HARTFORD, Conn. -- Gabe Gitler '21 had a pair of assists and Amherst College scored in the 80th minute to beat Trinity College 2-1 in the final New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's soccer contest of the regular season for both sides.
The Mammoths, up to No. 10 in the country this week, end their regular season at 11-2-2 and 6-2-2 in the conference, earning them the #2 seed and a home quarterfinals matchup this Saturday against Hamilton at 1:00 PM. They will enter the conference tournament on a five game win streak.
Gitler took advantage of a free kick just on the edge of the box and served in a laser that Sebastian Derby '21 was able to deflect in for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.That strike broke a 1-1 tie and came on the heels of a surge by the Bantams against the Amherst goal and Kofi Hope-Gund '21, who made four saves.
"Two great services by Gabe Gitler led to the goals. He's got a special left foot. I also thought Luke (Nguyen), in the middle, and Fikayo (Ajayi), in the back, had noteworthy performances" said head coach Justin Serpone. "I was really impressed how our team kept our composure at the end. We're a young group so I was happy that we kept our heads and didn't get distracted."
The game did get very chippy, especially towards the end, as it featured three red cards and three yellow cards, five of them on the Bantams, who played the last few minutes with eight men.
Amherst took a lead in the 54th minute when Jimmy McMillian '20 scored his third goal of the season on a feed from Gitler, who added to his team-lead with five assists now on the year.
It took the home teams less than thirty seconds to equalize, tying the game through Scott Brazina just 21 seconds after McMillian's marker. Cody Savonen picked up the assist for Trinity.
- Coach Serpone on the NESCAC quarterfinals: "Next up is a very talented and physical Hamilton team. We tied them 1-1 a few weeks ago and we're expecting Saturday to be another tight, hard-fought game."
- Trinity, who celebrated Senior Night this evening, ends their season with a 4-10-1 record and a 1-8-1 mark in the conference, missing out on the postseason this year.
- Senior Mateo Zabala made six saves in his final career game in the Bantams' net.