Heo's Hat Trick Leads Amherst to 3-0 Win Over Tufts

First-year Jae Heo scored a natural hat trick
in Amherst's 3-0 win over Tufts.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s soccer team continued its five-game home stand with a 3-0 victory over Tufts University on Hitchcock Field. First-year Jae Heo (Changwon, South Korea) recorded a natural hat trick to lead the Lord Jeffs, with sophomore Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, South Africa) picking up a pair of assists.

Amherst moves to 5-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the NESCAC, while Tufts falls to 4-3-1 overall and 1-3-0 in conference play. The Jeffs are now 8-3-1 against the Jumbos in the last 12 meetings.

It took Amherst just five minutes to get on the scoreboard, as a beautiful cross from Tsatsimpe on the left wing made its way to Heo, who jumped up and sent a sharp header past a diving David McKeon (Loudonville, NY) to mark his fifth goal of the season.

The young Amherst pair connected again just 15 minutes later when Tsatsimpe played a through-ball ahead to Heo, who got thrown into a footrace with McKeon. The speedy Amherst forward just barely beat the Tufts keeper to the punch and was able to poke a slow roller to the back of the net for the game’s second goal.

Amherst carried its 2-0 lead into halftime with an 8-3 edge in shots, with McKeon making three saves and first-year Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) stopping three shots for the Jeffs. Tufts did not take one corner kick in the first 45 minutes, while Amherst took six.

The second half was much of the same, with Heo providing the only offense and Kovacs preserving the shutout. Heo’s third and final goal came in the 64th minute when he got caught up with three defenders 30 yards away from net but had the ball bounce free to him, allowing him to dribble to the 18 and use the outside of his right foot to sneak a shot inside the left post.

Amherst out-shot Tufts 11-4 in the second frame and won the corner kick battle, 7-2. Kovacs finished with six saves, while junior Pat Tonelli (Andover, MA) played the second half for the Jumbos and recorded two saves.

While Heo increased his season point total from nine to 15, Kovacs lowered his goals-against average from 0.3 to 0.23, as both first-years have made immediate impacts on the team. Kovacs’ shutout was the second in as many games, as he has not allowed a goal in his last 298 minutes of action and has now saved 93.8 percent of the shots he has faced.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Wednesday, Oct. 8 when they host Connecticut College at 4 p.m. on Gooding Field, while the Jumbos will host Plymouth State Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.