Three-Goal Second Half Pushes Men's Soccer Past NEC, 4-2

Three-Goal Second Half Pushes Men's Soccer Past NEC, 4-2

HENNIKER, N.H. – A three-goal second half pushed the Mammoths past the Pilgrims Wednesday evening, as the Amherst College men's soccer team downed non-conference foe New England College, 4-2 at Don Melander Field.

With the victory, Amherst improves to 5-3-0 on the season, while New England College drops to 4-5-2 overall. Amherst returns to the field on Saturday, Oct. 6 when they host Hamilton in a NESCAC contest beginning at 2:30 p.m.  

Executing early, the Mammoths jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:28 into the midweek matchup. Capitalizing on a long throw in by Andrew Barkidjija '22 from the right sideline, Sean Fitzgerald '19 got inside positioning on his defender and headed a shot just inside the far post to register his second goal of the fall.

Tying things up at 1-1 in the 30th minute, Carter Adams got the Pilgrims on the board with an assist from Ryder Valinski. Following a throw in, Valinski headed the ball to Adams at the top of the box who quickly side stepped a defender and powered a shot into the bottom right hand corner.

Deadlocked at intermission, Amherst broke the game open in the second half, netting three straight scores to take a 4-1 lead.

Finding the back of the net at the 56:11 mark, Sebastian Derby '21 froze the goalie on a laser of a shot from 25 yards out that found its way into the top right corner. 

Notching his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 76th minute, Derby tallied his second goal of the night and what stood as the game winner. Drawing a free kick near the right sideline, Alex Shahmirzadi '22 connected with Derby who volleyed the ball over the goal line.

Extending the visitors edge to 4-1 just over a minute later, the Mammoths closed out their scoring the same way they started it as Barkidjija headed a pass from Dane Lind '20 into the nylon.

New England College's Anthony Nardi tacked on a score with 3:28 remaining in regulation, however the Mammoths were able to shut down the home team in the final minutes to clinch the 4-2 victory.

Bernie White '22 (3-1-0) picked up the win between the posts by making eight saves for the Mammoths, while Dylan Mix (1-2-1) turned away 10 shots for the Pilgrims in the loss.

Amherst held the advantage in shots and corners, 37-15 and 7-4, respectively, and was whistled for 13 fouls, while New England College was called for eight infractions.