O'Donnell Leads Amherst to 2-1 Win Over Connecticut

Senior tri-captain Ryan O'Donnell scored both of Amherst's goals in a 2-1 win over Conn. College.

NEW LONDON, CT – The third-ranked Amherst College men’s soccer team traveled to NESCAC rival Conn. College for a rare mid-week conference match-up this afternoon.

Amherst put its perfect record on the line against the Camels, who entered the game just a single spot above last place Bates College. Amherst emerged victorious on a pair of goals from senior tri-captain Ryan O’Donnell (Belchertown, MA), including one with less than two minutes remaining.

A tough NESCAC opponent was just what Amherst first-year head coach Justin Serpone had in mind for a mid-week tune-up heading into this Saturday’s much anticipated game against visiting Middlebury College. The Panthers improved to a perfect 7-0 (4-0 NESCAC) with a 2-1 win this afternoon over Norwich University.

The Lord Jeffs took the first lead of the game in the 40th minute on a score from O’Donnell. The goal was set up by junior Jake Duker (Newton, MA), who picked up his first assist of the season.

The score from O’Donnell was the lone goal of the first half, as Amherst coasted into halftime leading 1-0. Play was very tight in the first frame, as the Camels held a 7-6 advantage in shots, while Amherst took the corner kick battle 3-2 in the frame.

The second half saw more of the same from both sides, as Conn. College found the equalizer in the 71st minute on a goal from Chris Meinke. The score was the junior midfielder’s first point of the season.

The Jeffs seemed as though they were going to finish regulation without a lead for just the second time this season, when O’Donnell struck again. This time, with only one minute and thirty-two seconds remaining, the midfielder scored on a low cross from classmate Jon Pryor (Roslyn, NY). Pryor’s first points of the season came at just the right time, as the assist gave Amherst the win.

Amherst improved to 8-0 (5-0 NESCAC) after the win, and remains atop the conference standings, despite Middlebury’s win today. The two powerhouses are both currently ranked in the nation’s top-10 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and square off at Amherst’s Hitchcock Field this Saturday at 1 p.m.