Men’s Soccer Rebounds from Tufts Loss with Victory Against Bates

Men’s Soccer Rebounds from Tufts Loss with Victory Against Bates

The Amherst men’s soccer team fell to No. 3 Tufts, 2-1, on Saturday, Sept. 29, but rallied for a comeback 2-1 win over Bates the next day. With the weekend’s results, the Mammoths now stand at 4-3-0 on the season and 2-3-0 in NESCAC play.

Saturday’s game against the Jumbos finished with both teams tied with 15 total shots. Tufts’ Mati Cano scored one goal in the first half, and the Jumbos managed to hold onto the lead heading into halftime

Less than 15 minutes into the second half, the hosts managed to widen their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Travis Van Brewer. Amherst’s Sebastian Derby ’21 clawed one goal back for the visitors with a perfectly placed header in the 70th minute. Dane Lind ’20 took advantage of a dangerous free kick to swing in a perfect cross to the far post, where Derby expertly guided the ball past the goalkeeper’s fingertips.

The Mammoths continued to pepper the Jumbos’ net with shots, notching four attempts on target in the last 20 minutes as part of a desperate attempt to find the tying goal. However, the final whistle ultimately cut short these efforts, and Amherst left the field with three conference losses on the year, one more than the Mammoths suffered in the entirety of last season.

Looking to remedy these conference-play woes, the Mammoths returned to their home turf to play Bates on Sunday afternoon. The visiting Bobcats set the pace early on, with Peder Bakken scoring the first goal of the game less than 10 minutes after the opening whistle. Amherst’s physical style of play, which saw the Mammoths accrue 12 fouls over the course of the game, came back to hurt the hosts, with Bates scoring off of a free kick.

The Bobcats’ Julien Willamson played the ball to Ciaran Bardong on the set piece, who proceeded to tee up Bakken for a miss-hit shot that dribbled unconvincingly through a scrum of Bobcats and Mammoths into the bottom left corner of the net.

Unfazed, Amherst immediately bounced back to tie the game just a minute later. Sean Fitzgerald ’19 scored the tying goal after a flip throw-in from the sideline by Bryce Johnson ’21.

First-year German Giammattei scored Amherst’s winning goal after the game had remained deadlocked at one goal apiece for almost 70 minutes. Giammattei’s third goal of the season came from a rebound after a shot by Cutler Coleman that the Bates goalkeeper spilled. Giammattei pounced on the opportunity and slotted the ball home into the yawning mouth of the net.

“We have a great group of guys — that’s hard to bet against,” junior Jimmy McMillian said. “As we begin to click in all areas of the game, the most important thing is that we have all of the bullets in the gun and can be at 100 percent every time we hit the field.”

The Mammoths retake the field this Wednesday, Oct. 3 against New England College at 7:30 p.m. Following the midweek match-up, the team returns home to face off against NESCAC rival Hamilton on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m.