Amherst Heads to Bowdoin for NCAA Sectional with NESCAC Feel
AMHERST, MA – After a pair of hard-fought results over Plattsburgh State and Saint Lawrence during the opening weekend of the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament, the Amherst College men’s soccer team is just two wins away from earning the program’s third trip to the Final Four. The Lord Jeffs will travel to play NESCAC rival Bowdoin College on Saturday on the Polar Bears’ home field, with a potential matchup against either Middlebury College or Babson College looming for Sunday’s national quarterfinal.
Games will be played at Bowdoin’s Prickard Field, with the Lord Jeffs and Polar Bears taking the field at 1 p.m., or 40 minutes following the conclusion of a 10:30 a.m. game between Middlebury and Babson. The two advancing teams will play on Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games this weekend will feature live statistics and webcasts, courtesy of Bowdoin’s office of sports information. Tickets for this weekend’s games are priced at $6 for adults, $3 for seniors and students and $2 for children (ages 3-12). Children under 3 are free. The field will open one hour prior to the first game of each day.
Amherst won its 10th straight NCAA Tournament First Round game with a 2-0 victory against the Plattsburgh State Cardinals. Rookie Julien Aoyama (Narberth, PA) scored his second collegiate goal in the 21st minute of the first half off a feed from senior quad-captain Chris Skayne (Boxborough, MA) for the eventual game-winner. The Jeffs grabbed an insurance goal in the 35th minute from Alejandro Sucre (Caracas, Venezuela), while junior goalie Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) posted a shutout in the net to preserve the win.
In Sunday’s Second Round game, Amherst fell into an early hole as the hosts from Saint Lawrence University struck first in the 14th minute off a set piece. At halftime, junior James Mooney (Princeton, NJ) moved from the wing to striker, scoring a pair of goals just 1:28 apart to give Amherst a 2-1 lead. Amherst’s lead held for less than two minutes, as the Saints drew even on a 64th minute tally. Mooney was not finished though, scoring his third goal of the day in the 83rd minute to earn the win for Amherst.
The Lord Jeffs (13-2-3) will head to the familiar field of the Polar Bears for the third time this season. On September 11, Amherst played Bowdoin to a double-overtime scoreless draw to open the year. Amherst was out-shot 17-7 on the day, but was forced to play the final ten minutes of regulation and the overtime sessions with only ten men after Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, S. Africa) was sent off in the 80th minute with a second yellow card. The Jeffs return to Bowdoin for the NESCAC Championship Semifinals, but fell to Middlebury 2-0.
Bowdoin was one of the four teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament to receive a First Round bye. The Polar Bears played host in a Second Round game to Eastern Connecticut State University on Sunday afternoon, with Bowdoin earning the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament victory with a 2-1 win.
If Amherst can advance past Bowdoin, the Jeffs will face either Middlebury or Babson in the Round of 8. Amherst and Middlebury have played twice this season, with the Panthers emerging victorious on each occasion. Middlebury is the only team to hand Amherst a defeat in 2010, topping the Jeffs 1-0 in Vermont on October 9, before downing Amherst 2-0 on November 6 at Bowdoin.
The Lord Jeffs have not played Babson since the 2003 season, but Amherst leads the all-time series 13-4-6. The Beavers have already ended the season for one NESCAC school this year after topping Williams College 2-1 in their second round matchup.