Men's Soccer Suffers First Loss of the Season on 86th Minute Goal

The Jeffs suffered their first loss of the season against
Wesleyan, but remain atop the NESCAC Standings with
just a single week to play.

AMHERST, MA – The third-ranked Amherst College men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season this afternoon, 2-1 to Wesleyan University on a goal in the 86th minute. Amherst moves to 11-1 (7-1 NESCAC) with the result, but stays atop the conference standings.

In front of the biggest crowd of the season at Hitchcock Field, the Jeffs came out of the gate at Homecoming firing on all cylinders. Amherst almost scored the opening goal of the game in the 13th minute when some nice combination play led to an over-the-shoulder full volley from senior Kevin Dolan (Peabody, MA). Dolan’s shot was saved by Wesleyan’s goal keeper, Jamie Hiteshew.

The Jeffs continued to pepper Hiteshew with shots throughout the opening half of play, including a slew of chances from junior Nick Lynch (Kingston, Jam.) and sophomore Rob Denious (Bloomfield Hills, MI).

Senior tri-captain Ryan O’Donnell (Belchertown, MA) had a free kick played in to his feet with his back to the Wesleyan goal in the 38th minute, and turned to fire a shot that was very promising, but saved by Hiteshew.

Amherst out shot the Cardinals 6-2 in the first half, but the game was scoreless heading into halftime. The scoreless stretch would be ended by Amherst senior tri-captain Taylor Downs (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) just seven minutes into the second half on a bizarre series of events

Dolan played a long ball into space, setting up a foot race between Hiteshew and Downs at the top of the box. Wet field conditions played to Amherst’s favor, as the ball stuck in the mud, stranding the Cardinal goalie way off his line, and allowing Downs a clear advantage to chip the ball over a helpless Hiteshew.

Wesleyan battled back, and found the equalizer in the 66th minute on a long cross from Matt Nevin to a soaring Ethan Robinson at the back post for a header.

Amherst tried to find a game-winner as the game went on, but suffered a set-back when Wesleyan’s Kyle Nuland took a loose rebound in the Amherst box and roofed it up the middle of Jeff Grover’s (Framingham, MA) goal in the 86th minute.

Amherst pushed the entire team into the Wesleyan box in the final minutes of the game, and pumped home a goal in the 90th minute off a corner kick, only to have a linesmen disallow the score for an offsides violation.

Amherst will certainly look to rebound from the loss this Tuesday when they take the field for a mid-week, non-conference match-up at Rhode Island College at 6:00 p.m.