Four Second Half Goals Propel No. 1 Amherst to 4-1 Win Over Hamilton
Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – Christopher Martin ’17 recorded two second half goals to lead the top-ranked and No. 1 seed Amherst men’s soccer team to a 4-1 win over No. 8 seed Hamilton in NESCAC quarterfinal action on Saturday at Hitchcock Field.
The Jeffs (13-0-2, 8-0-2 NESCAC) extended their unbeaten streak to 35 consecutive games and avenged a 1-1 double-overtime draw against the Continentals (5-7-3, 3-4-3 NESCAC) earlier this season.
Amherst put together the first strong scoring chance of the game at the 10th minute when Bubba Van Wie ’15 handled the ball near the left corner and sent a cross to an open Martin near the right side of the box but the first-year’s attempt when high above the goal.
After roughly 10 minutes passed, Hamilton showed signs of offense at the at 19:55 mark. Bayard Geeslin ’16 stood just outside the 18-yard box to the left side of the goal and struck a solid rolling shot towards net but Jeffs goalkeeper Thomas Bull ’16 made a diving side to the right post for the stop.
A stifling Amherst defense held off the Continentals attack for most of the first half while the offense put together a number of attempts but came away scoreless as the teams entered the break in a 0-0 tie.
It didn’t take long for the Jeffs to get on the board in the second stanza and within three minutes, Nico Pascual-Leone ’16 found Greg Singer ’16 whose diving header snuck past Hamilton goalkeeper Harris Pollack ’17 into the bottom left corner for a 1-0 lead.
Singer’s goal set the tempo for the rest of the half as Amherst controlled the momentum for the majority of the final 45 minutes. At the 51:09 mark, Martin scored his first goal of the game to give the Jeffs a 2-0 advantage. Brendan Caslin ’17 sent a great pass ahead to Martin who beat the Continentals’ defender to the ball and connected on a rolling shot from the left side to right corner.
After 13 scoreless minutes, Amherst added another score when Julien Aoyoma ’14 found a streaking Martin in the middle of the field as he tacked on his second score of the game.
Amherst wasn’t done yet and at the 77th minute, a corner kick from Mikey Hoeksema ’15 went to Elliot Cassutt ’17 who made a spectacular header pass to Andrew Orozco ’17. The first-year forward then tapped it in easily off another header.
In the closing minutes, a penalty kick gave Hamilton a chance to get on the board when Ben Yudysky ’14 put one between the posts in the bottom left corner as Bull dove in the opposite direction.
The Jeffs held a decisive 23-4 advantage in shots with 14 of them coming in the second half. Both teams registered three corner kicks each. Bull made one save in net for the Jeffs while Pollack stopped five shots for Hamilton.
Amherst will host the NESCAC semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 9 and will face the No. 5 seed, Bowdoin.
2013 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship
Saturday, November 2
No. 8 Hamilton, 1 at No. 1 Amherst, 4
No. 7 Connecticut College, 0 at No. 2 Wesleyan, 1
No. 6 Middlebury, 2 at No. 3 Williams, 3
No. 5 Bowdoin, 2 at No. 4 Tufts, 2 (Bowdoin advances on penalty kicks, 3-1)
Saturday, November 9
No. 3 Williams vs. No. 2 Wesleyan - 11 a.m.
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 1 Amherst - 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 10
Semifinal Winners – 12:00 pm