AMHERST, Mass. – Kieran Bellew '18 netted the game-winning goal in the 97th minute as the No. 9 Amherst College men's soccer team handed Connecticut College its first loss of the fall, 1-0 in overtime Tuesday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.
"That was a really good college soccer game," said head coach Justin Serpone. "Conn. College is a very good team and I was impressed by their goalkeeper, A.J. Marcucci, today."
With the win, Amherst improves to 6-1-2 on the season and to 3-1-2 in league play, while Connecticut College falls to 8-1-3 on the year (4-1-3 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 14 when they travel to Colby for a 1:30 p.m. conference bout.
"We've got to turn the page pretty quickly," continued Serpone. "We have 5 games in 8 days upcoming against all good teams. Colby is the first test and they are having a great year. We need to regroup and get ready for another had NESCAC game Saturday. "
The Mammoths threatened two minutes into the contest, with Luke Nguyen '19 and Jimmy McMillian '20 each putting a shot on target from five yards out following a corner kick, but the Camel keeper stood strong and turned both attempts away.
Ben Highton had the Camels best chance through the first 52 minutes at the 37:56 mark in the second half, powering a header from the far post on target following a long throw in from the left sideline, but Michael Stone '21 came up with the save to keep the game deadlocked at 0-0.
Amherst responded with a scoring chance of their own five minutes later, as Cutler Coleman '20 stole a pass and cut to the middle of the field at the top of the box to draw two defenders to him before dishing a pass to a wide open Sebastian Derby '21 on the left side. Driving a shot towards goal from 10 yards out, Derby's attempt rang off the crossbar.
The sides traded opportunities at the 20:19 and 18:58 marks, with McMillian's low, hard shot from point-blank range being met with a A.J. Marcucci kick save, and Kyle Kelly '21 making a great defensive effort against Christian Murphy on a 1-v-1 to force his shot wide of the net.
Murphy nearly registered the game-winner with 1:01 remaining in regulation, as he gained inside positioning on a defender and ripped a low hard shot on goal from seven yards out, but Stone came through in the clutch and just got his hand on the ball as he dove to his right to keep the game scoreless as the clock hit 00:00.
Breaking through with 2:10 remaining in the first overtime, Bellew directed the Mammoths to the 1-0 victory as he sent a shot from the top right corner of the goal box off a Camel defender and into the nylon.
"What I was most impressed with was the total team effort that we showed today," noted Serpone. "Guys like Michael Stone, Chris Lewis, Kieran Bellew and Kyle Kelly stepped into pressure situations and really impacted the game. I'm especially happy for Kieran. He's worked really hard for the last four years and for him to get a game winner is deserved."
- Kofi Hope-Gund '21 made two saves for the Mammoths in 45:00 in goal, while Stone (1-0-0) recorded four stops in 52:50 in the winning effort. Marcucci (8-1-2) posted 11 saves for the Camels in the loss.
- Amherst owned the advantage in shots, 20-9 and corner kicks, 8-1.
- McMillian logged a contest-high five shots, while Nguyen added three shot attempts.
- Matt Butera and Highton led the Camels offense with two shots each.