AMHERST, Mass. – A late push by the Mammoths that saw eight shot attempts in the final 15 minutes was not enough to even the score late as the fourth-seeded Amherst College men's soccer team suffered their first loss in over a month at the hands of eighth-seeded Colby, 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Gooding Field in a NESCAC Semifinals bout.
"Hats off to Colby on a huge win for their program, and especially their Senior class," commented head coach Justin Serpone. "They competed hard on every ball today, won the majority of second balls and I thought their clearances were terrific. I'd certainly love to be playing tomorrow in the NESCAC Final but I'm happy for Colby."
With the setback, Amherst moves to 12-4-1 on the year and will wait to hear if they are to receive an at-large bid to the national postseason, while Colby improves top 8-6-3 overall and advances to the NESCAC Finals against Williams.
"You can't give up three goals in any game and hope to get a result," continued Serpone. "Soccer teams are successful if they are hard to score on…and we weren't today. The conditions, the field, luck… have absolutely nothing to do with it. We weren't good enough today. Plain and simple."
Striking 9:18 into the contest, Jeff Rosenberg netted his first goal of the fall to give the visitors an early edge with an assist from Asa Berolzheimer. Lucas Pereira set up the scoring play with a perfectly placed dish to Berolzheimer from midfield to split the defense before Berolzheimer connected with Rosenberg on the left post for the one-touch score.
The Mammoths best chance of the first half came with 14:23 on the clock as Will Cohen '19 sent a 45-yard boot to Fikayo Ajayi '19 behind the Mules' defense. Quickly volleying a shot on target from point-blank range, Dan Carlson came through in the clutch for the visitors as he punched Ajayi's attempt over the cross bar.
Doubling Colby's lead 1:29 into the second half, Rosenberg buried his second score of the game to give the Mules a two goal cushion. Taking advantage of a throw in from the right sideline, Cam Clouse tossed a bouncing ball through traffic to Rosenberg on the far side who redirected the ball into the bottom right corner.
Padding the Mules' lead at the 57:29 mark, Berolzheimer made it 3-0 on an indirect free kick opportunity. Setting up 35 yards out, Paul Hawkins stopped a short dish from Clouse in front of Berolzheimer who powered a low shot off of a defender and inside the right post.
Getting the home team on board less than two minutes later, Bryce Johnson '21 cut the Mammoths' deficit to 3-1 with his second goal of the year. Assisting on the scoring play at the 59:04 mark, Alex Shahmirzadi '22 sent a cross from deep in the left corner to Johnson who volleyed a shot past the Colby keeper.
Amherst made a strong push in the final 15 minutes of regulation to even things late, however the Mammoths were unable to get one of their eight shot attempts into the nylon.
Threatening in the 76th minute, Andres Pascual-Leone '19 sent a header off the left post and a follow-up attempt on the rebound by German Giammattei '22 was met with a big defensive save by Clouse as the visitors held on for the 3-1 win.
Bernie White '22 (10-2-1) took the loss for Amherst in between the pipes, while Carlson (6-6-2) registered five stops for Colby in the winning effort.
The Mammoths owned a 27-7 edge in shot attempts and a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks and were whistled for seven fouls, while the Mules were called for eight infractions.
"Now we'll wait until Monday afternoon to find out about a possible NCAA bid," finished Serpone. "It's been an enjoyable season, and I care so much about these guys…I'd love to get the chance to keep it going."
|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 program in their honor. The College's naming of the Beneski Soccer Program 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.|