Men’s Soccer Aims to Defend Division III National Title
Issue   |   Thu, 09/01/2016 - 16:53

As reigning Division III National Champions, the Amherst men’s soccer team has a lot to live up to this season. Fortunately, the 2016 squad seems to have both the talent and the depth to match the success of last year’s team.

There will be a lot of familiar faces in the starting lineup this fall, including an experienced back line comprised of seniors Rohan Sood, Justin Aoyama, Cameron Bean and Jackson Lehnhart. Allowing only five goals last season, this strong defensive unit inspires a great deal of confidence within the team. The purple and white will miss Thomas Bull ’16, the All-American keeper who played an integral role in last year’s success, but that loss is tempered by the talent of junior keeper Lee Owen. Owen will take command of the net this year, working with the back line to ensure another exceptional defensive performance from the purple and white this season.

Senior captain Chris Martin will lead Amherst’s offense this fall, coming off an impressive 10-goal season last year. He is supported by stellar veteran midfielders Bryce Ciambella ’17, Andrew Orozco ’17 and sophomore Luke Nguyen.

While Amherst does return this notably impressive core group of players, the greatest strength of this year’s team is widely acknowledged to be its depth. The competition for minutes is greater than ever before, and that widespread talent is exactly what the purple and white will need if they hope to reclaim their title. “I think one of the things that makes this year’s team special is our depth. Being 16, 17 players deep is awesome for us because our style of play relies on constant pressure and being able to cycle in fresh legs that will make that pressure hard to deal with”, Lenhart said.

As Coach Justin Serpone enters into his 10th season at Amherst, the team hopes to continue the legacy of excellence that he has cultivated during his time with the program. With a decisive 4-1 win in a preseason scrimmage against Bridgewater State University this past Wednesday, Aug. 31, the purple and white are well on their way to doing just that.

Next up for the squad is an alumni match on Saturday, Sept. 3. This highly anticipated event is a chance for players to test themselves against talented alums who have given so much to the program and paved the way for its enormous success.
The purple and white begin NESCAC play on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Bowdoin where the chase for another national title will begin.