AMHERST, Mass. – The Purple & White tallied three goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half as the No. 4 Amherst College soccer team shut out Trinity College, 4-0 Wednesday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.
With the win, Amherst improves to 13-1-1 on the season and 8-1-1 in league play, while Trinity falls to 7-6-2 overall and 3-6-1 in conference action. Clinching the top-seed in the NESCAC Championship tournament, Amherst is set to host eighth-seeded Trinity College on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Hitchcock Field beginning at 1:30 p.m. in quarterfinal round play.
Oliver Murphy was the first Bantam to test Amherst netminder Lee Owen '18, driving a shot on goal from 30 yards out, but Owens was up to the task and knocked down the attempt at the 10:32 mark.
Amherst took a 1-0 edge in the 12th minute of action as junior Weller Hlinomaz tallied his sixth goal of the season. Gathering a short pass from Fikayo Ajayi '18 on the right side of the goal, Hlinomaz volleyed a shot from six yards out into the top right corner of the net.
Oliver Murphy had a strong defensive play for the Bantams with 30:28 remaining in the opening half following Forest Sisk '17 juking a defender. Sending a cross to the middle of the box to a seemingly open Christopher Martin '17, Murphy raced in and made a slide tackle on the attempt to send the ball to the sideline.
Keeping the Bantam deficit at one, Trinity goalkeeper Domenic Quade made three clutch saves in the 19th minute of action. Following an Amherst corner kick, Quade turned away back-to-back shots by Fikayo Ajayi '19 and Hlinomaz, before Bryce Ciambella '18 rang a shot off the crossbar. Collecting the rebound, Dane Lind '20 also tried to find the netting, but once again Quade was up to the task as he dove to his left to make the save.
Opening the second half strong, it took just 3:16 for Amherst to double their lead. Rifling a shot on goal at the 48:15 mark, Lind's first attempt was turned away, however Lind would gather his own rebound and one-time a shot over the diving Trinity netminder and into the nylon.
Martin made it a 3-0 contest four minutes later as he corralled the ball after it deflected off a defender near the top left of the box and ripped a low, well-placed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Sustaining offensive pressure, Lind netted his second goal of the game to extend Amherst's lead to 4-0 in the 58th minute. Coming off the goal line to play a long serve, netminder Patrick Simpson misplayed the ball as it bounced off the grass and over his head to give Lind an easy tap-in goal on an open net.
- Owen (12-1-1) made three saves for the Purple & White in 60:11 in goal in the winning effort, while Domenic Quade (5-4-2) registered eight saves in the loss in 75:23.
- Amherst owned a dominative 23-9 edge in shot differential, and a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
- The Purple & White were whistled for 16 infractions, while the Bantams had seven fouls in the outing.
- Hlinomaz led Amherst with four shots in the matchup, including two on frame, while Martin took three shots for the Purple & White.
- With four shots, Oliver Murphy led Trinity while four other Bantams each took a shot each.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- With the win, Amherst clinches the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Championship tournament for the second consecutive season and for the fifth time in program history.
- Amherst owns a 2-0 record against Trinity in NESCAC playoff action, but the two sides have not met since the 2011 Finals that saw the Purple & White walk away with a 2-0 victory.