Jeffs, Ephs Battle to 0-0 (2ot) Tie

Contact: Ben Badua

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AMHERST, Mass. – For the third time in as many years, the Amherst and Williams men’s soccer teams played to a tie, with this year’s edition of the rivalry ending in a scoreless, 0-0 (2ot), draw.

A battle between the league’s two remaining undefeated squads, the annual clash between the Jeffs (8-0-1, 4-0-1 NESCAC) and Ephs (6-0-2, 4-0-2) once again proved to be too close to call. The second-ranked Jeffs still hold a narrow 42-39-13 edge in 94 meetings since 1922, having tied the 17th-ranked Williams 1-1 in 2010 and 2-2 last season.

Recording the bulk of the opportunities for the majority of 110 minutes, Amherst held a decisive 25-9 shot advantage and a 7-5 edge in corners. First-year netminder Thomas Bull made two saves to improve to 8-0-1, while senior counterpart Than Finan made six stops for the Ephs.

Getting to a loose ball on the left side of the 18-yard box less than 10 minutes after the opening whistle, Mohammed Rashid ’16 almost caught Bull out of position, lobbing a quick shot that landed on top of the Jeff netting.

Generating Amherst’s first good scoring chance in the 17th minute, James Mooney ’13E found Alejandro Sucre ’13 in the middle of the 18, but the volley veered wide of the right post. Just over 10 minutes later, Julien Aoyama ’14 threatened to put the Jeffs ahead, but pushed a hard low shot from the top of the box just wide.

Alejandro Sucre looked to have another chance in the 35th, but could not get a clean try on net from close range. With less than three minutes to go before the intermission, Aoyama eluded several Eph defenders, dribbling into the 18, but Finan made a nice save on a rising shot to keep Williams level.

Looking to break through early in the second, Spencer Noon ’13 played a low cross from the left side that found the foot of Jae Heo ’14, but Finan made a diving save at the right post to keep Amherst off the board. Winning a corner in the 57th minute, Noon served a ball to the far post from the right flag, but Finan quickly slid over to deny a Federico Sucre ’13 header.

Continuing to push forward, Heo created another scoring chance minutes later, playing a ball into the box from the left side, but Max Fikke ’14 sent another header just high. With less than 10 to go in regulation, Heo served a dangerous corner toward Gabriel Wirz ’15, but the defender put a shot just wide of goal.

Still scoreless five minutes into the first extra period, Fikke looked for Alejandro Sucre with a long throw from the left sideline, but the try once again went over the bar. Looking to break through in the second overtime, Williams’ Michael Madding ’15 took a chance from above the 18-yard box, but the shot sailed high and wide to keep it deadlocked at 0-0.

Drawing a foul with under four to go, Patrick Ebobisse ’13 set up for free-kick on the right side, but Chris Lerner ’13 cleared it away to shut down the Eph threat. Moving forward, Brendan Caslin ’14 logged one final attempt from distance, but could not keep the try from sailing high as the game ended in a tie.

Amherst returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 9 against Trinity.

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