Kovacs Makes Nine Saves in Amherst's 0-0 Tie at Bowdoin

Lennard Kovacs '12 faced 17 shots and made nine saves to earn the shutout for Amherst.

Courtesy of Bowdoin College

BRUNSWICK, ME – The Amherst College and Bowdoin College men’s soccer teams—both participants in the 2009 NCAA Tournament—played to a scoreless draw in Saturday’s season opener at Pickard Field. Lennard Kovacs ’12 (Wolfersdorf, Germany) made nine saves to earn the shutout for the Lord Jeffs, while Dan Hicks stopped five shots for the hosts.

Amherst entered the contest ranked third in New England and 21st in Division III, while Bowdoin was fifth in the region. The Polar Bears held a 17-7 advantage in shots, including a 10-4 edge in the second half and overtime, as the visitors were playing with only 10 men following a second yellow card from Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, South Africa) late in the second half.

Hicks and Kovacs traded several nice saves in the late going, including a high save by Hicks off a header from Amherst sophomore Spencer Noon (Farmington, CT) with 10 minutes to play in regulation. Kovacs responded with a diving stop off a header from Ben Denton-Schneider with seven minutes remaining. The best opportunity for either team in extra time came from Bowdoin’s Tim Prior, who blasted a low shot that was smothered by Kovacs to preserve the tie.

Kovacs, who has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Division III, lowered his career goals-against average to 0.64 and increased his save percentage to .854. He has posted 19 shutouts in 37 games and is 24-7-5 (.736) with the Lord Jeffs.

The Jeffs will return to action Wednesday, Sept. 15, when they host Gordon College on Hitchcock Field at 5 p.m.