No. 1 Amherst Opens NCAA Championship Play With 6-1 Win Over Thomas

No. 1 Amherst Opens NCAA Championship Play With 6-1 Win Over Thomas

KEENE, N.H. – The top-ranked Amherst College men's soccer team opened up the NCAA Championship tournament with a win for the 14th straight season as five different Mammoths found the back of the net en route to a dominant 6-1 victory over Thomas College in First Round action Saturday afternoon at Dr. Ron Butcher Field.


"There was a lot we could have done better today, but the only thing that matters in the NCAA tournament is getting through to the next round," commented head coach Justin Serpone.

The result improves Amherst to 15-1-2 on the season, while Thomas closes out its 2019 campaign with a 10-9-1 overall ledger. The Mammoths are right back at it again tomorrow, Sunday, November 17 and will face off against No. 25 Ithaca (13-5-2) at 3:00PM with a trip to the Round of 24 on the line.

Opening scoring in the 17th minute, senior Dane Lind potted his eighth score of the fall with an assist from Jack O'Brien '21. Corralling O'Brien's dish in the middle of the pitch and dodging a defender, Lind ripped a shot into the bottom right corner.

Doubling the Mammoths' advantage 13 minutes later, German Giammattei '22 notched what stood as the game-winner as he gathered a through ball from Ada Okorogheye '23 and snuck a shot inside the right post.

Taking a comfortable 3-0 lead into intermission, Sebastian Derby '21 tallied his first goal of the year on an unassisted strike at the 38:27 mark. Intercepting an attempted clear, Derby volleyed the ball into the nylon.

"It was great to see Sebastian Derby have such an impact on the game today," said Serpone. "He's been a little unlucky with injuries this year but he's such an important part of our team." 

Getting on the board and avoiding the shutout with 21:23 remaining in regulation, Avian Girard registered the Terrier's only score of the day off a cross into the box, with his shot just getting over the shoulder of the Mammoths' keeper.

Responding with three more goals down the stretch, Derby, Declan Sung '23 and Will Dunne '20 each found the back of the net to lift Amherst to the 6-1 victory.

Adding to the scoresheet at the 74:02 mark, Derby logged his second goal of the matchup before Sung potted his first collegiate goal on an impressive individual effort, juking his defender and ripping a laser into the top left corner.

Playing the majority of his time with the Mammoths as a goalkeeper, Dunne stepped up when called and rounded out scoring with 1:49 to go - converting on a penalty kick to record his first career goal.

Registering two stops in between the pipes for Amherst, sophomore Bernie White (13-1-1) picked up the win, while John Villanueva (5-5-0) made eight saves for Thomas in the losing effort.

Dominating on attack, the Mammoths outshot the Terriers, 28-5, and put 15 shots on target, while holding the edge in corner kicks, 7-4.

Now owning a 30-11-11 all-time ledger in the national postseason, Amherst hits the field against Ithaca looking to get back to the Third Round for the 10th consecutive fall. It will be just the second time in program history Amherst will battle the Bombers, with Amherst previously downing Ithaca, 2-0, in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament in 1997.

"Ithaca beat a very talented Keene State team today and they have had a terrific season," Serpone concluded. "Tomorrow is going to be a battle."