NESCAC Final: No 8 Colby 0, No. 6 Williams 0 (2OT) Colby Wins Title on PKs

NESCAC Final: No 8 Colby 0, No. 6 Williams 0 (2OT) Colby Wins Title on PKs

Courtesy Colby Sports Information

AMHERST, Mass. - The Colby College men's soccer team made team and conference history Sunday by winning a 4-3 penalty-kick shootout over Williams College to capture the New England Small College Athletic Conference title.
 
The Mules earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The NCAA selection show will be Monday at 1 p.m. and will broadcast here. Colby wins its first NESCAC title in men's soccer and makes conference history by becoming the first eighth seed to win the league title.
 
Colby's other trip to the NCAA tourney happened in 1963, four years after the varsity program started in 1959.
 
Sunday's game will go down in the record books as a 0-0 tie, but the Mules (8-6-4 overall) win the league title and get the automatic bid to the NCAA tourney by winning the shootout.
 
The Mules had a stunning eight days of soccer, starting with last Sunday's penalty-kick shootout win over top-seeded Tufts University. Colby followed that up with a 3-1 victory over No. 4 seed Amherst College on Saturday. 
 
Combine the playoff results with Colby's 2-0 victory over Bates College in the regular-season finale to make the playoffs, the Mules have allowed just one goal in the last 400 minutes.
 
Penalty kicks
* Colby's 3-2 win against Tufts in penalty kicks gave the Mules some confidence if a shootout came up again. Colby head coach Ewan Seabrook once again went with Matt Johnson in goal during the shootout.
 
* The Mules shot second against the Jumbos last week, but were the first shooters Sunday. After the first players both missed for the Mules and Ephs, Colby's David Howarth left no doubt on his penalty kick with a hard blast, but Nick Ranieri went to the right corner for Williams to tie it at 1-1.
 
* Lucas Pereira buried his penalty kick to put the pressure on the Ephs. Williams, though, responded again when Demian Gass also went to the right corner for a 2-2 tie after three shooters.
 
* Colby went to Colin Sullivan in a pressure situation as the fourth shooter, but he handled it perfectly by giving the Mules a 3-2 edge. The Ephs' Chris Fleischer made it 3-3 after four shooters.
 
* Ethan Fabricant also had steely nerves in making the fifth penalty kick and forcing Williams to make its fifth to keep the shootout going. Johnson, who made two saves last Sunday against Tufts, made his second save against Williams to give Colby the title.
 
By the numbers
* Williams (8-5-3) had a 21-10 shot advantage and a 6-3 margin in corner kicks. Both teams had three shots in overtime.
 
* Colby goalkeeper Dan Carlson earned his shutout with nine saves, while Williams keeper Aaron Schein also had a shutout with three stops.