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Scoring burst stuns otherwise game men's soccer vs. Williams

Co-captain Greg Watts '12 had one spectacular diving save in an otherwise hard-luck game in goal. (File photo)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Williams College scored three goals in a 13-minute span of the first half to run away with a 3-0 NESCAC men's soccer victory over Bates College in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

Ephs sophomore User Kushaina (Mutare, Zimbabwe) scored a pair of goals sandwiched around a spectacular score by junior Patrick Ebobisse (Bethesda, Md.) in the 26th minute. Zach Grady rolled a pass backward to Ebobisse, who from about 30 yards out at an angle stepped into a laser of a shot that buzzed past Bates senior goalie Greg Watts (West Chester, Pa.) and inside the far post.

Kushaina made it 1-0 in the 14th minute, getting around a Bates defender toward the left baseline. His shot from five yards away from the post ricocheted off a second Bates back and into the net, the type of goal a keeper can do nothing about.

Kushaina made it 3-0 at the 26:37 mark, just 80 seconds after Ebobisse's tally. A somewhat shellshocked Bates squad was left overloaded to one side of the field, allowing Nick Pugliese to find Kushaina unguarded to convert on a free shot against Watts.

What had been a very evenly played first half had changed on the scoreboard in a hurry. The Bobcats regrouped before the end of the half and played evenly with the Ephs throughout the second half, mounting some strong scoring chances for forwards like junior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.), sophomore Tyler Grees (Williamstown, Mass.), senior Chris Okano (Los Angeles, Calif.) and first-year Lee Sandquist (Doylestown, Pa.), but Bates couldn't make a dent in Williams' big lead.

Watts and Williams sophomore goalie Peter Morrell (Brunswick, Maine) made three saves apiece.

The first-year players who got on the field for Bates showed great promise, including starters Nick Sorice (Pelham, N.Y.) and Tyler Schleich (Santa Barbara, Calif.), as well as reserves Sandquist and Nick Ford (Columbus, Ohio).

Bates plays its first non-conference game of the season at UMaine-Farmington on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

STATS: Williams 3, Bates 0