town” their first lead of the night. The Barcelona native took on multiple defenders before sliding the ball under Aaron Schein. This was Sanchiz’s fourth goal of the season, and may just be his most important to date.
Both sides continued to create opportunities with the Ephs seemingly having a physical advantage while the Blue Jays relied more on their skill setting up an entertaining affair. A huge chance came in the 79thminute when Blue Jay Goalkeeper, Brian Gately, was forced to make a pair of saves from close range.
Despite Williams College’s persistence, E-Town was able to hold them off and advance to the next round of the NCAA Tournament. Next up, the Blue Jays will take on the Cortland Red Dragons with the latter playing host.