AMHERST, Mass. – In a league matchup that featured the last two NCAA Division III National Champions, the Mammoths came out on top, as a goal in the 62nd minute directed the Amherst College men's soccer team past No. 3 Tufts University, 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.
"Tufts is a really good team," said head coach Justin Serpone. "They are the champs for a reason. I thought they were dangerous all game today and our defense did a great job keeping them scoreless."
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-1-1 on the season and to 2-1-1 in conference play, while Tufts falls to 6-1-1 on the year (3-1-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 1 when they host Rutgers-Newark beginning at 2 p.m.
"Tomorrow is going to be another hard match against a Top-10 team," continued Serpone. "Rutgers- Newark is really talented and well coached so we'll need a great effort to give ourselves a chance."
Tanner Jameson nearly netted the first score of the contest in the 57th minute following a Gavin Tasker corner kick, but his header from the far side of the box rang off the crossbar.
Amherst tallied what proved to be the lone goal of the tilt with 28 minutes remaining on the clock, as a shot towards the net by the Mammoths deflected off a Tufts defender and over the goal line.
Looking to double the Mammoths' lead less than three minutes later, Weller Hlinomaz '18 sent a header on frame and past the Tufts' netminder in the 64th minute, but the Jumbos' backline came up with the clutch defensive save to keep it a one goal game.
The Jumbos threatened with two close calls at the 75:06 and 76:45 marks, as Dexter Eichhorst and Calvin Aroh each drove hard shots on target, but Kofi Hope-Gund '21 stood strong and turned away both attempts.
Tufts final chance to net the equalizer came in the 84th minute, as Brett Rojas ripped a shot towards goal from the top left of the box, but his attempt sailed just wide as Amherst held the Jumbos without a shot in the final 5:48 of regulation to clinch the 1-0 victory.
"We're a completely new group and we knew September was going to be a learning process for everyone involved," noted Serpone. "Our goal is to keep getting better every game."
- In between the pipes, Hope-Gund (2-0-1) registered 10 stops for Amherst in the winning effort, while Conner Mieth (3-1-0) made three saves for Tufts in the loss.
- The Jumbos owned a 22-8 advantage in shots in the matchup, while both sides earned six corner kicks.
- Both teams were given two yellow cards, while Amherst finished with 10 fouls and Tufts logged eight infractions.
- Hlinomaz led the Mammoths with five shots, while Rojas took five shots to lead the Jumbos.