Men's Soccer Keeps Rolling With 3-0 Win Over Tufts

Contact: Ben Badua

Lennard Kovacs '12 recorded his 27th career shutout, making fives saves in a 3-0 win over Tufts.

AMHERST, Mass. - Buoyed by a trio of second-half scores, the fourth-ranked Amherst men’s soccer team earned a 3-0 win over visiting Tufts University on Hitchcock Field. With the win, Amherst improved to 7-0-0 overall on the year with a 4-0-0 league ledger.

Now 5-0-1 over the last six meetings and having outscored Tufts 15-1 over that span, the Jeffs improved to 8-3-2 against the Jumbos since 2001.

Hoping to get Tufts off to a fast start, senior Naji Muakassa registered the game’s first shot on goal just 2:20 after the opening whistle. With both defenses settling in, the squads combined for just three shots over the next 25 minutes of action before Amherst’s Alejandro Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela) tested Tufts’ Alan Bernstein with a header at 28:13.

Still scoreless in the 34th minute, Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.) put another Jeff shot on net, but Bernstein recorded his second save of the afternoon to keep the Jumbos even.

Amherst’s Jared Hedglin ’13 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Sucre later headed a pair of shots toward net off of a couple of Jeff free-kicks, but Bernstein again met the challenge, making both stops to preserve the tie heading into the intermission.

Coming out of the break, Tufts won a pair of early corners, but a steady Amherst backline cleared both tries without surrendering a shot. Still looking for the game’s first tally, Amherst pushed forward just shy of the 50-minute mark.

Playing on the far side, Max Fikke ’14 (New York, N.Y.) sent a cross into the middle of the box, looking for Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, South Korea). Going to the air, the standout sophomore won the ball, heading it into the left corner to stake Amherst to a 1-0 lead with his fifth marker of the season.

Just 4:12 later, senior co-captain Thebe Tsatsimpe (Johannesburg, South Africa) served another cross from the right side of the pitch into the box. This time, Noon tracked down the pass on the near post, heading it into the right corner.

Looking for more, Chris Lerner ’13 (Canton, Mass.) sent a free-kick off the crossbar at 58:23, narrowly missing a chance to extend the Amherst advantage.

With just over 30 minutes remaining, Sucre capped off a string of three Jeff scores in just 11:34 of game action, alerting corralling the rebound off of a Noon shot before catching Bernstein out of position for his second goal of 2011.

The Lord Jeffs finished with a 19-9 shot advantage, while the Jumbos held a 4-2 edge in corners. Bernstein made seven saves in the loss, while Amherst senior Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) finished with five stops en route to his 27th career shutout.

Amherst returns to action on Monday, Oct. 3 against Lesley.