Late Mayernick Goal Gives Bantams Fifth Straight Win
AMHERST, Mass. – Trinity senior co-captain Dan Mayernick (Gladwyne, Pa.) broke a scoreless deadlock in the 81st minute, powering the third-seeded Bantams to a 1-0 victory over No. 4 Williams in a NESCAC Championship semifinal on Hitchcock Field. Trinity (10-4-2, 6-2-2) advances to the NESCAC Championship Final for the first time in program history, while Williams ends their season with a record of 9-4-3 and a league mark of 5-2-3.
"I'm thrilled for the guys" said Mike Pilger, Head Coach. "We're happy to [be headed to the Championship], but right now, I just want these guys to enjoy it."
Drawing a foul just above the 18-yard box in the 10th minute, Trinity recorded the game's first scoring chance, but Williams goalkeeper Than Finan '13 got both hands on a free kick by junior Anthony El-Hachem (Vernon, Conn.) to keep the game scoreless.
Going on the offensive, Williams' Patrick Ebobisse made a run down the left side before sailing a shot just high at 12:18. Minutes later, the Ephs won a free-kick from 20 yards out, but junior Matt Ratajczak lifted the shot over the bar, narrowly missing a chance to put Williams on top.
Continuing to push forward, the Ephs earned a couple of corners in the frame's final 10 minutes, but the Trinity backline cleared both set pieces without allowing a shot. With two minutes left before the intermission, Williams senior forward Daniel Morrisroe came in on the goal, but Trinity senior co-captain goalkeeper Grant Schonberg (Mendham, N.J.) came off his line, smothering the try to keep the Bantams level at the break.
With a chance to get on the board, Williams' Nick Pugliese dribbled the ball into the right side of the Trinity box less than 10 minutes into the second half. Again coming off his line, Schonberg got a hand on Pugliese's chip shot, to diffuse the Eph threat.
"I was thinking that we have one of the league's top scorers," said Pilger about the scoreless stages late in the game. "I knew we had a chance to put one away."
With both teams exchanging close calls over the next half hour of action, Trinity won a corner from the right flag at 79:57. Playing the ball short toward the top of the 18, sophomore Graham Goldstein (Mill Valley, Calif.) found senior co-captain Joe Buckley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) who ripped a low shot on goal. With Finan going to the ground to deflect the shot, an alert Mayerick swooped in for the rebound, slotting the game's first tally inside the left post at 80:04. The goal was the fourth in five games for Mayernick, who is second in the NESCAC in league scoring, and leads the league with 4 in-league game-winning goals this season.
Still trailing by one in the final minute of play, Zach Grady '14 ripped consecutive shots from point blank range, but Schonberg made a pair of big saves to preserve the Bantam lead. Drawing a foul above the 18 with the clock winding down, Williams' Andres' Burbank-Crump fired the ensuing free-kick into the Trinity wall, allowing the Bantams to escape with a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Williams finished with an 18-8 shot advantage, while Trinity held a 4-2 edge in corners. Schonberg made five saves en route to his 10th victory, while Finan made three stops in the loss.
The Bantams face the winner of this afternoon's semifinal match between No. 1 Amherst and No. 7 Middlebury in the NESCAC Championship Final tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 6. The game will be played at noon, at Amherst.