Men's Soccer Grabs Two Wins in Maine, Stays in First
Issue   |   Fri, 10/18/2013 - 00:32
Megan Robertson '15 Public Affairs Office
With wo road wins over the weekend, the Jeffs remain atop the NESCAC standings heading into the stretch run.

This past weekend, Amherst Men’s Soccer travelled to Maine and notched back-to-back victories to extend their unbeaten streak to 31 games and improve their record to 9-0-2 (7-0-2 in the NESAC) on the season.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Jeffs faced a Colby team that was winless in the NESCAC entering play but had just come off a tough 1-0 loss in double overtime to Wesleyan and a dominant 5-0 victory in a non-conference matchup against Maine-Farmington in the week prior to the Jeffs-Mules game.

Amherst struck first during the game with less than ten minutes remaining in the first half, as forward Christopher Martin ’17 scored off a diving header sent in to the box on a cross from senior Julien Aoyama.

Martin’s scoring was not finished, however. Early in the second half, Martin added a goal to put the Jeffs ahead 2-0. Martin’s goal was assisted by first-year defenseman Rohan Sood, who evaded a Mules defender before making a crisp pass to Martin.

Upon scoring two goals on the day, Martin had earned his second multi-goal game of his young career, as the first-year also collected two goals in the season opener against New England College, a 4-1 victory for the Jeffs.

Sophomore midfielder Tommy Haskel scored the first goal of his Amherst career in the 70th minute of action. Haskel put one in the back of the net off a pass from first-year midfielder Andrew Orozco, who earned his second assist of the season on the goal.

In the 83th minute, the Mules responded, as Colby sophomore defender Tim Stanton scored on a penalty kick. The goal off the penalty kick would be all the Mules could muster, resulting in a 3-1 victory for the Jeffs. In the contest, the Jeffs held a 16-7 shot advantage, and a slight 5-4 edge in corner kicks.

The following afternoon, Amherst took on Husson Univ. in a non-conference game. The Jeffs proved to be too much for Husson to handle, as Amherst jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half and never looked back, as the Jeffs maintained their edge for the rest of the game.

Picking up from where he left the previous afternoon, Martin found the back of the net in the 20th minute of action to give the Jeffs the lead. At this juncture, after 11 games, Martin leads the team in goals (five), assists (four), and points (14).

In the 33rd minute, defender Bubba Van Wie ’15 played the ball up the left side of the field and crossed the ball ahead of sophomore attacker Greg Singer, who finished the play to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead. On the score, Singer picked up his fourth goal on the season, while Van Wie grabbed his third assist of the year, both of which are good for second on the team (behind Martin) in their respective categories.

Seconds later, Van Wie further contributed by scoring his second goal of the season after a powerful strike with his left foot.
Amherst would not score again in the game, despite the numerous shot attempts they put on goal, forcing Husson goalkeeper Brian Potter to make 16 saves.

In the 3-0 win, Amherst goalkeepers Thomas Bull ’16 and Matt Tower ’15 split action and helped give the Jeffs their fifth shutout of the season.

Overall this weekend, head coach Justin Serpone was pleased with the strong effort and contributions from his reserve players.

“We had a good weekend up in Maine,” Coach Serpone said. “I was especially proud of some reserves, such as Tommy Haskel and Bubba Van Wie, who stepped up and played important minutes and made big plays this weekend.”

Tomorrow, as part of Homecoming weekend, Amherst will host the Wesleyan Cardinals (5-4-1 overall and 4-2 in the NESCAC) on Hitchcock Field at 2:30 p.m. in their final regular season home game of the 2013 season. While Amherst continues to sit atop the NESCAC standings and has the highest overall conference winning percentage (.875), Wesleyan closely follows with the second highest NESCAC winning percentage (.667).

Regarding the game against Wesleyan, Coach Serpone said, “I am looking forward to an electric atmosphere with all of our families, friends and alumni in attendance.”

With the season winding down, every remaining game is crucial for the Jeffs.

“At this time of year, every minute of every game is important,” Serpone said. “Good teams have a way to be their best at this point in the season.”