Hartford, Conn. - After trailing, 6-3 at the half, the Williams College Ephs scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter to propel themselves to a 10-9 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on Saturday afternoon in both teams' New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's lacrosse opener at Jessee/Miller Field in Hartford. Trinity falls to 1-2 on the year while the Ephs pick up their first win of the season, improving to 1-2 also. Trinity returns to action on Wednesday when they travel to Salve Regina for a 4 p.m. start.
Sophomore Ben Ferrucci (Essex, Conn.) led the way for Trinity on offense, scoring a game-high three times, while junior Ben Knaus (Ross, Calif.) and rookie Drew Kozub (Hopkinton, Mass.) found the back of the net two times each. Senior tri-captain Ryan Tassan (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) led the Bantams on the defensive end, finishing tied for a game-high four caused turnovers, while classmate Brian Crowe (Cranbury, N.J.) scooped up five ground balls for Trinity, second to junior faceoff man Scott Morgan (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Williams had three players score two goals, John Hincks (Newtonville, Mass.), Kevin Stump (Allentown, Pa.) and Brendan Hoffman (Darien, Conn.), while Angus O'Rourke (Newton, Mass.) went 10-for-17 in the faceoff circle and collected a game-high seven ground balls.
Both sides played an even first quarter which ended in a 2-2 tie. Stump assisted Hincks on the game's first goal just 2:46 into the opening whistle before almost ten minutes without another tally. With 3:55 left to go in the first, Crowe made a geat play for the Bantams, scooping up a loose ball near midfield and racing towards Williams goalie George Peele (Norwalk, Conn.) before firing the ball into the top shelf of the net to tie things, 1-1. James McFarland (Northbrook, Ill.) and Ferrucci traded goals in the final 2:43 of the quarter as the teams began the second quarter deadlocked at 2-2.
The second quarter was all Trinity, which opened up a 6-3 lead at the halftime break thanks to four second quarter scores. The first came on a ridiculous goal by sophomore Andrew Collins (Brookfield, Conn.) who fired a shot from his shoe strings as he was falling down near the Eph crease, but still managed to bury the ball into net to give the hosts their first lead of the afternoon. After a goal by Stump with 10:31 left to go before the half to tie things once again, at 3-3, Knaus, Kozub and Ferrucci all added tallies to make it a three-goal advtantage for Trinity at intermission.
The tide turned in the third quarter as Williams exploded for four-straight goals to go ahead, 7-6. Hoffman started the rally with a goal less than two minutes into the quarter before Stump added his second goal of the day with 9:39 left to play in the third. Calvin Collins (Portland, Ore.) scored unassisted just 25 seconds after Stump's goal, before Jared Strauss (Woodmere, N.Y.) beat Trinity senior tri-captain and goalie Woody Hamilton (Williamstown, Mass.) to open up the 7-6 lead. Knaus found Kozub who buried his second goal of the game with 30 seconds remaining in the third to make it a 7-7 tie as the two sides entered the final quarter of action.
Williams scored right out of the gates once again as Hoffman reclaimed a one-goal lead for the Ephs just 46 seconds into the final quarter. Cory Lund (El Segundo, Calif.) gave Williams some more breathing room, scoring via an assist from Hincks with 9:39 to play to put the visitors ahead, 9-7. After five minutes without incident, Ferrucci cut the deficit to 9-8 after a smooth pass by sophomore Morty Fearey (Duxbury, Mass.) put him in position to beat Peele. With 2:58 showing on the board, Hoffman and Hincks connected for the tenth Eph goal of the afternoon to reclaim a two-goal lead and put Trinity up against the ropes. Williams played stout defense in the second half as Peele, who finished with 15 saves, made several clutch stops late to preserve the lead. Knaus scored for Trinity with 12 seconds left, giving the Bantams one last chance to tie it. Trinity rookie Liam Fitzgerald (Skillman, N.J.) won the ensuing faceoff but the Eph defense held their ground as a last-second shot by junior Teddy Myers (Washington, D.C.) was gobbled up by Peele to seal the 10-9 Williams victory.