Lord Jeffs Battle Back for 1-1 (2OT) Draw Against Tufts

Senior Thebe Tsatsimpe scored the equalizer
for Amherst late in regulation.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s soccer team took on visiting NESCAC rival Tufts University this afternoon in a rare Friday game for the two conference foes.  The Lord Jeffs fell behind by a goal with less than 20 minutes remaining in the second half, but needed just over two minutes to equalize en route to a 1-1 double overtime draw.

Twice during the first half, Amherst goalie Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) turned away breakaways from Tufts University players to send the game scoreless into the break. The first occasion came off of a misplayed free kick by Kovacs, leading to Franco Silva break. Silva dribbled around Kovacs, but could not steer his shot into the open goal. On the second break of the half, Silva freed himself from the Amherst back line, only to push his shot wide right again.

The first goal of the game did not come until the 72nd minute. Off a shot by Matt Blumenthal, an Amherst defender blocked the ball on contact. The ball came back to Blumenthal, who laced the rebound into the upper left side of the Amherst goal from just outside the 18-yard box.

Just 2:21 later, Amherst scored to tie the game at 1-1. Senior captain Ian Rothkopf (Harvard, MA) served a ball in from the right corner. Classmate Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, S. Africa) settled the ball on the far side of the 18-yard box, before lining a blast off the underside of the crossbar for the equalizer.

The two teams both pushed numbers forward and played for the win throughout the remainder of regulation and throughout a pair of overtimes, but no goals would come. In the end, Amherst outshot Tufts by a 17-7 margin, including 5-0 in the extra stanzas.

Kovacs finished with three saves in the game, while Alan Bernstein made eight stops in net for the Jumbos.  The Lord Jeffs will return to action on Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. game at St. Joseph’s (ME).