The Middlebury men’s soccer team posted a 0-1-1 record last week. Williams scored in the 102nd minute for a 2-1 NESCAC win over Middlebury on Wednesday in Massachusetts. The Panthers returned home for a rain-soaked Saturday NESCAC match with Tufts, as neither team found the back of the net in regulation as well as two overtime periods.
In Wednesday’s match, Williams’ Zach Grady worked around the back of the Middlebury defense to meet a cross giving the Ephs a 2-1 home victory.
In the seventh minute, an awkward clearance attempt from the Ephs' Brandon Dory ricocheted off a Middlebury forward before bouncing off Brandon Dory's elbow, giving the Panthers a penalty kick. Senior Noah Goss-Woliner (Waitsfield, Vt.) stepped up to the dot as Williams' goalie Bobby Schneiderman guessed correctly on Goss-Woliner's attempt to his right, but the powerful strike found the back of the net at 6:57.
In the 17th minute, Grady found Luke Pierce with an arching free kick, only to have Pierce inadvertently play the ball with his hand and negate the scoring chance. Moments later, J.C. Bahr-de Stefano snuck behind the Middlebury backline and received a second-chance cross from Andrés Burbank-Crump following one of the Ephs' nine corners. Bahr-de Stefano couldn't fully corral the bounding ball resulting in a goal kick.
In the 34th minute, the Ephs tied the match when Geoff Danilack headed Grady's back-post corner on goal, forcing Middlebury sophomore goalie Greg Sydor (Madison, Conn.) to make a difficult save as he fell to the ground. Danilack punched home the rebound for his first career goal.
Each team had chances to take the lead to break the deadlock. With just over 10 minutes to play in regulation, senior Harper Williams' (Charlotte, N.C.) cross drew Schneiderman off his line to punch the ball to the edge of the 18, where Goss-Woliner was waiting for it. Schneiderman regained his footing just in time to deny Goss-Woliner's quick shot before Michael Madding finally launched the ball out of danger.
Both teams had scoring chances in the initial extra session before Grady put home the winner early in the second overtime.
Schneiderman was credited with four saves in goal for Williams, while Sydor tied a season-high total with seven stops.
Williams held a 19-7 advantage in shots and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.
On Saturday, the tie was the third straight for Tufts, while the game was the third-straight home game Middlebury head coach David Saward has faced a former player (Norwich-Kyle Dezotell, Bowdoin-Scott Wiercinski, Tufts-Josh Shapiro).
Tufts' best chance of the first half came in the 16th minute with a pair of attempts. Monil Patel chipped a ball into the box where Jason Kayne took a couple of quick dribbles before ripping a hard shot that was saved by Sydor (six saves). The rebound came to Nathan Majumder, who missed high to keep the game scoreless.
The Jumbos threatened again in the 19th minute when Majumder's header off a Rui Pinheiro cross went left.
Middlebury had a good look in the 30th minute when Goss-Woliner received a pass in the box and was quickly surrounded before his shot was deflected, resulting in the Panther corner kick.
In the second half, Maxime Hoppenot of Tufts broke in all alone on the left side, but his hard shot was deflected by Sydor, resulting in a corner kick.
Sophomore Adam Glaser (Washington, D.C.) had a chance to put Middlebury on the board in the 80th minute, breaking in one-on-one. Moving to the middle, his hard shot went right at Tufts keeper Scott Greenwood, who made one of his three saves on the day.
In the first overtime, Tufts had a great opportunity that was thwarted by a foot save from Sydor on a hard close-range shot from Connor Brown. Sydor made a diving save in the 102nd minute to deny another chance by Hoppenot.
The second overtime saw the best chance to score come from the home team. A lengthy throw-in by sophomore Tim Ogle (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) into the box led to a scramble, before the Jumbos were able to clear the ball away.
Tufts held a 14-6 shots advantage in the game, and a 9-6 edge in corner kicks.
• Men’s soccer record: 5-2-2
• Up next: 10/11 @ Trinity – 2:00, 10/12 @ Hamilton – 1:30