Second-Half Surge Lifts Williams Past Bates, 3-0, in Men's Soccer Semifinal
Courtesy Williams Sports Information
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - In the semifinals of the 2006 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship, Williams used three second half goals to down Bates by a score of 3-0 on a bitter, windy day at Cole Field. Bates is eliminated from the conference tournament with a final record of 8-6-2. Williams (13-1) advances to the conference championship game tomorrow against Middlebury.
The first half of play suffered both from the brutal weather and the long time since Williams had last played a game. Their final regular season game against Amherst, scheduled for last Saturday, was cancelled due to rain.
Despite holding a clear edge on possession time and shots, Williams was plagued by sloppy passing and poor cohesion. At the half, Bates was in excellent position to pull off the upset.
"We made a 45-minute game out of it," said Bates head coach George Purgavie. "We worked our buts off this game, but Williams is the best team we've faced this year."
In the 57th minute, Pierre Meloty-Kapella, in the first start of his Williams career, broke the scoreless tie for the Ephs. Mike Darling had the ball on the goal-line extended and sent the perfect pass to Meloty-Kapella, who was streaking towards the goal and sent a diving shot into the back of the net.
In a nearly identical play just three minutes later, Darling earned his second assist of the game. This time the recipient was Dan MacGregor, who has struggled with injuries this season but enjoyed a strong game today.
MacGregor would assist on a Patrick Huffer goal at 66:13 to put the game away for the Ephs. Huffer is the leading goal scorer in NESCAC.
Williams outshot the Bobcats by a 21-4 margin. Jeff Castiglione and Greg Walker shared duties in the goal for Williams and faced no shots on goal. Keeper Rob Munro for Bates was outstanding in the goal, making 7 saves on the day.
"In the 1st half we were sluggish," said Williams head coach Mike Russo. "Bates was very well-organized on defense. In the 2nd half, our finishing was very nice."