Amherst Earns 1-0 Win Over Framingham State

Lennard Kovacs '12 made seven saves to earn an impressive shutout victory.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s soccer team got an exceptional performance from sophomore goalkeeper Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) during a 1-0 win over Framingham State College Wednesday night at Gooding Field. The Lord Jeffs improve to 5-2-0 (2-2-0 NESCAC), while the Rams fall to 3-7-1 (2-1-0 MASCAC).

Kovacs made seven saves to earn the impressive shutout, his fourth of the season. Junior Greg Halle played well in net for the Rams, stopping three shots in the losing effort to move his record to 2-4-1.

Junior forward Ian Rothkopf (Harvard, MA) scored the game’s lone goal in the 57th minute. Sophomore defender Sam Kaplan (Brunswick, ME) was credited with his first assist of the season.

The game’s first shot on goal came in the fourth minute when first-year Will Menter ripped a free kick low and to the corner from 30 yards out. The Rams were trying to take advantage of extremely windy conditions, but an unfazed Kovacs dove to his left and punched the ball away for an early save.

The Rams once again tried to use the wind to their advantage on a free kick in the 17th minute when junior Joel Kayima played a ball high and to the corner, but Kovacs was there to make another diving save.

The Jeffs controlled the final 10 minutes of the first half and put together several promising sequences, but they were unable to get on the scoreboard. Their best chance came 36 minutes into the contest when Rothkopf played the ball ahead to first-year Robert Gooden (Atlanta, GA) in the box. Gooden managed to turn and put a shot on net, but the ball deflected off Halle and resulted in a corner kick.

Ian Rothkopf '11 scored the game's lone goal in the 57th minute to get Amherst back on track.

Amherst continued to pressure the Ram defense and had one last scoring opportunity in the opening half. Junior defender Chris Skayne (Boxborough, MA) sent a pass to senior co-captain G.L. Genco (Hauppauge, NY), who received the ball in the box and tried to flick it over Halle, but his attempt drifted over the net. At halftime the hosts held a 5-4 advantage in shots and a 5-1 edge in corners.

The next big save for Kovacs came eight minutes into the second half when Framingham first-year Erick Nader freed himself for a shot from 20 yards out on the left side. Nader’s attempt was headed straight for the upper right hand corner of the goal, but the Lord Jeff keeper made a diving catch to his left and came down cleanly with the ball.

Halle responded with a nice play of his own when Amherst senior Chris Devine (Auburn, MA) played a beautiful corner kick to Rothkopf on the far post, but the Ram goalie was in the perfect position to punch the ball away.

Amherst took control of the game 10 minutes into the second half and suddenly looked like the more dominant team. The Jeffs got on the scoreboard when a Devine corner kick made its way to Kaplan, who flicked the ball to Rothkopf on the far post. Rothkopf was composed inside the 6-yard box and used a soft touch to send the ball to the back of the net for his third goal of the season. The goal came with 33:03 remaining in regulation.

The save of the night came in the 80th minute on a Framingham State corner kick. The Rams’ initial attempt was cleared away by the Amherst defense, but Kayima was there to collect the loose ball. Kayima let loose a rocket from 20 yards out, but Kovacs once again made a spectacular diving stop to his left, managing to get his left hand on the ball to knock it down. The Rams kept the pressure on in the final 10 minutes of the game but were unable to score.

Each team took 10 shots on the night, with Amherst holding a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday when they host Middlebury College in a crucial NESCAC game at 2:30 p.m. on Hitchcock Field.