Men’s soccer falls to Amherst and Bates at home; looks to rebound

September 30, 2015 by Mandela Namaste, Staff Writer

Mark Sisco-Tolomeo ’18 took three shots against the Jeffs in the men’s game against Amherst. Photo Credit / Sports Information

Mark Sisco-Tolomeo ’18 took three shots against the Jeffs in the men’s game against Amherst. Photo Credit / Sports Information

For the third time in four matches, men’s soccer (3-4, 2-3 in the NESCAC) played 110 minutes, and continued to struggle closing out games, losing a double overtime thriller to Bates 2-1 on Sunday off a breakaway goal by Bates junior Peabo Knoth.

The men’s attackers came out fast and furious, as the Ephs recorded five shots in the first 20 minutes, keeping the ball in the Bobcats’ half. The Bobcats recorded just one shot on goal in the first half and were clearly outmatched in the 45 minutes. However, the half ended at a 0-0 deadlock.

Williams kept up its ferocious attack to begin the half and 10 minutes in, Bates goalie Sam Polito deflected a shot from Sean Dory ’19, only to find Brandon Dory ’17 waiting to poke the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Ephs did not let up after that, continuing their crisp passing and strong runs, but the Bobcats were starting to wake up. The Bobcats’ runs became more incisive and they started to wear the Ephs down. Bates’s attack continued to improve and, with less than two minutes to go, Nate Merchant slotted in a goal to tie the game. Yet again, a Williams match was headed to OT.

Bates started strong in the first OT, keeping the ball firmly in its offensive half, but Williams wouldn’t give up. Brandon Dory ripped a shot in the 97th minute, Mark Sisco-Tolomeo ’18 took a header off the ensuing corner and Malcolm Moutenot ’17 hit a low to the ground screamer, all providing great opportunities to win the match, but for the second day in a row and third time in the last four games, the men were going to play past the 100-minute mark.

The Bobcats controlled the second OT period from the start and finished the Ephs quickly, as Knoth ran down the field, beating the entire Eph defense and slotting the ball past Eph goalie Christian Alcorn ’17 to send the men to their fourth loss in five games. The men were disappointed with the outcome and hope to learn from their experience.

On Saturday, the Ephs lost a tightly contested rivalry matchup to the Lord Jeffs in double OT. Tragically, with just 29 seconds left to go in the second OT period, Amherst had an open opportunity near the goal and a Jeff slotted it past Alcorn for his second goal.

By contrast, the match got off to a sluggish start, with neither team able to establish a consistent rhythm through the first part of the first half. However, as the half progressed, Williams’ attack remained relatively stagnant while Amherst started to wake up, penetrating the Williams defense continually but repeatedly failing to convert chances to goals. Just before the half, Williams put together a nice series led by fluid passing, but a shot by Mohammed Rashid ’16 was blocked. Unsurprisingly, both squads entered the half with goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Amherst picked up right where it left off in the second half with two great shots within the first two minutes of the start of the half. However, the Ephs wouldn’t let those attacks go unanswered, culminating in freshman Sean Dory’s first career goal at 49:12.

Soon after a brilliant shot by Aziz Khan, the Jeffs tied the game off of a solid first score from inside the box at 77:32. The first overtime period proved uneventful, as only two shots were recorded in the period between the two teams. This  lead to the game’s final 10 minutes, which gave the fans the entertainment a rivalry game should provide.

The second overtime began the way the game began with a back-and-forth battle between the boxes, and came down to the final minute, when Amherst penetrated the Eph defense for the final time. The Jeffs’ attack drove straight through the Williams defense, and Singer knocked the game-winner home with 29 seconds left on the clock to keep the Jeffs’ undefeated season alive.

“We are definitely disappointed about the results from this weekend,” said co-captain Geoff Danilack ’16. “In our eyes, they were both games we should have come away from with very valuable points. The good news is that, for the majority of the games, we believe we are outplaying our opponents. This week we will up the intensity in training substantially and work to find the missing element that will enable us to close our games and put teams away.”

This Saturday, the men will host Conn. College at 1:30 p.m., looking to ameliorate their play in conference.

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