Men’s soccer (6–1–1, 3–1 in the NESCAC) responded to a tough 4–2 loss against Amherst with a crucial league victory 2–0 at Bates on Sunday. The Ephs used pivotal goals from Malcolm Moutenot ’17 and Mark Sisco-Tolomeo ’18 to seize the win.
Williams came out of the gate on the offensive on Sunday against Bates. The Ephs players hustled to every ball up and down the pitch, recording five shots in the first 20 minutes. The Bobcats could not immediately match this energy, and the Ephs took advantage in the 18th minute. Moutenot got the ball from forward partner Sisco-Tolomeo and immediately sniped it past Bates goalie Robbie Montanaro for his first goal of the season and Williams’ first goal of the match.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Eph defender Kevin Mercadante ’17 played a ball ahead to forward Sisco-Tolomeo, who found himself in the box with Montanaro and flicked it right by him to give his squad a two-goal lead.
However, the last 10 minutes took on an added intensity. The Bobcats started to match the Ephs’ ferocious energy. They improved the timing and placement of their passes and their runs became more precise. This stretch of excitement resulted in two corner kicks in the last 10 minutes for Bates, and two shots within inches of the net, a header by Matt DiVite and a flick from Peabo Knoth, both of which were blocked by Eph defenders. Anytime the ball got near co-captain Christian Alcorn ’17, a teammate was there to clear the ball away, force it out of bounds or take possession. It was clear the goalie’s defense did not want to let him down, and helped him record his fifth clean sheet of the season.
In Amherst’s first home game of the season on Saturday, a day when last season’s national championship squad was honored, forward Jackson Lehnhart netted two goals for top-ranked Amherst in a 4–2 win over Williams.
Lehnhart scored off of a free kick in the second minute to put the men behind quickly. This goal swung momentum Amherst’s way, and it refused to let Williams gain possession in its half for very long, using effective slide tackles and well-timed clearances to keep control of the match. This worked for most of the first half, but when the Amherst defense slipped, Williams was there to take advantage of the mental mishap.
In the 33rd minute, Williamsworked the ball around the net, and off several rebounds and blocks by Amherst, Tobias Muellers ’18 slotted home his second goal of the season to tie the match at one. Amherst responded quickly in the 40th minute, when a corner from Lehnhart was kicked around in front of the net, resulting in a top–shelf, go-ahead goal from sub Bijan Zojaji. Amherst went into halftime with a one–goal lead.
Williams responded in the 47th minute, as Greg Andreou ’19 strode towards the Amherst goal, eventually passing to where forward Mohammad Rashid ’17 was waiting. Rashid fired his team-leading fourth goal of the season straight past goalie Lee Owen, tying the match before Amherst was able to settle down for the second 45.
Both offenses started to pick up over the course of the half, with many crisp passes and incisive runs. However, only one of these teams took advantage of its improved offense. Off a corner from Forest Sisk, Amherst and Williams battled for possession in front of the net until Lehnhart got the ball and tapped it into the goal.
Amherst capitalized on one last chance with a goal from junior forward Weller Hlinomaz, who took possession of the ball from partner Chris Martin and kicked the the ball into the top right corner, past a leaping Alcorn.
Williams goes back on the road on Saturday against NESCAC foe Conn. College.