Lord Jeffs Come Up Short Against Williams, 2-1

Senior Chris Devine came off the bench to give
Amherst a lift in its comeback attempt.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s soccer team played host to 7th-ranked NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College this afternoon at Hitchcock Field. The Lord Jeffs fell behind by a pair of scores before finding the net on a penalty kick. Amherst was unable to find a second goal for an equalizer, and dropped a result 2-1 to fall to 4-2 (2-2 NESCAC) on the year. With the win, Williams remains unbeaten at 6-0-1 (3-0-1 NESCAC).

Over the first 20 minutes of play, the Ephs had a handful of near chances, with their best opportunities coming off set pieces. After coming onto the field in the 21st minute, Amherst first-year Robert Gooden (Atlanta, GA) nearly scored the game’s first goal on his introductory touch. After a good cross from junior Ian Rothkopf (Harvard, MA), Gooden scrambled to a loose ball at the top of the box and nearly deflected a clearance attempt by an Eph defender in for a score.

With 11:59 to play in the frame, Williams forward Gaston Kelly picked up a loose ball 25 yards outside the Amherst net. After eluding one Lord Jeff defender, Kelly let fly a hard low shot that beat Amherst goalie Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) to the left lower corner.

The score proved to be the only of the first half, as the Ephs took a 1-0 lead into halftime. Amherst came out of the break with a renewed fire, and put a lot of early pressure on the Eph defense. The Jeffs put four early shots on the Williams frame, and looked destined to find an equalizer.

In the 62nd minute, Williams responded with a second goal, this time against the run of play. Pierre Meloty-Kapella made a darting run down the right side to the end line, before clipping a pass back to the six-yard box for Charles Romero to run onto. Romero calmly deposited a one-time shot into the left side netting for a 2-0 Williams lead.

With 11:39 to play in the second half, Amherst’s Chris Linsmayer (Denver, CO) drew a foul in the Williams penalty box to earn a penalty kick. Amherst co-captain Matt Lewis (Wayland, MA) stepped up for the kick, and beat Williams netminder Andrew Graham.

Amherst continued to push numbers forward for a tying goal but ran out of time, as the Williams defense held up. On the day, Amherst was out-shot 16-12 and lost the corner kick battle 7-6. As typical for this intense rivalry, there were 27 fouls and five yellow cards.

The Lord Jeffs will look to rebound mid-week against Framingham State at home, before hosting Middlebury College next Saturday in a rematch of the past two NESCAC Championship games.