Men’s Soccer Draws with Mount Saint Mary’s College
Issue   |   Wed, 10/29/2014 - 00:27
Photo courtesy of Rob Mattson
Sophomore Bryce Ciambella has three points on the season with one goal and one assist.

In a competitive non-conference game, the Amherst men’s soccer team’s late game heroics allowed the Jeffs to salvage a tie against the Mount Saint Mary College Knights. With the draw, the Jeffs stand at 10-1-3 overall and 6-1-2 in the NESCAC.

In the first half, the Jeffs appeared to control the pace and flow of the game, outshooting their opponents 7-0 over the initial 45 minutes. Yet, Amherst could not capitalize on any of these scoring opportunities and went into the halftime break tied at 0-0.

In the 63rd minute, a pair of junior forwards for Amherst connected to put the Jeffs ahead, as striker Nico Pascual-Leone found Greg Singer off a free kick from the left side, and Singer was able to convert for his third goal of the season to make it 1-0.

The Knights responded in short order following Amherst’s goal. Less than three minutes later, a pair of deflections off the Amherst defensive unit allowed for midfielder Chris Marchese ’15 to equalize by kicking it slowly over the goal line.
Only a few minutes after the Knights tied the score, Mount Saint Mary’s pulled ahead off a free kick, as Knights forward Matt Garcia ’15 made it 2-1 with his ninth goal of the season in the 70th minute of action.

Over the final 20 minutes, the Jeffs looked to strike back after losing the lead midway through the second half. In the final minute of action, the Jeffs were able to draw the game even in dramatic fashion. Sophomore defender Cameron Bean sent a cross in to Pascual-Leone, who finished Bean’s ball into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the year, tying the game at 2-2.

Heading into overtime, the Jeffs had the momentum following their late score and looked to add another goal to take the victory. With little doing in the first overtime, the Jeffs had some legitimate opportunities to score in the second period of overtime. Pascual-Leone had a promising chance from the top of the box that was handled by the Knights’ defense. Soon after, a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Forrest Sisk set up Pascual-Leone for a header, which was stopped by Mount Saint Mary’s goalie Austin Peluso ’16.

While the Jeffs had a fair share of scoring opportunities in the second overtime and came up empty, Amherst’s defense prevented the Knights from having any chances to score in both periods of overtime. In the 2-2 draw against Mount Saint Mary’s, Amherst outshot their opponent 7-0 in the first half, 10-3 in the second period, and 21-3 overall, including overtime.

“We were disappointed not to get a win against Mount Saint Mary’s considering the quality of our chances, but I was proud that we were able to rise to the occasion and get the second goal with only 45 seconds remaining,” Coach Justin Serpone said.

This afternoon, the Jeffs will close out the regular season against the Trinity Bantams at home. Trinity is 7-5-2 on the season and 2-5-2 in the NESCAC. However, following Amherst’s regular season loss to the Cardinals, the Bantams defeated the Wesleyan Cardinals in a NESCAC Conference game by a 2-1 score. Last year, the Jeffs defeated the Bantams 4-0 in a road victory, as senior defenseman Bubba Van Wie notched a hat trick within the game’s first 70 minutes to carry Amherst on the day.

“Trinity is a very good team that has some impressive results this year,” Coach Serpone said. “We are going to have to play well for ninety minutes to have a chance of getting a result.”

Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Jeffs will begin its NESCAC Championship title defense with a first-round matchup in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. Although Amherst’s first-round opponent is yet to be announced for Saturday, the Jeffs will host a lower-seeded opponent. Three consecutive wins in the NESCAC Tournament will enable the Jeffs to win the NESCAC Championship for the fourth consecutive season. As the No. 1 seed in the 2013 NESCAC Tournament, Amherst beat Hamilton in the quarterfinals, Bowdoin in the semifinals and Williams in the NESCAC Championship.