Men's Soccer Edges Brandeis, 2-1

Men's Soccer Edges Brandeis, 2-1

WALTHAM, Mass. – Two scores in the opening 12 minutes proved to be enough for the Mammoths, as the Amherst College men's soccer team edged Brandeis University, 2-1 Monday evening at Gordon Field. 

"We knew what the stakes were tonight and came out hard," said head coach Justin Serpone. "This time of year it's so important for seniors to step up and that's what Fikayo, Sean and Luke (two assists) did in the first ten minutes."

With the win, Amherst improves to 10-3-1 on the season, while Brandeis falls to 7-6-2 overall. Amherst returns to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 24 when they host Trinity beginning at 3:30 p.m. for their regular season finale.

"Brandeis is a top team that has wins over numerous top ranked teams this year," continued Serpone. "They are well-coached, talented and tough. We were fortunate to leave with the win." 

Starting strong, the Mammoths wasted little time getting on the board as Fikayo Ajayi '19 netted his second goal of the fall 60 seconds into the contest to give the visitors an early lead. Winning a 50/50 ball that was launched into the box from midfield, Luke Nguyen '19 headed a pass to Ajayi who sent a low shot into the lower left corner. 

Doubling their lead in the 11th minute, Sean Fitzgerald '19 potted what stood as the game-winner as he headed a pass from Alex Shahmirzadi '22 inside the near post and past the diving netminder.

Brandeis got one back in the 80th minute, as Noah Gans connected with Bryant Nardizzi for the score, however the late tally was not enough to swing the momentum as the Mammoths held on to clinch the 2-1 victory.

In between the pipes, Bernie White '22 (8-1-1) registered four saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Greg Irwin (5-4-1) made five stops for the Judges in the loss.

The Mammoths held the advantage in shot attempts, 16-10, and were whistled for 14 fouls, while Brandeis owned the edge in corner kicks, 5-2, and were called for nine infractions.

"We have to regroup and prepare for our last NESCAC game of the season on Wednesday against Trinity," commented Serpone. "We've played them in the last game of the season for the past few years and it's always a hard, competitor game. I expect the same on Wednesday and we need to be ready."

In October 2018, Amherst proudly recognized Ted W. Beneski '78, P'08 and Laurie M. Beneski P'08 for their extraordinary generosity and commitment to the College by naming the men's and women's soccer programs in their honor. The College's naming of the Beneski Soccer Programs celebrates the Beneskis' love for Amherst athletics and their longstanding investment in helping Amherst students excel as learners, as players and teammates, and as citizens.