Middlebury battled with NESCAC foe Williams for 110 minutes Tuesday, earning a 1-1 draw with the Ephs in the regular-season finale for both teams. The win secured the sixth seed in the NESCAC Tournament for Middlebury (7-2-6, 3-2-5) and a road game in the quarterfinals on Saturday against third-seeded Connecticut College at 12:30 p.m. Williams (7-3-5, 5-2-3) have clinched the No. 4 seed in the tournament and will played fifth-seeded Bates. With the draw, the Panthers set a program record for ties in a season, surpassing the 2014 team with five.
In a first half where shots were hard to come by, Williams had its best scoring chance in the 29th minute. Demian Gass ripped a rising attempt from 35 yards that was tipped over the crossbar by Panther goalie Ryan Grady. Middlebury had its best opportunity eight minutes later when a header from Michael McFarlane sailed just high from eight yards away.
The visitors grabbed the early lead less than 10 minutes into the second half. After a Panther foul 40 yards from the goal, Andrew Mathew took the free kick and lifted a shot that rode the wind and tucked in under the crossbar at 54:45. The tally was his second of the year. The Panthers leveled the score at 1-1 in the 64th minute on a goal from Brendan Barry. McFarlane drove down the left side, sending a cross into the penalty area that Barry headed inside the left post past Eph goalie Michael Davis for his second goal of the season at 63:54.
The Ephs nearly took the lead in the 69th minute when Eli Petrik redirected a cross from five yards away that Grady deflected and hit the crossbar, before the Panther keeper could collect it. The Panthers looked to take the lead with 11:37 left in regulation, but a shot from Ben Potter from 15 yards out was denied by Williams defender Jamie Holland on the left post.
In the first overtime, a header attempt by Will Felitto for the visitors four minutes in on a corner kick went just high. The second extra stanza saw both teams have one chance, as a shot by Middlebury's Jacob LaBranche from 18 yards was saved by Davis four minutes in. Nearly three minutes later, a rising attempt from the Ephs' Justin Adams inside the box was corralled by Grady to give each team a point in the conference standings.
Grady made nine saves in net for the hosts, while Davis had a pair of stops for Williams. The Ephs held a 14-7 margin in shots, while the Panthers had a narrow 6-4 edge in corner kicks.