Men's Soccer Falls In NESCAC Title Game - Earn NCAA Bid

November 9, 2008

Amherst won its first NESCAC men's soccer championship with a 2-0 victory over defending champion Middlebury in Vermont. The Jeffs pick up their first title game win in four appearances, as they improve to 12-3-2 overall, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers move to 2-2-1 in NESCAC title games, 13-2-2 overall in '08, and are received an at-large bid to the NCAA's. Pairings, dates and sites will be announced on Monday.

Amherst came out strong with pressure on the Panthers for the first 30 minutes of the game. The Jeffs struck 15 minutes in as Jake Duker scored his 13th goal in 16 games as he one-timed a low hard crossing pass from Nick Lynch for the goal. The assist was his team-leading ninth of the season for Lynch.

Amherst struck again just 3:51 later as Jay Heo found the back of the net for his 11th of the year. Lynch made a centering pass to Duker, whose shot hit the post and rebounded right to Heo, as he gave his team a 2-0 lead early.

Middlebury came back for the final 15 minutes of the half with some pressure in the Amherst end, but could not get on the board. Lennard Kovacs kept it a 2-0 game for the Jeffs with one save, as well as a nice deflection of a Stephen Hart shot over the crossbar.

After being outshot 5-2 in the first half, Middlebury returned the favor in the second session. The Panthers pressured the Jeffs on several occasions, including five corner kicks and one direct kick between the 68th and 71st minutes of the second half.

The Amherst defense held tough and though Middlebury threatened, the Panthers did not have any great chances to break up the shutout.

Kovacs ended the game with three saves for his fifth shutout of the season, while Brian Bush made two saves for the Panthers.

Amherst (12-3-2) vs. Middlebury (13-2-2)
Date: Nov 09, 2008 Attendance: 675

Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Amherst............. 2 0 - 2
Middlebury.......... 0 0 - 0

1. 15:00 AMHMS Jake Duker (Nick Lynch)
2. 18:51 AMHMS Jay Heo (Jake Duker)

Shots: Amherst 7, Middlebury 7
Saves: Amherst 3 (Lennard Kovacs 3), Middlebury 2 (Brian Bush 2)