Amherst Hangs on for 3-2 Win Over Bates

Contact: Justin Long

Federico Sucre '13 got Amherst on the
board with his first goal of the season.

AMHERST, Mass. – The seventh-ranked Amherst College men’s soccer team accounted for the first three goals of Saturday’s game against Bates College and would hang on for a 3-2 win after the Bobcats scored twice in the second half.

The Bobcats (1-2, 0-2 NESCAC) made things interesting when Ryan March ’13 gave them a second goal with 18:34 to play, but the Lord Jeffs (3-0, 1-0 NESCAC) hung on to win their first conference test of the season.

Lennard Kovacs '12 (Wolfersdorf, Germany) finished with a pair of saves for Amherst, while Gregg Watts '12 stopped eight shots for the Bobcats. Bates attempted seven corner kicks to Amherst’s six, while the Jeffs held a 20-5 advantage in shots.

Amherst got on the board in the 11th minute when Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, S. Korea) carried the ball along the end line and passed it off to Federico Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela), who lofted a beautiful one-timer to the far post and past Watts.

The hosts made it a 2-0 game only 6:22 later when a great far-post run by Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.) led to a goal. Brendan Caslin ’14 (Lincoln, Mass.) set Noon up with a perfect cross from the left sideline, allowing the Amherst junior to run on for a diving header that snuck inside the post.

Amherst’s third goal came 7:11 into the second half when the Jeffs used some heads-up play after a missed penalty kick. Noon lined up for a free attempt after he was taken down in the box, but Watts was there to knock the ball away on a nice diving stop. Heo was in the right place at the right time, however, and was able to put home the rebound for his second goal of the season.

The Lord Jeffs nearly made it a 4-0 game immediately after Heo’s goal, as Noon sent a perfect pass ahead to Milton Rico ’15 (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the box, but Watts once again made a big stop when he came off his line to challenge the Amherst first-year.

Bates would hold the momentum for the final 30 minutes, beginning when Ethan Hirshberg '13 converted a penalty kick that Kovacs got a hand on but could not knock down.

The visitors made it a 3-2 game 10 minutes later when a corner kick from John Murphy ’13 was headed by March past Kovacs with just 18:34 to play. The remainder of the contest was extremely physical and competitive, but it was the Lord Jeffs who hung on to earn three points in the standings.

Amherst will host 18th-ranked Middlebury College Sunday at 2:30 p.m., while Bates will travel to take on Trinity tomorrow at 2 p.m.