Jae Heo Scores Game-Winner in 2-1 Win Over Williams

Jae Heo
First-year Jae Heo scored the game-winner in
his first game against Williams.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s soccer team played host to the visiting Ephs of Williams College this afternoon at Hitchcock Field in a crucial NESCAC match. The Lord Jeffs were able to push closer to clinching a home game in the upcoming NESCAC Championship with a 2-1 win over their archrivals.

Prior to the game, Amherst recognized the eight members of the team who were playing in their final regular season NESCAC home game before graduating this spring. Seniors Jeff Grover (Framingham, MA), Joe Addison (Midlothian, VA), Mike Connolly (Amherst, MA), Taylor Brown (Boulder, CO), Nick Lynch (Kingston, Jamaica), Grayson Holland (Sudbury, MA), Rory O’Connor (W. Boylston, MA) and Jake Duker (Newton, MA) were honored for their contributions to the program over the last four years.

In the last 25 years, Amherst had defeated Williams just three times, with last season’s 1-0 road win being the most recent. The graduating seniors evened up the series during over the last four years with the win this afternoon.

Amherst started the game with early pressure into the Williams defensive third, and looked dangerous on a handful of occasions. Duker had the best early chance of the game, but was unable to put his shot under the cross bar.

The Ephs scored the game’s opening goal against the run of play, on an own goal by Amherst. After a shot from a tough angle by Pierre Meloty-Kapella, Amherst’s Matt Lewis (Wayland, MA) could do nothing to keep it out of his own net.

Amherst equalized with just 1:10 showing on the clock in the first half, and was able to swing momentum in its direction heading into the break. Lynch swung a hard cross on frame, where Andrew Graham was unable to punch the ball out of harm’s way. The punched ball came off an Eph defender and into the back of the Williams net for the game’s second own goal.

Just eleven minutes into the second half, first-year forward Jae Heo (ChangWon, S. Korea) introduced himself to the heated rivalry with his ninth goal of the season. After a long free kick from inside Amherst’s half by O’Connor, Heo freed himself for a wicked right-footed strike past Graham.

Heo nearly capitalized on a Graham error minutes later, after an Eph defender played a ball back to the Williams keeper. Heo took the ball 25 yards from frame, and then after a beautiful step-over, riffled a left-footed bid just wide of the far post.

The intensity of this heated rivalry game picked up significantly over the final third of the game, with Williams pushing numbers into the Amherst defensive half. The Amherst defense would bend, but not break as time ran out down the stretch. Using a number of substitutes at striker, Amherst effectively ran out the game by pushing the ball into the corners of the Ephs half.

Time ticked off on a 2-1 win for Amherst, improving the team to 8-3-1 (4-3-1 NESCAC) on the year. With the loss, the Ephs fall to 7-4-2 (4-3-1 NESCAC), with just one conference game remaining.

First-year Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) made three saves in net for Amherst, while Graham turned away three Amherst shots in net for the Ephs. The Lord Jeffs will face Rhode Island College in non-conference play on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for their next action.