GREENSBORO, N.C. – A record-breaking season ended with the Amherst College men's soccer team claiming Nation Runner-Up honors, as the Mammoths were unable to counter a two-goal night by defending national champion Tufts University in the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship game Saturday evening at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
For their outstanding performances throughout the Final Four, senior midfielder Cutler Coleman, junior defender Kyle Kelly, and sophomore forward German Giammattei were named to the All-Tournament Team.
NCAA INTERACTIVE BRACKET | AMHERST NCAA HISTORY | FULL REPLAY | ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
The first side to earn a solid scoring chance, Joe Braun threatened on the left side for Tufts at the 37:59 mark, running onto a heel pass from Gavin Tasker inside the box. Ripping a left-footed shot on frame aimed for the nearside top corner, sophomore keeper Bernie White denied the early attempt, using every inch of his 6-5 frame to snatch the ball out of midair.
Second Team All-American Tasker broke open scoring with 20:07 on the clock, netting his fifth goal of the fall on an unassisted strike. Hurdling a slide tackle by Bryce Johnson '21 at the top of the box, Tasker stumbled forward a step before sending low-left footed shot across the box and inside the far post.
Kicking it into high gear in the final 10 minutes of the first half, Amherst forced three Erich Kindermann saves as they looked to even the score before intermission. The Mammoths outshot the Jumbos 5-3 through the first 45 minutes.
Senior Dane Lind had the first quality chance for Amherst with 9:40 before the buzzer, following up a heel kick that was blocked with a low shot from the top of the 18, but Kindermann stood strong in frame to smother the attempt.
Forcing another Kindermann stop four minutes later, Cutler Coleman '20 blasted a long shot from 35-yards out on target. A hard bounce at the last minute inside the goalie box nearly got the Mammoths on the board, however a quick adjustment by the Jumbos netminder kept the visitor's one-goal edge intact.
German Giammattei '22 had the final chance before the break, with a run from midfield by Ignacio Cubeddu '23 setting up the opportunity. Sprinting to the top of the box, Cubeddu faked left and sent a dish to a wide-open Giammattei 15-yards out on the right side. Driving a right-footed shot aimed for the top right corner, a highlight reel full extension save by Kindermann kept Amherst off the board.
After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Sebastian Derby '21 had another close call for the home team with 27:50 remaining in regulation as Ada Okorogheye's '23 cross deflected off a defender to Derby alone seven-yards from the line. Powering a laser towards Kindermann, the Jumbos' keeper somehow got his hand on the ball that was destined to hit nylon under the bar as he punched the shot over the net.
A corner from the right side in the 68th minute gave the Mammoths another quality scoring chance, as Gabe Gitler '21 floated his insertion pass towards Kyle Kelly '21 on the far post. Despite Kelly winning his individual battle and connecting on a hard header, Kindermann continued to frustrate the Mammoths as he knocked down the attempt.
Adding an insurance tally in the 74th minute, Max Jacobs potted what stood as the final goal of the night with an assist from Alex Ratzan. Sending a cross from the right side into the middle of the box, a Mammoths' defender was unable to get his head on the long ball as it landed at the foot of Jacobs alone at the six-yard mark who chipped it past the diving Mammoths' netminder.
Battling until the final buzzer, Ignacio Cubeddu '23 looked to cut Amherst's deficit to one with 8:25 to go as he handled a short dish from Lind on the left side and drove a low shot towards frame looking to sneak one nearside, but the shot banged off the outside of the post.
The Mammoths owned a 13-11 edge in shots and a 6-5 advantage in shots on target when the clock hit zero and were whistled for 13 fouls on the night, while the Jumbos held the edge in corner kicks, 8-4, and were called for 19 infractions.
Registering three saves, White (17-2-1) closes out his sophomore season with 17 victories for Amherst and seven complete-game shut outs, while Kindermann made six stops to blank the Mammoths in the win for Tufts.
PROGRAM RECORDS & INDIVIDUAL MILESTONES
- Edging out the 2013 Mammoths and the 2015 National Championship team that both posted 18-1-2 overall ledgers, Amherst picked up its 19th win of the fall with a 3-0 National Semifinal victory to break the program's single-season wins benchmark.
- With 12 players finding the back of the net throughout 2019, the Mammoths eclipsed the previous team single-season goal mark with a combined 58 scores on the year to push 2012's 56 goals into the number two spot.
- Finishing a National Player of the Year caliber season with an eye-popping 26 scores and five assists for 57 total points, sophomore forward German Giammattei now sits atop the program's leader board in both single-season goals and single-season points. His 26 goals also ties a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) scoring record, with Giammattei matching Alex Blake of Williams (2001) as the league's most prolific single-season goal scorer.
- Senior Dane Lind bested his own program single-season assist record set in 2018 in the Mammoths 3-1 Elite Eight win over RPI, with Lind dishing out his 11th helper of the year to hold the top two spots in the category.
- Amherst Head Coach Justin Serpone reached a personal milestone in the Mammoths National Semifinal win, recording his 200th career victory at Amherst in his 13th season at the helm of the program.
- The Mammoths now stand at 34-12-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament dating back to the program's first appearance in the Championships in 1993.
Saturday's game marked the final contest for four Mammoths seniors who will graduate as part of the Amherst College Class of 2020 - with Will Dunne, Jimmy McMillian, Dane Lind, and Cutler Coleman having completed their collegiate careers with an historic season for the program.
An impressive class in the program's rich history, Amherst has outscored opponents 192 to 67 to compile a 62-12-8 overall record since 2016, including a 28-6-6 mark in NESCAC play and a 35-5-4 ledger at Hitchcock Field. The 2016 NESCAC Champions, the seniors end their careers boasting a .805 overall winning percentage.