Sucre's Goal Helps Jeffs Grab No. 4 Seed with 1-0 Win Over Trinity

Team
Amherst has earned the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Championship and will host Colby Sunday at noon in the quarterfinal round.

AMHERST, MA – Alejandro Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela) scored the game’s lone goal in the 24th minute to lead the Amherst College men’s soccer team to a 1-0 win over Trinity College Friday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.

The Lord Jeffs increased their winning streak to five games to close the regular season with a 10-1-3 record (5-1-3 NESCAC). Amherst has earned the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Championship and will host fifth-seeded Colby College this Sunday at noon in the quarterfinal round.

Trinity (6-7-1, 2-6-1) finishes the regular season in a three-way tie for eighth place in the conference standings, but the Bantams just missed out on qualifying for the postseason. Amherst has now defeated Trinity in 12 consecutive attempts, with each of the past eight meetings being decided by only one goal.

Sucre has come alive for Amherst as of late, with Friday marking the third consecutive NESCAC game in which he has scored a goal. The sophomore played the role of hero during a 1-0, double-overtime win against Colby before recording a goal and an assist last weekend at Wesleyan.

In the 21st minute of action Amherst’s Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, CT) carried the ball down the left sideline before finding an open Chris Lerner ’13 (Canton, MA). Lerner blasted a shot from 25 yards out to mark the game’s first attempt on goal, but Trinity goalkeeper Grant Schonberg ’12 was there to punch the ball over the net.

Just three minutes later Sucre’s game winner began to take form when Ian Rothkopf ’11 (Harvard, MA) sent in a cross from the right wing. Schonberg got to the ball first and punched it away, but Noon kept the pressure on by heading it back toward the goal. Sucre provided the finishing touch on the play, towering over the defense and sending a header past Schonberg to give the hosts a 1-0 lead 23:43 into the contest.

The first half ended with a flurry of activity in front of the Trinity net. After Schonberg came up with a nice save on a corner kick, a shot by Sucre hit the post and the rebound by Max Fikke ’14 (New York, NY) was denied by the Bantam goalie.

Four minutes into the second half Trinity’s Matthew O’Connell ’11 ripped a shot from 25 yards out, but Amherst keeper Lennard Kovacs ’12 (Wolfersdorf, Germany) made a beautiful diving save, fully extending to his left to knock the ball out of bounds.

The Bantams then had a breakaway in the 55th minute when they won a short goal kick, but a shot by Steven Mayernick ’12 went high after Kovacs came out to apply pressure. Trinity had another great scoring opportunity in the 79th minute when Graham Goldstein ’14 fired a point-blank shot on net from only four yards away, but Kovacs got his right hand on the ball and picked up a significant save. The 1-0 score would hold up the rest of the way, closing the books on Trinity’s 2010 season.

Schonberg made six saves for the Bantams, while Kovacs stopped four of the eight shots he faced. Amherst held a commanding 12-1 shot advantage in the first half but only a 10-7 edge in the second frame. The Jeffs won the corner kick battle, 11-3.

Prior to the game, Amherst honored Rothkopf and his fellow seniors, Mark Crane (Cambridge, MA), Chris Linsmayer (Denver, CO), Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Chris Skayne (Boxborough, MA). The Lord Jeff Class of 2011 has posted an impressive record of 52-11-8 (24-7-5 NESCAC) since 2007.

BOX SCORE

2010 NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals
Sunday, Oct. 31 – All games will begin at noon
No. 8 Bates at No. 1 Bowdoin
No. 7 Wesleyan at No. 2 Williams
No. 6 Tufts at No. 3 Middlebury
No. 5 Colby at No. 4 Amherst