Aoyama Keys 2-0 Win Over Bridgewater State

Contact: Ben Badua

Julien Aoyama '14 had a hand in both Jeff goals in a 2-0 win over Bridgewater State.

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Julien Aoyama ’14 had a hand in both Amherst goals as the fifth-ranked men’s soccer team earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Bridgewater State.

With a decisive 24-7 shot advantage and a 14-2 edge in corners, the Jeffs improved to 2-0, having outscored their opponents by an 8-0 margin through the weekend. The Bears, who dropped a 2-1 double-overtime decision to Amherst a year ago, remained winless, falling to 0-4 in 2012.

Controlling much of the possession through the first 45 minutes, the Lord Jeffs held a 10-5 shot advantage at the break, threatening junior goalkeeper Matt Bagley and the Bridgewater State backline on several occasions.

Pushing forward on a counter following a Jon Sampson '13 corner at 21:58, Alejandro Sucre ’13 found a trailing Spencer Noon '13 on the left side of the box on a 2-on-1 break, but senior defender Luke Samperi quickly closed the gap, blocking away a try from point-blank range.

Winning its ninth corner of the afternoon in the waning moments of the first period, Amherst sent a dangerous cross into the box that found the head of Max Fikke ’14, but Bagley made a diving save at the right post to keep things level heading into the intermission.

Picking up where they left off to start the second half, the Jeffs continued to apply pressure, ripping three shots over the frame’s first three minutes. Coming forward with numbers in the 53rd minute, Aoyama slotted a pass into the path of an oncoming Jae Heo ’14, who calmly placed a low shot into the left corner of the Bear net to finally break the deadlock.

Less than five minutes later, Noon, who netted a hat-trick in Saturday’s 6-0 win over Colby-Sawyer, made a run up the left side before picking out Aoyama in the middle of the box with a well-placed cross. Taking a quick touch, the junior redirected the ball into the right corner of the goal to stake Amherst to a 2-0 lead.

Hoping to keep Bridgewater State within striking distance, Bagley made three big saves over the next 15 minutes, but the Bear offense failed to get anything going against a disciplined Amherst backline, managing just two shots over the final 32:20.

First-year Thomas Bull made three stops to pick up his second collegiate victory, while Bagley made 10 saves in the loss.

The Lord Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 when they open conference play at Bates.