Jeffs Blank Colby-Sawyer in Season Opener, 3-0

Contact: Justin Long

Casey McNamara '13 gave Amherst a 2-0
lead in the 39th minute of Saturday's game.

NEW LONDON, N.H. – The Amherst College men’s soccer team opened its 2011 season with a 3-0 win at Colby-Sawyer College Saturday afternoon, marking the fourth consecutive season-opening shutout for the Lord Jeffs.

The Chargers drop to 0-3-0 on the season and will return to action Wednesday, while 19th-ranked Amherst (1-0-0) will have little time to rest before traveling to take on Bridgewater State University tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, S. Korea) scored 12 goals for Amherst as a first-year in 2008, and he showed he hadn’t lost his touch when he put the Jeffs on the board in the 34th minute. Casey McNamara ’13 (Montclair, N.J.) made it a 2-0 game with his 10th career goal at 38:02, and Brian Morgan ’13 (Harvard, Mass.) added an insurance tally in the 73rd minute of his Amherst debut.

Lennard Kovacs ’12 (Wolfersdorf, Germany) was on his way to earning his 25th career shutout but would be replaced by Brandon Saldana ’13 (Garden City, N.Y.) with 14:21 remaining in regulation. Kovacs made three saves and improved to 38-9-8 as a Lord Jeff, while Saldana did not have to make a save in relief.

Possession was more or less equal in the first 33 minutes, but Amherst turned up the offense in the 34th minute when Heo collected a flick from teammate Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.). Heo ripped a shot into the upper corner of the net, leaving goalkeeper Will Berry with no chance of making a save.

The Lord Jeffs increased their advantage three minutes later on a tally from McNamara. Senior T.J. Kelley (Walnut Creek, Calif.) took a corner and sent the ball toward the top of the six-yard box, where junior Federico Sucre (Caracas, Venezuela) headed the ball to the foot of McNamara.

Berry kept the Chargers within striking distance as he saved a couple of sure goals from touching the back of the net. He collected four saves in the first half and finished the game with seven.

Amherst tacked on a third goal in the 73rd minute. First-year Mike Hoeksema (Bethany, Conn.) fired a shot on net and was denied by Berry, but Morgan was there to calmly place the deflection into an open net.

The Lord Jeffs held a 24-6 shot advantage and had seven corners to Colby-Sawyer’s one.

Sunday’s game will feature a live webcast courtesy of Bridgewater State. In last year’s meeting Amherst earned a convincing 5-0 win over the Bears and held a 25-4 advantage in shots.