Williams Rallies to Take 2-1 Win Over Middlebury in Men's Soccer Semifinals

Courtesy Bowdoin Sports Information

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Williams College men's soccer team rallied to take an improbable 2-1 overtime victory over Middlebury on Saturday afternoon in the NESCAC Semifinals at Bowdoin College. The Ephs scored the game-tying goal with three seconds remaining on the clock and got a goal from Khari Stephenson at the 93:26 mark of overtime to take the victory and advance to the NESCAC Championship Game tomorrow versus Amherst at 12:00 noon.

An evenly-played contest saw Williams' Alex Blake get the first good chance, coming loose in the box 21 minutes into the match. But the Panthers' netminder Eric Lindholm stopped him cold from point-blank range, keeping the game scoreless. Just minutes later, the Panthers had a chance from five yards out, but a shot by Sam Raymond was deflected by Williams netminder Nick Armington. Late in the first half, Williams' Romel Wallen received a red card and was ejected, forcing the Ephs to play a man down as the game entered the second half scoreless.

The one-man deficit looked to be the difference as the Panthers controlled the pace of play in the second frame. Middlebury could not convert on good chances, though, including a flurry of shots in front of the net with ten minutes left in which three Panthers missed from close range. With less than five minutes left, Middlebury's all-time leading goal scorer Kyle Dezotell came through with a clutch goal, firing a shot from just inside the box to the lower left corner, giving the Panthers a 1-0 edge.

The contest appeared to be all but over as the Ephs frantically attempted to get the game-tying goal. The Panthers cleared the ball with 10 seconds remaining, but Williams' keeper Armington- who had come out to midfield in support- played a long ball back into the box. After a scrum in front, the ball came loose to Ryan Olsen, who toed the ball just beyond a diving Lindholm for the game-tying score with three seconds left in regulation. It took just three minutes of overtime to decide the contest as Blake took the ball along the sideline and found Stephenson with an accurate cross in front. Stephenson buried the ball into the corner of the net and the Ephs took the 2-1 win.