Nov. 13, 2010

CANTON, NY - The Amherst College men's soccer team advanced to the Second Round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon behind a 2-0 victory over Plattsburgh State at Sandy MacAllaster Field on the campus of St. Lawrence University. The Lord Jeffs will take on the host Saints tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Round of 16 next weekend.

The victory moves the Lord Jeffs to 12-2-3 on the season while, Plattsburgh State's season comes to an end with a 13-5-4 mark. With today's win, Amherst is 10-0-0 in the NCAA Tournament's First Round dating back to 1993.

Amherst used a pair of goals only 14:30 apart to seize control of the game in the first half. Rookie Julien Aoyama's (Narbeth, PA) second goal of the year came at 20:06 to give the Lord Jeffs a 1-0 cushion. Aoyama ran a pretty "give-and-go" with senior quad-captain Chris Skayne (Boxborough, MA) to cap a series of five passes before finishing with a low shot that beat Cardinal goalkeeper Andy Heighington.

The Lord Jeffs would push their lead to 2-0 at with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half as Alejandro Sucre (Caracas, Venezuela) slipped a shot past Heighington inside the far post as the keeper came well out of his net. Spencer Noon (Farmington, CT) was credited with the assist on Sucre's fifth goal of the season.

Plattsburgh State worked to create offensive chances, but was forced to play a man short in the final 21:08 after a red card was given to Gurtej Dhillon. The Cardinals' best bid came with just under eight minutes remaining, as John LoGuirato had a beautiful strike sail over Amherst keeper Lennard Kovacs (Wolfersdorf, Germany), but just over of the crossbar, keeping the shutout bid intact.

Amherst's defense played perhaps its best complete game of the season, allowing just a single dangerous chance from LoGuirato. Rookie Max Fikke (New York, NY) made his first collegiate start against the Cardinals, and performed extremely well in the win.

Kovacs made four saves in net for Amherst to earn his sixth shutout of the season. The Jeffs held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks, while Heighington ended the day with two saves. Both teams finished the game with nine shots.

Tomorrow's Second Round game against the Saints will once again feature live statistics and a free webcast, courtesy of St. Lawrence's sports information department.