Jeffs Earn Hard-Fought 1-0 Win Over Bowdoin
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Milton Rico '15 netted the game’s lone goal in the 40th minute as the second-ranked Amherst men’s soccer team remained unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over Bowdoin on Hitchcock Field.
Securing a one-goal win over the Polar Bears for a second-consecutive season, Amherst improved to 11-0-1 (7-0-1 NESCAC), while Bowdoin fell to 7-3-2 (3-3-2 NESCAC). Quickly developing into one of the league’s most competitive rivalries, the Jeffs are 1-1-2 in five other meetings with their northern rivals since 2008, with both teams netting five goals apiece during those matchups.
Registering its 11th shutout of the season, Amherst’s top-ranked backline has now allowed just one goal through its first 12 games, while surrendering just 20 shots on net.
Generating the game’s first scoring chance just 1:21 after the opening whistle, James Mooney ’13E trapped the ball on the endline before playing a ball into the box. Winning it in the air, Greg Singer '16 headed the ensuing try wide right.
Creating an opportunity of its own in the 12th minute, Alex Thomas ’13 found the feet of Zach Ostrup ’13, who quickly turned and fired a low shot wide. Staying aggressive, the Polar Bears caught first year netminder Thomas Bull out of position in the 23rd minute, but junior midfielder Zach Danssaert’s shot on an open goal got blocked down by the Amherst defense.
Countering in the 27th, Spencer Noon ’13 created space before chipping a shot over junior goalkeeper Will Wise that cleared the frame. Less than 10 minutes later, Noon connected with Julien Aoyama ’14 on an overlapping run down the right side. Splitting a pair of defenders, Aoyama ripped a bending left footed shot over Wise’s hands that rattled off the crossbar.
Continuing to push forward, Amherst finally broke through in the 40th minute. Serving a corner over the defense toward the backpost, Jae Heo ’14 found Rico, who headed a low shot past Wise at 39:14 to give the Jeffs a 1-0 lead.
Winning three-consecutive corners in the first five minutes of the second half, Amherst looked to add to its tally, but Wise made a big save on a Noon shot to keep the Polar Bears within one. Looking for the equalizer in the 61st minute, Hunter Clark got a clear line to net, but Bull made the stop to preserve the lead.
Still trailing in the waning moments of regulation, Bowdoin won a free-kick near midfield, but could not get a clean shot on net over the final 35 seconds as the Amherst backline cleared the ball at the horn.
The Lord Jeffs, who finished with a 19-5 shot advantage and an 11-6 edge in corners, return to action on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wesleyan.