Men's Soccer Wins First NESCAC Game of Season
Issue   |   Tue, 09/16/2014 - 22:59
Photo Courtesy of Reid McWilliams '16
Junior Greg Singer scored the winning goal against Bowdoin on Saturday.

In a rematch of a double-overtime thriller from the 2013 NESCAC Semifinals, the men’s soccer team secured its first NESCAC victory of 2014 with a 1-0 victory over the Bowdoin Polar Bears this past Saturday. With the win, the Jeffs improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

​Throughout the first five minutes, the Jeffs had two shots and a corner kick but came up empty in those efforts. The Polar Bears responded with a corner kick and a shot attempt of their own, but goalkeeper Thomas Bull ’16 was there to make the save.

After the first period of play, the game was still scoreless. The Jeffs held a 5-2 shots advantage over the Polar Bears in the first half, while Bowdoin held a slight 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

Amherst kicked off the second period of play with a pair of shots and corner kicks in the first five minutes. Over the next 10 minutes, the Jeffs and Polar Bears traded shots to no avail for either side.

However, a little more than 15 minutes into the second half, junior striker Greg Singer struck a well-placed shot past Bowdoin goalkeeper Noah Safian to move the Jeffs ahead 1-0.

In the final minute of the game, Bowdoin forward Andrew Jones put a promising shot on net, but Bull was there to save it and preserve the 1-0 victory for the Jeffs.

On the day, Bull had three saves, bringing his total to 10 on the season. With the win, the junior posted his first shutout of 2014 and 25th shutout of his career.

“Going up to Bowdoin and getting a victory is a good result for us,” head coach Justin Serpone said. “They are a tough team and will win a bunch of games this year.”

This week, the Jeffs have two important NESCAC matchups and will look to extend their 22-game NESCAC unbeaten streak. Amherst will face off against the Conn. College Camels on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Thus far this season, the Camels are 2-1-0 (0-1 in NESCAC play), with their lone loss coming against Middlebury this past weekend. Last season in mid-September, the Camels put up a strong fight against the Jeffs at Hitchcock Field, as they managed to salvage a 0-0 double-overtime draw with the Jeffs.

Serpone said that the Camels “are fast, tough and well organized. Going there mid-week is about as tough as it gets in this league. We will certainly have our hands full.”

Later on in the week, the Jeffs will take on Williams in the highly-anticipated home opener on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 2:30 p.m. The last time Amherst faced the Ephs on Hitchcock Field, the Jeffs fell in the 2013 Elite Eight.

While Amherst was victorious against the Ephs in its first two matchups against Williams, the Jeffs were unable to earn the victory in the NCAA Tournament.

The Jeffs beat the Ephs by a score of 1-0 in double overtime during the regular season and again beat Williams 1-0 in the NESCAC Championship, but fell 1-0 in the Elite Eight.

Thus far, the Ephs have come out of the gates strong, as they are 3-1-0 on the season and 2-0 in the NESCAC, having defeated both Colby and Trinity in NESCAC play. Williams’ first loss came in their last game as the Ephs fell 1-0 to Babson.

“We haven’t started even thinking about Williams yet because Conn. College will be such an important game,” Serpone said. “I’d expect that we will get familiar with [Williams] at the end of the week.”

By Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on Hitchcock Field, however, the Jeffs will be prepared to face the Ephs and will look to avenge their 2013 NCAA Tournament loss.