AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's soccer team closed out the 2018 regular season with a 3-1 victory over Trinity College on Wednesday afternoon at Hitchcock Field, securing a home game in this weekend's New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament.
Amherst (11-3-1, 6-3-1 NESCAC) has clinched the #4 seed and will host Bowdoin this coming Saturday in the quarterfinals at Hitchcock Field, with start time still to be finalized. The Mammoths defeated Bowdoin 1-0 on September 8th in their second game and first conference tilt of the season.
"It's been a good month of October for us. We were 1-3 in NESCAC after the Tufts game and have scrapped our way back to 6-3-1," said Head Coach Justin Serpone.
Bowdoin will be a huge game on Saturday. They are a very good team who has always battled us close, and they are always at their best in the NESCAC tournament. In 2014 they won the championship on our field and we haven't forgotten that. It should be a great game.
Fikayo Ajayi '19 had a goal and an assist and German Giammattei '22 scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season as the Mammoths broke a scoreless halftime tie with two goals in a span of five minutes.
Ajayai slipped a beautiful pass to Giammattei, who ran onto it on the left wing and hit it past Trinity goalie Everett Lyons, who made seven saves for the Bantams (2-13-0, 0-10-0).
Five minutes later, the senior striker collected a loose ball off a Bantams defender and rifled it into the upper right corner of the Trinity goal to double the home team's advantage. It was Ajayi's third goal of the season and second straight game with a marker.
Sean Fitzgerald '19 added an insurance goal at the 67:00 mark when he leapt up and deflected in a hard shot from Andrew Barkidjija '22. It was the fourth goal of the year for Fitzgerald and the second assist for Barkidjija in his rookie campaign.
Bernie White '22 made four saves and improved to 9-1-1 in between the pipes for Amherst. Amherst outshot Trinity 30-6 and took eleven corner kicks to just three by the Bantams.
The Mammoths were seconds from a shutout, but Trinity striker Alistair Matule slid into a rebound on the right post with eight seconds left for his sixth goal of the year.
"Hats off to Trinity for fighting until the very end. They were rewarded for it with that goal with seven seconds to go," added Serpone. "Bowdoin will be a huge game on Saturday. They are a very good team who has always battled us close, and they are always at their best in the NESCAC tournament. In 2014 they won the championship on our field and we haven't forgotten that. It should be a great game."