KEENE, N.H. 9/27/04 - Two of the nations' top Division III men's soccer teams will face each other on Wednesday night at Owl Athletic Complex when 25th ranked Keene State College takes on ninth ranked Williams College in a 5 p.m. non-conference game.
Ranked fourth regionally, the Owls (5-1-1, 1-0 LEC), who are coming off a key 3-1 Little East road win at Western Conn. on Saturday, know they will have to be ready for a tough, physical game against the Ephs (3-1-1, 2-1 NESCAC). "When you play a team like Williams, it's a bench-mark game," said KSC Coach Ron Butcher. "You find out where you're at and what you have to do to prepare for the post-season."
The Owls, who got two goals from Casey Banks (6-1-13) in Saturday's win over the Colonials, will come into the game-shorthanded. Senior midfielder Joey Amaio will have to sit out the game after receiving two yellow cards against WCSU.
After opening their season with consecutive shutouts against Wesleyan, Babson, and Conn., the Ephs, ranked second in New England, have come up winless in their last two games. Williams played Wheaton to a scoreless tie and lost 1-0 at home to Bowdoin College on Sunday. "One game is not going to ruin our season, but we know we have to make some adjustments and we have to get better," said Williams Coach Mike Russo. "If we can come away with a win against Keene I think that would be huge for us, but we've got our work cut out for us, Keene's got a very strong team."
Williams, whom advanced to the third round of last year's NCAA Tournament, own a 4-1 series advantage over the Owls. Last season the Ephs edged KSC 4-3 in a double-overtime game at Williams. KSC's lone victory over WC (2-1) came during the 2002 season and earned the Owls home field advantage for the NCAA New England Regional Tournament. Hoping to play Williams for the regional title that year, KSC fell 1-0 to Arcadia University in it's opening round game.