WILLIAMSTOWN -- Williams College goalie Sean Dougherty was named an All-NESCAC second-team selection this week. If the Ephs are going to win the conference title this weekend, he might have to play like a first teamer.
Dougherty and the Ephs head to Brunswick, Maine to begin the NESCAC tournament semifinals. Williams will play Trinity in the first game of a doubleheader at Bowdoin College on Saturday. Top-seeded Bowdoin will play No. 5 Middlebury in the second game. The championship game is Sunday at 2 p.m.
Dougherty earned second-team honors after leading NESCAC with a 1.98 goals-against average. The sophomore keeper played more minutes than anyone in NESCAC, had the second-best save percentage at .933, and the Williams defense was the best in the conference, giving up 2 goals per game.
"He’s played that way all year. He’s been consistent," said Williams coach Bill Kangas. "He’s been a guy we’ve leaned on."
Today’s game is a battle between the No. 2 and 3 seeds in the tournament. The Ephs earned the second seed by going 12-4-2 in conference play, while the third-seeded Bantams were 11-4-3 in the conference.
Williams was 0-1-1 against Trinity this year, tying the Bantams 1-1 in Connecticut and losing at Lansing Chapman Rink 3-1.
Trinity needed to rally in the final seven minutes of the third period, scoring two goals to tie, and then beating No. 6 Wesleyan 5-4 in overtime. Williams beat Colby in the quarterfinals 2-1.
Trinity’s John Hawkrigg led the conference in game-winning goals, while the Bantams’ Jeff Menard led the team with 5 goals and 23 assists in the regular season.
Williams did not have one of the leading scorers in the conference, but sophomore forward Peter Mistretta was tied for fourth in the league with 14 goals.
"Everybody is pitching in. Everybody is realizing how important [the game]] is," said Kangas. "Any moment something can happen. Whether it’s a blocked shot or a great [offensive] play. The next shift has to be good."