Williams stuns No. 6 Tufts 15-8 after finishing game on 13-3 run
KEENE, N.H. -- Though they found themselves trailing at 5-2 early in the contest, the Williams College Ephs (6-3, 4-1 NESCAC) defeated No. 6 Tufts (7-2, 4-1 NESCAC) on Tuesday 15-8. Steven Kiesel led the scoring with four goals, while goalkeeper Dan Whittam contributed with a critical 17 saves. John Maimone-Medwick and Stephen Upton were among several Ephs to contribute with multiple forced turnovers.
Tufts entered the contest as the top team in this week's Division III New England poll, while the Ephs had been voted ninth. The Ephs' earlier winning streak had been broken last week after two out-of-conference losses.
Though it was technically the Ephs' second home game of the season, the two NESCAC opponents met at Keene State College while athletic fields remain under construction in Williamstown.
Kiesel was the high scorer for either team, but eight different Ephs netted at least one goal. Andy Grabowski scored the first goal of the game with 11:32 remaining in the quarter. However, Jumbo Cole Bailey answered back about a minute later, and the score was tied.
Williams made a few attempts to pull ahead but failed to do so in those early minutes. Finally, Tufts broke through and went on a three-goal run to pull ahead. The score was 4-1.
Each team then traded a goal, putting the score at 5-2.
In the final minute of the quarter, Khary Dennis scored. This would be the first of many consecutive goals for Williams, lifting them toward a lead. The first quarter wrapped at 5-3 in favor of Tufts, but it would not be indicative of the final outcome.
Five goals were scored in the second quarter, between four different Ephs. Tufts tried and failed to find the back of the net. Though possession switched hands often, Whittam made it difficult for the Jumbos to follow through on their plays.
Grabowski opened the third quarter with a goal, much like he did to start the contest. However, the Jumbos were relentless. They finally broke through Whittam's wall: Peter Bowers and John Upreggen scored back-to-back goals to put the score at 7-9.
A series of productive plays in the midfield led to another Williams goal, this time form first-year Michael Fahey.
Fahey's shot was followed by a Tufts goal, their last of the contest.
Riley Hoffman netted a goal for the Ephs, while Dennis and Kiesel each racked up one more of their own. The third quarter closed at 13-8.
The fourth quarter remained as competitive as ever as Tufts fought back with intensity. Whittam was solid in the net, giving his team a handful of opportunities to pull further ahead. Joe Kinney and Eric Kelley each found the net once more to ensure a 15-8 victory.
"It was a great day for us," Coach McCormack said. "The defense stepped up in the second quarter, and then our offense started clicking, as well. Everybody contributed."
Williams and Tufts were both active offensively, taking 38 and 39 shots, respectively. Tufts won 18 of the 27 faceoffs, an element of the game normally controlled by the Ephs. Tufts had 28 ground balls to Williams' 26. The teams even had the same number of penalties, at five apiece.