The men’s soccer team started the season with mixed results. The team dropped its home and season opener to Tufts University on Sept. 14. The Jeffs drew first blood when quad-captain Chris Kane ’03 scored the first goal of the game at 16:59. Tufts rebounded quickly and scored the final three goals of the game to win 4-1. The two teams would later meet in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament.
The team notched its first victory against NESCAC competition on Sept. 21, defeating Bates College 3-0 at Hitchcock Field. The Jeffs were led by freshman phenom Christian Alexander who scored two goals in the game. Joe Gannon ’06 scored the other goal. The emergence of the freshmen was one of the main stories of this game and of the entire season.
“Obviously the freshmen played very well,” said quad-captain Pat Garvey ’03. “Jeremy Kelly is getting a start on Saturday and Joe Ganon, a forward and I think one of the leading scorers in NESCAC, has played very well. [In addition,] our starting goalie Greg Lockwood is a freshman and was NESCAC Player of the Week.”
Amherst lost to NESCAC rival Middlebury College on Oct. 5. The 2-0 shutout loss lit a new fire under the Jeffs and sparked a win streak that continues today.
The beginning of the team’s current streak came against Connecticut College on Oct. 10. The game was a thriller and went right down to the end. Gannon was once again a key factor in the game, scoring two goals, including the game winner 71 minutes into the game.
The Jeffs took on the NESCAC and Little III rival Wesleyan University Cardinals on Oct. 19.
Amherst scored the first goal of the game at 29:48. Jeff Cantwell ’04 took a feed from senior quad-captain Carlo Valdesolo in the only goal of the first half. Gannon added an insurance goal 83:17 in the 2-0 shutout.
The biggest win of the season came unquestionably against Williams College on Oct. 26. The win broke a five-year losing streak at the hands of the Purple Cows.
Amherst dominated right from the start, with 13 corner kicks in the first half alone. Franklin Perry ’04 cored the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the second half. Carlo Valdesolo scored a second goal at the 5:55 minute mark. Sophomore forward Joquain Walker tacked on an insurance goal to end the game. Lockwood was stellar in the shutout with six saves on the day. With the win Amherst won the unofficial Little III Championship.
Tomorrow the Jeffs head to Maine to play Bowdoin College. The team looks to avenge the loss from earlier in the season.
In the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 28, the Jeffs lost a hard fought 2-1 game. Senior Roger Boulay scored the only goal of the game for Amherst.
“Of this weekend, we have the opportunity to avenge a game that we lost 2-1 early in the season. We felt that we played a better game and that we should have won,” said Garvey.
Cantwell agreed with his teammate. “Obviously it’s a big game � we lost to them earlier in the season but it was an away game. We’ve shown steady improvement throughout the season and [with] the way we’ve been playing the past three weeks, we’re all very excited about Saturday,” he said.