AMHERST, Mass. – Despite outshooting the Panthers 25-4 in the final 65 minutes of action, the Mammoths were unable to tally the game-winner as the second-ranked Amherst College men's soccer team battled Middlebury College to a 1-1 double overtime tie Sunday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.
"This is the third time that we've come back from being down this season so I know this team has a lot of heart," commented head coach Justin Serpone.
With the draw, Amherst moves to 6-0-2 on the year and to 3-0-2 in league play, while Middlebury moves to 5-0-3 overall (2-0-3 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 2 when they host New England College in a 4:30PM non-conference clash.
Keeping things scoreless at the 26:30 mark, a big defensive play by Felix Wu '21 thwarted a Middlebury scoring chance and gave the home team a goal kick as he made a clean slide tackle on Kyle Moffat who had the angle and a clear path to frame.
Opening scoring in the 29th minute, four consecutive passes by the Panthers set up Henry Wilhelm's fifth goal of the season. Corralling the ball inside the box, Noah Hannam dished a heel pass to the streaking Wilhelm who sent a shot past the outstretched keeper and into the bottom right corner.
After four close calls by German Giammattei '22, including a shot of the post, the sophomore forward finally broke through with 9:18 remaining in the second half to notch his NESCAC-leading 10th goal of the season and force overtime. Pressuring the Panthers defense, Dane Lind '20 blocked a kick to earn a 2-v-2 before sending a pass to Giammattei who cut back on his defender and powered a shot five-hole into the nylon.
The best chance of the overtime periods for Amherst to clinch the win came two minutes into the second OT, with Lind's shot from 25 yards out sailing just inches wide of target as the match concluded in a 1-1 tie.
"It was a tough game today," noted Serpone. "I'm glad that our guys kept their composure."
The Mammoths held the edge in shots (33-10), shots on goal (11-5) and corners (5-3) in the contest and were whistled for 25 fouls, while the Panthers were called for 30 infractions.
In between the pipes, Kofi Hope-Gund '21 (0-0-1) registered four saves in his first start this fall to earn the draw for Amherst, while Ryan Grady (5-0-2) made 10 stops for Middlebury.