Men’s Soccer Suffers First Loss of Season, Still Goes 2-1 on the Week
Issue   |   Tue, 10/04/2016 - 22:10

It was a busy week for Amherst men’s soccer, as they competed in one non-conference matchup and two NESCAC games. The week began with a nail-biter against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After a scoreless first half, the Engineers took a lead over the purple and white in the 56th minute of regulation. Amherst gave up a free kick about 25 yards out from their goal, and MIT’s Ryan Stuntz capitalized on the set piece. His shot bypassed Amherst’s wall of defenders and snuck past Lee Owen ’18 into the lower left-hand corner of the net.

The situation looked dire for the purple and white, as MIT held onto their one-goal lead heading into the 85th minute. Demonstrating incredible resilience, Amherst managed to tie things up with 5:15 left in the game. Justin Aoyama ’17 drove a ball into the box and found the head of Andrew Orozco ’17, who tallied his second goal of the 2016 season.

Taking advantage of this momentum, the purple and white took the lead two minutes later, when Chris Martin ’17 and Bijan Zojaji ’20 found themselves in a two-on-one situation. Martin played a beautiful ball to Zojaji, who found the inside of the near post.

Although Amherst was able to grind out the win against MIT, the close call left the team a little shaken heading into Saturday’s game at Tufts. The purple and white once again struggled to find the back of the net, and they suffered their first loss of the season, with Tufts coming away with the 3-0 victory.

The Jumbos put Amherst under pressure immediately, creating two quality chances within the first 14 minutes of regulation. Lee Owen ’18 came up with some big saves to keep the purple and white in the game.

The first goal came in the 17th minute, when Tufts’ Gaston Becherano found the rebound of a shot that had been deflected by Owen. The Jumbos increased their lead to two before halftime, as Matt Zinner drove the ball past Owen and into the bottom left corner.

The final goal came with only 4:36 remaining in regulation. Tufts’ Gavin Tasker found Nathan Majumder, who rifled a shot into the back of the net. It was undoubtedly a disappointing result for the purple and white, but they had an opportunity to recover the following day at home against Bates.

Determined to take control early, Amherst took the lead in the 21st minute. Martin found the ball just inside the 18-yard box and volleyed it past Bates’ Robbie Montanaro. A mere four minutes later, Bryce Ciambella ’17 extended Amherst’s lead to two. Ciambella received a pass from Rohan Sood ’17 and sent a shot just under the crossbar from 20 yards out.

The purple and white tallied two more goals in the second half to finish off the Bobcats. In the 63rd minute, Sam Malnik ’18 collected a ball at the top of the box and beautifully placed the ball in the lower right-hand corner of the net. Weller Hlinomaz ’18 had the last goal of the day in the 69th minute. From the top right corner of the box, he ripped a shot past the keeper and into the left side of the goal.

The purple and white now boast a record of 7-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in NESCAC play. They return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 5, when they will take on non-conference rival New England College.