Men's Soccer Gets Back on Track with 6-1 Win Over Bates

First-year Jay Heo scored a pair of goals
in his first home game for Amherst.

AMHERST, MA – The 20th-ranked Amherst College men’s soccer team ousted visiting NESCAC rival Bates College this afternoon, 6-1 in its 2008 home opener. Amherst scored early and late, with bookend goals in the 10th and 89th minutes to improve to 2-1 (1-1 NESCAC) on the year. Bates falls to 1-2 (0-2 NESCAC) with the result.

Amherst dominated every measurable statistic this afternoon, out-shooting the Bobcats on the day 20-6, and holding an 11-4 edge on corner kicks. The Lord Jeffs were the more physical team on the pitch as well, and it showed in a 19-9 fouls count.

In the 10th minute, Amherst scored off a corner kick by senior Nick Lynch (Kingston, Jamaica). Lynch’s re-start was headed first by sophomore Ian Rothkopf (Harvard, MA) and then into the net by classmate Ryan Conti (Rochester, NY).

Less than a minute later, Lynch picked up his second assist on the afternoon with a less-than-planned pass. After what looked like a Lynch shot that went way off target found its way to the foot of striker Jake Duker (Newton, MA), Lynch grabbed another helper as Duker calmly beat Bates goalie Greg Watts.

Duker tallied his second goal of the game off a through-ball by Conti in the 21st minute, before senior Grayson Holland (Sudbury, MA) pumped in a feed from sophomore Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, S. Africa) in the 27th minute.

Coming out of halftime, Bates looked as though it might pressure the lead with some early strain on the Amherst backline. The Jeffs held off the surge in energy from the Bobcats, and responded with a back-breaking goal in the 76th minute. First-year Jay Heo (Chang Won, S. Korea) scored the goal this time, after a long pass from classmate James Mooney (Princeton, NJ) led him to a full-volley past a diving keeper.

Bates responded just 65 seconds later, as David Wood beat a defender and slotted a shot under Amherst goalie Jeff Grover (Framingham, MA). With the Bobcats trailing 5-1 at that point, the goal looked as though it would be too little, too late.

Heo scored again in the 89th minute to cap the game off for the Lord Jeffs, this time smashing a half-volley back across frame after a feed from first-year Henry Rouse (Birmingham, AL).

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Amherst walked away with an impressive home-opening win. Grover was credited with five saves in 87 minutes of action, while Watts made 7 saves, going the distance in net for Bates.

Amherst will have just this evening to rest before traveling to face non-conference foe Suffolk University tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.