Williams soccer teams advance in NCAA D-III tournaments
WILLIAMSTOWN -- Both Williams College soccer teams will move to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III tournaments.
Playing side-by-side on Cole Field Sunday, the Williams men scored four second-half goals to beat Western New England 4-1, while the women shut out Keene State 3-0.
The Eph men will play Brandeis this Saturday after the Judges knocked off Roger Williams 1-0. The site and the time of that game will be announced later today. The Eph women, meanwhile will play Johns Hopkins on Saturday. That site and time will also be announced.
The men’s game featured a teacher-pupil matchup as Western New England coach Erin Sullivan was the goalkeeper for Williams coach Mike Russo when the Ephs won a Division III national championship in 1995. Sullivan made eight saves in a 2-1 win over Methodist at Cole Field.
It’s a matchup they have chosen to forego during the regular season, and in the first 45 minutes, it was beginning to look like Russo wouldn’t have minded foregoing it again.
Williams outshot WNE 10-3 in the first half, but it was the Golden Bears who got the goal when Brandon Bolger scored at 4:31. That was how the half ended.
"It was a tough first half. We were asleep and they took advantage of it," said Russo. "We had been in this situation before, so the boys came out in the second half and just played with so much competitive fire."
It took Williams nearly 20 minutes to get a ball past WNE goalie Domenick Villano, but once the first one got by, the goals came in a bunch.
Malcolm Mountenat took a free kick that Chris Conder played ahead to Jonathan Westling. Westling headed the ball out of the air and into the net at 63:24.
Just about four minutes later, All-NESCAC midfielder Matt Murrales took a centering pass from Mohammed Rashid and deflected the ball into the goal. Luke Pence and Westling scored in the final 15 minutes to account for the 4-1 final.
Williams dominated the stat sheet as well. The Ephs outshot the Golden Bears 33-3 and had a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks. Villano made 11 saves and Peter Morrell made one.
The women, who beat Lesley 5-1 on Saturday, picked up where they left off Sunday.
Carla Nicasio, who scored in the first minute Saturday, waited until 7:49 to put the Ephs on the board. Alex McInturf sent the ball into the box for Nicasio, who moved to beat a defender and shot into the lower right corner.
Some 30 minutes later, Allison Magruder got her third goal of the tournament when she fielded a long ball from Lilly Wellenbach. Magruder cut toward the middle at the left post, deked Keene goalie Victoria Crenson, and scored her seventh of the year.
Freshman Audrey Thomas completed the scoring in the second half.
Goalie Hannah Van Wetter, who only played a half Saturday, was on top of her game Sunday. The junior keeper faced 11 shots and made five saves.
"It’s big. It’s special to be [in the Sweet 16]," Van Wetter said. "We haven’t been there since my freshman year. Our ultimate goal is getting to [San Antonio] Texas [for the Final Four]. We’re two more games away from that. We just have to take care of them."