Men’s Soccer Defeats Trinity Twice to Advance to NESCAC Semifinals
Issue   |   Tue, 11/01/2016 - 22:23
Peter Connolly '18
Senior midfielder Bryce Ciambella played an integral role in Amherst’s quarterfinal win, notching the team’s third goal and mustering three shots on target.

With two commanding wins over rival Trinity this past week, including a quarterfinal victor in the NESCAC tournament, the Amherst men’s soccer team is headed to next weekend’s NESCAC semifinals.

Having finished the regular season at the top of the league standings with an impressive record of 8-1-1, the purple and white will host both the tournament semifinals and finals on Hitchcock Field.

Amherst clinched the regular season title this past Wednesday, beating the Bantams 4-0. Weller Hlinomaz ’18 started things off for the purple and white with a goal in the 12th minute of play. Hlinomaz fired a shot from inside the box, and the ball snuck past Trinity’s Domenic Quade into the top right corner of the net. The goal was Hlinomaz’s sixth tally on the season, good for third most on the team.

The score remained 1-0 at the conclusion of the first half. Eager for the score to reflect their dominant play, Amherst immediately put the Bantams back on their heels at the start of the second half. Only three minutes and 16 seconds in, Dane Lind ’20 increased the lead to two. Collecting his own rebound after Quade made the initial save, Lind one-timed the ball into the back of the net.

Four minutes later, senior captain Chris Martin decided to get in on the action. Finding the ball at the top of the box, Martin drove a shot across the outstretched Trinity keeper and into the bottom right corner of the goal, a tally that brought Amherst’s lead to an insurmountable 3-0 margin.

Lind notched the final goal of the match in the 58th minute of play. Misjudging a lofted ball, Quade allowed Lind to get in behind him for the easy finish into the empty net, Lind’s fourth of the season and second of the evening.

With the loss, Trinity finished eighth in the NESCAC and was forced to return to Hitchcock on Saturday to play top-seeded Amherst again. The first goal of the match did not come until just before halftime in the 38th minute. Martin received a pass from co-captain Cameron Bean ’17 and, with his first touch, ripped a shot past the Bantams’ goalkeeper, his second tally against the Bantams in four days and his seventh on the season.

Three minutes after assisting Martin’s goal, Bean came up big for the purple and white once again. An Amherst corner kick caused mayhem in Trinity’s 18-yard box, and Bean’s offensive pressure caused a Trinity defender to mishit a ball into his own net, making the Amherst lead 2-0.

Not looking to let up the pressure in the second half, the purple and white notched their third goal of the match in the 50th minute. Bryce Ciambella ’17 got on the end of a beautiful cross from Rohan Sood ’17 and placed the ball just inside the near post.

Kieran Bellew ’18 extended Amherst’s lead to four at the 77th minute mark. Bellew collected a pass from Lind at the top of the box and had one on one with the Trinity keeper. After drawing Quade off his line and touching the ball past him, Bellew had an easy finish for his first goal of the year.

Unfortunately, the purple and white were unable to walk away with the shutout. With only eight minutes left to play, Amherst gave up a foul inside their own 18-yard box, and Trinity was awarded a penalty kick. The Bantams’ Tobias Gimand stepped up and buried the ball into the back of the net, sending Amherst keeper Lee Owen ’18 the wrong way and leaving him no chance. The final result of the game was a comprehensive 4-1 victory in favor of the purple and white.

“Trinity played us hard and created some quality chances for themselves in the first half of the game,” Bean said. “We were fortunate enough to go up right before halftime and maintained momentum going into the second half. It was a good team win for us and we are excited to move on in the tournament.”

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 5, when they host seventh-seeded Bowdoin in the NESCAC semifinals. Bowdoin advanced by upsetting number two-seeded Tufts.

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