Athletics

Jeffs to Host NCAA Men's Soccer Sectionals

Contact: Ben Badua

NCAA SECTIONAL SEMIFINAL VIDEO PREVIEW

AMHERST, Mass. - With a pair of first and second round wins over Husson and Eastern Connecticut State, Amherst earned the right to host the sectional round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament beginning on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Complete Bracket


GAME SCHEDULE: Montclair State will face Neumann in the first sectional semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. followed by Amherst against Stevens at 1:30 p.m.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets will be $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, children and students with a valid ID. Children under the age of two will be admitted free of charge.

LIVE COVERAGE: Webcast

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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Improving to 15-8-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, fourth-ranked Amherst will make its ninth appearance in the round of 16, when it takes on Stevens on Saturday. The Lord Jeffs and the Ducks last met in the 2008 national semifinal, which Stevens won 4-1.

Boasting a 16-1-2 record in 2011, the Lord Jeffs will look to earn a berth into the national quarterfinals for the first time since 2008 after failing to advance on penalty kicks in their sectional semifinal against NESCAC rival Bowdoin a year ago.

Winners of five-straight, Amherst opened its 2011 NCAA run with a 4-0 shutout of Husson on Hitchcock Field. NESCAC Player of the Year Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.) netted a pair of scores in the win, tying the program’s career goals mark. Noon, who currently stands just one marker and two points shy of setting school records in both categories, leads the league in points (33) and goals (14), upping his career tallies to 81 and 34, respectively.

Netting four more goals in a second round matchup with ECSU, Amherst cruised to a two-goal victory over the Warriors, punching its ticket to the sectionals. Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, S.Korea) had a pair of markers in the win, with Federico Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela) adding a goal and two assists.

Since the NESCAC Semifinals, Sucre has factored heavily into the Jeff offense, collecting three of his four goals and four of his seven assists this season over the last four games. Sitting tied for second in the NESCAC in points (22) and goals (9), Heo has consistently provided the Amherst offense with added punch, complimenting Noon up top.

Helping to drive a balanced Amherst attack that has seen 12 different players record goals and six Jeffs notch at least 10 points are Chris Lerner ’13 (Canton, Mass) and Max Fikke ’14 (New York, N.Y.) who currently sit tied with Sucre with a league-high seven assists. Accounting for 16 goals during the team’s five-game win streak the Amherst offense ranks first in the NESCAC in goals (2.58).

Anchoring a Lord Jeff defense that allowed just 13 goals in 19 games, posting a conference-best 11 shutouts is senior goalkeeper Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany) who ranks fourth in the conference in goals-against average (0.65) and save percentage (0.833) with a 15-1-2 record and eight shutouts.

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Opening the year at 1-2, No. 14 Stevens Institute of Technology  (17-2-1) won 16 straight games before battling Brockport to a 0-0 tie in last weekend’s second round matchup at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J. Advancing to the round of 16 for the seventh time since 2003 after edging out the Golden Eagles 4-2 in penalty kicks, Stevens improved to 12-5-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

Surrendering just four goals over its last eight games, posting five shutouts over that span, the Ducks opened their tournament run with a decisive 3-0 shutout of Lehman, outshooting the Lightning 22-8 while holding a 7-1 edge in corners. Empire 8 Player of the Year Zach Adler ’13, who currently leads the team with 29 points on nine goals and 11 assists, netted the game’s first tally before assisting on senior Zach Bowman’s marker that closed out the scoring.

Victor Daza ’13 and Stephen Dunbar ’14 have helped bolster a balanced Stevens offense, tying for second on the squad in points (19) while combining for 17 goals and four assists. Bowman has also stood out on a deep lineup that has seen 10 different players record a goal, registering four markers and seven helpers on the season.

Leading the Stevens defense is sophomore goalkeeper Paul Killian who made a pair of diving saves in the shootout against Brockport to help the Ducks extend their unbeaten streak to 17. Logging over 1617 minutes, Killian has posted a 14-2-0 mark with seven shutouts, boasting a 0.72 goals-against average and a 0.768 save percentage.

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Making their 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Montclair State University enters the sectional round with a 17-3-3 overall record. After dropping a 1-0 decision to Rutgers-Camden in the NJAC Championship, the Red Hawks outscored their first two tournament opponents by a 7-1 margin, improving to 8-10-1 all-time in NCAA postseason play.

Allowing just two goals in its last four games, Montclair secured a commanding 5-0 victory over Framingham State to open NCAA play, with five different Red Hawks netting a goal. Knotted at 1-1 in a second round matchup with No. 16 Dickinson, co-captain Dan Mendoza ’14 recorded his third goal of the tournament in the 104th minute to give Montclair St. a thrilling sudden-victory win.

Sitting tied for second in the league in points (34) and second in goals (16), Mendoza pwers a high-flying Red Hawk attack that leads the NJAC in scoring with 2.57 goals per game. Ranking seventh in points (27) and goals (11), senior midfielder Kevin Zalewski gives Montclair another option up top, while Sean Pauls ’12 and Brian Cullen ’15 have also proven to be threat to score, with the duo combining for 10 goals and seven assists.

Headlining a solid defensive unit that has allowed a league-low 15 goals while posting a conference-high 11 shutouts is goalkeeper Anthony Rogic. Enjoying a stellar statistical season, the junior netminder carries a 17-3-3 record and seven shutouts into this weekend’s competition, ranking first in the NJAC in goals-against average (0.67) and third in save percentage (0.812).

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Breaking into the tournament field for just the second time in program history, an upstart Neumann University squad engineered a pair of impressive upsets, knocking off No. 25 Salisbury and No. 1 Messiah to improve to 1-1-1 all-time in NCAA postseason play. Relying on a stingy backline that ranked first in the CSAC in goals allowed (16) and second in shutouts (8), the Knights have yet to allow a goal in this year’s championship.

Tied at two after a pair of sudden-victory overtime sessions with Salisbury, Neumann advanced to the second round for the first time in program history with a 5-4 edge in penalty kicks. Once again keeping their opponent scoreless through regulation, senior midfielder Andrew Leissing headed in the game-winner against Messiah in the 97th minute, handing the eight-time national champion Falcons their first home defeat since 2001.

Leissing currently tops the league in goals (17), while tallying a team-high 35 points. Also  a threat offensively is Dan Chrashewsky ’14, who has 12 points on two goals and eight assists, and Evan Morgan ’14 who enters the sectionals with three markers and three helpers.

Anchoring the Knight defense all season has been senior goalkeeper Bob Mastrillo. Going 12-3-1 in 2011, the Tabernacle, N.J. native leads the CSAC in goals-against average (0.78), save percentage (0.819) and shutouts (7).