AMHERST, Mass. -- Greg Singer of second-ranked Amherst scored both Jeff scores including the game-winner in under a minute into double-overtime as Amherst claimed a 2-1 thrilling win against No. 16 St. Lawrence in NCAA sectional action on Saturday at Hitchcock Field.
With the win, the Jeffs (18-0-2) extend their unbeaten streak to 40 games and advance to the quarterfinals round for the second year in a row. They will face Williams in a rematch of last year, in which the Ephs advanced to the final four on penalty kicks. Austin Roney of St. Lawrence tied the game at 1-1 with 44 seconds remaining in regulation but the Saints season came to an end, finishing with a 17-3-2 overall record.
At the 12th minute, St. Lawrence posted its first strong scoring chance of the game following a throw-in when Jamal Samaroo missed on an open header in front of the net.
Amherst put together two great opportunities eight minutes later as Greg Singer and Chris Martin had one Saint defender to beat and after some great give-and-go action, St. Lawrence goalkeeper Aaron Costello got out of net to disrupt the play as Singer sent it high above the open net. Seconds later, following a corner kick from Nico Pascual-Leone, Max Fikke sent one to the top right corner but Costello made a great diving stop to keep the game scoreless.
With 14 minutes to play in the first half, Robert Gooden dished one off to Martin at the middle of the box who one-timed it to net but Costello was there to make the save.
It took only a minute and 12 seconds for Amherst to score in the second half as Singer recovered a loose ball from the right side of the box, sending it past the outstretched arms of Costello into the left corner of the net, giving the Jeffs a 1-0 advantage.
At the 57th minute, a throw-in from St. Lawrence landed inside the box as the ball bounced around, eventually touching the foot of Roney who sent a shot towards net but Jeff goalkeeper Thomas Bull was there for the save.
With just 18 minutes remaining in regulation, Rohan Sood came inches away from an insurance tally. After receiving a pass from Singer on the right side, the first-year’s attempt just missed the post, going wide right.
The Saints had a great opportunity to tie the game shortly after as Noah Bunton beat Bull to the ball and had an open net but Julien Aoyama made a spectacular diving stop to block the shot and protect the lead.
St. Lawrence put heavy pressure on the Jeff defense during the final minutes of the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net until the closing seconds. With just :44 left in regulation, Rooney stood deep outside the 18-yard box and positioned the shot perfectly into the top right corner, putting the ball in the only spot Bull couldn’t get to and tying the game, sending it into overtime.
The Jeffs controlled the tempo early on in the first overtime period but St. Lawrence posted the strongest scoring chance. Just four minutes remaining, Seyefe Brouk nailed the left post as the rebound went to Samaroo. With Bull on the ground, Samaroo recorded a shot on net but the Jeff keeper made the catch on his way back up to keep Amherst in the game as they eventually went to a second overtime.
Seconds into the second overtime period, the Jeffs put strong pressure on Costello and the Saints defense as Martin sent a solid header to net that was blocked. As the ball bounced around right in front of the net, it made its way to Singer who fired a shot from the middle of the box directly center of the net to advance the Jeffs in a thrilling victory.
After a commanding 10-2 Amherst edge in shots during the first half, St. Lawrence found its rhythm offensively and outshot the Jeffs 11 to 5 in the second half and first overtime. However, Amherst finished ahead 17-13 and also held an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks while Bull made five saves in goal. Costello, having allowed just five goals all season prior to Saturday, made four stops between the posts for St. Lawrence.