AMHERST, Mass. – Down a score with 76 seconds remaining in regulation, sophomore forward German Giammattei netted the equalizer to play hero for the Mammoths and force extra minutes, however neither side was able to able to notch the game-winner before the final buzzer as the No. 4 Amherst College men's soccer team battled No. 15 Connecticut College to a 1-1 double overtime draw Saturday afternoon at Hitchcock Field in a battle of top-20 ranked teams.
"The good news is that we showed a lot of heart and grit staying focused and salvaging a point," commented head coach Justin Serpone. "The disappointing piece is that we felt like we left two points on the field today. We need to learn from today and be better at it moving forward."
With the draw, Amherst moves to 5-0-1 on the season and to 2-0-1 in league play, while Connecticut College moves to 5-0-1 overall (3-0-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Saturday, September 28 when they travel to archrival Williams for a 2 PM conference bout.
"Amherst -Williams is always a classic and I don't expect next Saturday to be any different," continued Serpone. "We haven't had much time so far on the practice field and I think the whole coaching staff is looking forward to getting some good practices this week and preparing for a really good and dangerous Williams team."
Combining for 23 shots in the opening half, both teams produced scoring chances early. Looking to break through at the 31:20 mark, a free kick from the left sideline was headed to a wide-open Ada Okorogheye '23 on the far side, however his volley from point-blank range was met with quick reflexes by the Camels' keeper.
Responding in kind less than a minute later, Augie Djerdjaj nearly connected on his leading pass to MT Tshuma behind the Mammoths' defense, but Bernie White '22 read the play perfectly and came out to the dot before diving to his right and just getting his fingertips on the ball to intercept the dish.
Getting the visitors on the board in the 22nd minute, Djerdjaj teamed up with Matt Butera to give Connecticut College a 1-0 edge. Capitalizing on a free kick from 35 yards out, Butera's kick deflected off the hands of the Mammoths' keeper who attempted to nab the ball out of midair and to Djerdjaj on the far right post who volleyed a shot into the open net.
Demonstrating unwavering confidence with time winding down, Giammattei potted his NESCAC-leading ninth goal of the fall with 1:16 remaining in regulation to even the sides and force overtime. Executing an impressive string of seven pin-point passes starting with the Mammoths' goalie to swiftly move 60 yards downfield, Giammattei found the ball at his feet just left of the penalty hash before driving a quick low shot into the nylon. Sophomore Nico Kenary was credited was the assist on the game-tying score.
Keeping up the pressure before the horn, Amherst threatened to notch the game-winner with 50 seconds on the clock behind back-to-back shots by Ignacio Cubeddu '23 and Dane Lind '20, however Liam Donelan and Luke Stoneback came through in the clutch for Connecticut College to post a block and defensive save.
Amherst owned a 5-1 edge in shots on frame in the two overtime periods and the Camels earned a corner kick opportunity, but neither side was able to lift their team to victory as the contest concluded in a 1-1 draw.
In between the pipes, White (5-0-1) recorded nine saves for Amherst in the tie, while AJ Marcucci (5-0-1) finished with 12 stops on the day for the Camels.
"The Conn goalkeeper, AJ Marcucci, is the reigning NESCAC Player of the Year, and he was great today," finished Serpone. "Having said that I don't think we've had 37 shots in a game in my entire career so we'd hope to get more than one goal off all those chances."
The Mammoths owned the advantage in shots (37-15), shots on goal (15-10) and corner kicks (10-3) in the matchup and were whistled for 15 fouls, while Connecticut College was called for 25 total infractions.
Amherst men's soccer joined hundreds of club, high school and college teams across the country in donning rainbow laces for today's game in support of the United Soccer Coaches and the LGBT & Allies Coaches Advocacy Group's Third Annual Play With Pride Week! From September 16-22 teams across the nation will #PlayWithPride to show their support for athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations and gender identities. To learn more about this initiative, click here.