Steffen has allowed one goal this season -- in the sixth minute of the season opener vs. the New York Red Bulls.
He extended his scoreless streak 444 minutes thanks to a grabbing a loose ball in the box before Cristian Penilla could get a shot off in the 89th minute.
The Revolution (1-4-1, 4 points) went down a man in the 64th minute when defender Michael Mancienne was shown a red card. He picked up his second yellow card on a dangerous challenge on Federico Higuain in the center circle as the Crew (4-1-1, 13 points) went on the counterattack.
William's sitting header in the 42nd minute on a free kick by Higuain was the difference. Higuain earned his 61st career assist to tie Robert Warzycha atop the Crew's all-time list.
The goal was the third on a set piece this season to come from the center back position for the Crew with Gaston Sauro scoring the other two. Williams was eight yards out when he flicked the ball to the far right post for his eighth goal in 148 MLS matches.
New England had a chance in the 11th minute. Jalil Anibaba ripped a shot from 35 yards that was targeted for the left corner, but Steffen stretched to make the save.
Columbus is 5-0-1 at home in the regular season vs. the Revolution since New England's last win on Oct. 27, 2013.
The teams next play on April 13 when the Crew visits the Montreal Impact while New England hosts Atlanta United.