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AMHERST, Mass. – Defeating Daniel Webster, 3-0 in a NCAA Second Round tilt, the No. 2 Amherst College men's soccer team advances to the Sweet Sixteen and is set to host the sectional semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championship tournament Saturday and Sunday, November 19-20. The Purple & White will take on Brandeis University in Sweet Sixteen play beginning at 11 a.m. at Hitchcock Field.
Saturday's second Third Round matchup will start at 1:30 p.m. and features No. 10 Rutgers University-Newark and No. 22 SUNY Oneonta.
A live video webcast of Saturday's Third Round tilts and Sunday's Elite Eight matchup will be provided by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN). There will also be live stats available for all three games.
Tickets for the NCAA Sectional games will be available at the door on the day of the game. Ticket prices are as follows: $6 for general admission, $3 for senior citizens and students with a valid ID, and $2 for children ages 3-12.
HOW THEY GOT THERE
- Amherst (17-1-1) clinched an appearance in its seventh consecutive NCAA Third Round game following a dominant 3-0 shutout victory over Daniel Webster in Second Round action on Nov. 13.
- Advancing to the Sweet Sixteen for the fifth-straight season, Brandeis (12-5-3) snapped Saint Joseph's 20-match unbeaten streak with a 3-0 win to earn a spot in the sectionals.
- Rutgers-Newark (20-3-0) punched its ticket to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history following a 2-0 victory over Elizabethtown College.
- Tallying the game-winning goal in the 108th minute, SUNY Oneonta (16-6-1) defeated Eastern University, 2-1 in double overtime to secure a spot in the sectional round of the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.
SETTING THE SCENE
Shutting out Daniel Webster, 3-0 on Nov. 13, Amherst secured the right to compete in the Sweet Sixteen for the seventh-straight season. The lone Division III team to be making their seventh-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Third Round, no other program has advanced to the sectionals more than the Purple & White in the last 10 years, with Amherst earning a bid in nine of the last 10 seasons. Owning a 26-10-10 overall record in the NCAA Championship, the Purple & White have gone 5-2-3 in Third Round play since 1997.
Saturday's matchup will mark the second-ever meeting between Amherst and Brandeis in the national postseason, with the Judges advancing on penalty kicks, 6-5 after playing the Purple & White to a 0-0 double overtime tie in the Sweet Sixteen in 2014.
Saturday's other Third Round tilt will mark the second meeting between Rutgers-Newark and SUNY Oneonta in program history, however the two sides have not met since the 1984, with the Red Dragons claiming a 1-0 win.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
- The winners of Saturday's Third Round contests will advance to play on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Elite Eight with a spot in the NCAA Division III Championship Final Four on the line.
- Defending national champion Amherst returns to the NCAA postseason on a 11-game win streak dating back to Oct. 2.
- Senior Christopher Martin has been an essential playmaker for the Purple & White in the offensive end, tallying a team-high eight goals and eight assists for 24 points so far this fall.
- With eight-goals each, Bryce Ciambella '17 and Weller Hlinomaz '18 add depth to Amherst's dangerous offensive attack, while Dane Lind '20 (5 goals, 4 assists, 14 points) and Jackson Lehnhart '17 (5 goals, 3 assists, 13 points) have also tallied double-digit points in 19 games.
- On the defensive end, seniors Justin Aoyama, Cameron Bean, and Andrew Orozco have been dominant on a stingy backline that has accumulated a 0.67 goals against average.
- In goal, junior Lee Owen (16-1-1) has been stellar, registering 76 stops and allowing just 13 goals in 17 starts en route to owning a 0.72 goals against average and a .857 save percentage.
- A critical component to Brandeis' transition game, Josh Ocel has proven to be a constant threat in the midfield, dishing out a team-leading 13 assists and notching five goals for 23 points.
- Andrew Allen and Zach Vieira round out the Judges' double-digit point getters, with Allen recording four goals and three helpers for 11 points and Vieira logging three goals and five assists for 11 points.
- With four goals and an assist each, Patrick Flahive and Evan Jastremski have also contributed to Brandeis' offensive success this fall.
- Playing every minute in between the pipes for the Judges, Ben Woodhouse (12-5-3) has racked up 71 saves to boast a 0.84 goals against average and a .802 save percentage.
- An offensive talent, Fabio De Sousa leads Rutgers-Newark in all three major statistical categories, notching 14 goals and eight assists for 36 total points so far in 2016.
- Sebastian Gostynski has found nylon 11 times and has dished out three helpers to tally 25 total points, while Stefano Muniz's six goals and five assists are good for 17 points.
- Andres Medina (18-3-0) has been terrific in net for the Scarlet Raiders, making 95 saves and allowing just 14 goals to record a 0.69 goals against average and a .827 save percentage
- SUNY Oneonta's lone player to eclipse the 10-goal mark, Witman Hernandez has provided offensive firepower for the Red Dragons, finding the back of the net 11 times and dishing out five assists to secure a team-high 27 points in 22 games.
- Seniors Hans Purtell and Dillon Johnson add experience to a potent offense, with Purtell owning 18 points (7 goals, 4 assists) and Johnson registering 14 points (6 goals, 2 assist) for SUNY Oneonta.
- With four goals and five assists, Alejandro Ruiz has proven to be skilled on the attack, while Coryu Santangelo's four goals and two assists for 10 points make him the final Red Dragons player to notch 10 or more points on the year.
- In between the pipes, Ryan Wilson (16-4-3) has started every game for SUNY Oneonta, registering 63 stops to post a 0.65 goals against average and a .818 save percentage.