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Men's soccer charges back against No. 7 Amherst





AMHERST, Mass. -- Seventh-ranked Amherst accounted for the first three goals of Saturday's game against the Bates men's soccer team and hung on for a 3-2 win after the Bobcats scored twice in the second half.

The Bobcats (1-2, 0-2 NESCAC) cut into their 3-0 deficit when junior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.) converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute. They made things interesting when junior Ryan March (Concord, N.H.) gave the visitors another goal with 18:34 to play, but the Lord Jeffs (3-0, 1-0 NESCAC) hung on to win their first conference test of the season.

Amherst got on the board in the 11th minute when Jae Heo carried the ball along the end line before passing it off to Federico Sucre, who lofted a beautiful one-timer to the far post and past Bates senior goalkeeper Gregg Watts (West Chester, Pa.).

The hosts made it a 2-0 game only 6:22 later when a run by Spencer Noon led to a goal from Brendan Caslin.

Amherst's third goal came 7:11 into the second half after a missed penalty kick. Noon lined up for a free attempt after he was taken down in the box, but Watts was there to knock the ball away on a nice diving stop. Heo was in the right place at the right time, however, and was able to put home the rebound for his second goal of the season.

The Lord Jeffs nearly made it a 4-0 game immediately after Heo's goal, as Noon sent a perfect pass ahead to Milton Rico in the box, but Watts once again made a big stop when he came off his line to challenge the Amherst first-year.

Bates held the momentum for the final 30 minutes, beginning when Hirshberg converted a penalty kick that Amherst goalkeeper Lennard Kovacs got a hand on but could not knock down.

The visitors made it a 3-2 game 10 minutes later when a corner kick from junior John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine) was headed past Kovacs with just 18:34 to play.

The remainder of the contest was extremely physical and competitive, but it was the Lord Jeffs who hung on to earn three points in the standings.

Kovacs finished with a pair of saves for Amherst, while Watts stopped eight shots for the Bobcats. Bates attempted seven corner kicks to Amherst's six, while the Jeffs held a 20-5 advantage in shots.

Bates will travel to take on Trinity tomorrow at 2 p.m. (Live Stats Link)

Stats: Amherst 3, Bates 2