Jeffs Shut Out Bridgewater State, 3-0
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Buoyed by a pair of first half goals just 53 seconds apart, the second-ranked Amherst men’s soccer team cruised to a 3-0 victory over Bridgewater State University in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Extending its unbeaten streak to 38 games, the Jeffs improved to 16-0-2 on the season and will face Gordon College in second round action on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Generating an early scoring opportunity, Amherst nearly took the lead in the fourth minute. Gathering the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box, Greg Singer ’16 footed a ball toward net that was blocked down by a BSU defender. Making a run at goal, Max Fikke ’14 collected the loose ball inside the six, but senior goalkeeper Matt Bagley made a diving stop to keep the Jeffs off the board.
Beating Amherst to a ball at midfield in the 14th minute, Colin Neri ’14 kept the ball inbounds before racing up the right side. Going to goal, the forward recorded Bridgewater’s first shot, but the try veered wide left. Moments later, Steve McAvoy ’15 registered another attempt with a low shot from the left side of the box, but Jeff keeper Thomas Bull ’16 went to the ground to make the save.
Catching the Bears on a counter, Amherst burst out of its own zone in the 18th minute. Carrying it up the middle of the pitch, Robert Gooden ’14 slid a pass to his right as he approached the 18-yard box. Taking a quick touch, Nico Pascual-Leone ’16 calmly slotted a low tracer into the left corner past Bagley, who came off his line.
Just 53 seconds later, Amherst added to its tally. Holding the ball on the right side, Singer played a cross to an on-coming Christopher Martin ’17. Settling the ball on the left edge of the box, the first-year tucked his team-high eighth marker of the season inside the far post to stake the Purple & White to a 2-0 margin.
Martin almost netted his second of the afternoon in the 24th minute, but Bagley made a big stop on the volley at the right post to keep the Jeff attack at bay. Four minutes later, Fikke missed a chance to pad the cushion, sending a well struck ball wide left. With under nine to play in the first, Mikey Hoeksema ’15 sent in Julien Aoyama ’14 on a short free kick, but a charging Bagley smothered the shot to snuff out the threat. In the waning moments of the first half, Rohan Sood ’17 nearly converted a Hoeksema corner kick, but the header sailed just over the crossbar.
Picking up where they left off following the intermission, the Jeffs put a shot on goal early in the second as Andrew Orozco ’17 ripped a try from the top of the 18 that prompted a Bagley save. Making something happen in the 58th minute, Orozco got his foot on a Pascual-Leone cross off a corner, but Bagley was again there to make the stop.
Continuing to control play in the attacking third, Amherst added to its tally at 60:25. Earning another corner, Fikke sent a cross into the middle of the box. At the right place at the right time, Singer collected a rebound off a blocked Pascual-Leone shot, tucking it inside the left post to close out the scoring.
Amherst finished with a decisive 25-4 shot advantage and a 7-3 edge in corners. Bull made a pair of saves in the win, while Bagley finished with 10 stops.