MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's soccer team recorded a pair of goals in the first half, and then added an insurance goal in the 86th minute en route to defeating No. 4 Amherst, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field in Medford, Massachusetts.
|Matt Zinner scored his first goal of the season in a victory over Amherst.|
The game was a highly-anticipated matchup, as Amherst won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2015, and the Jumbos hoisted the championship in 2014. The win was a crucial one for the Jumbos (4-3-1, 2-1-1 in NESCAC), as they were the first team to defeat Amherst this season, and also the first team to hold Amherst (6-1-1, 2-1-1 in NESCAC) scoreless in a contest. This was the first time the Jumbos defeated Amherst since 2005, when the team defeated the visitors, 2-0.
Senior goalkeeper Scott Greenwood (3-2-1) earned his third shutout of the season for the Jumbos, as he made four saves. Amherst junior goalkeeper Lee Owen (6-1-1) made five saves in the contest.
Amherst tried to get on the scoreboard in the sixth minute, as freshman forward Bijan Zojaji fired a header shot on net but Greenwood denied the attempt. Owen made a pair of nice saves in the 13th and 14th minutes, respectively, as he denied senior captain and midfielder Zach Halliday and sophomore back Sterling Weatherbie.
The Jumbos opened the scoring during the 17th minute, as Halliday fired a shot that was saved by Owen. Senior forward Gaston Becherano stepped into the box, and fired the rebound into the back of the net. The Hollywood, Florida, native has a team-high six goals on the season, to go along with a team-leading, three game-winning tallies.
In the 19th minute, Amherst attempted to net the equalizer, as senior midfielder Bryce Ciambella fired a shot on net, but it was turned away by Greenwood. Greenwood stood tall again in the 30th minute, as he turned away a drive by senior midfielder Andrew Orozco.
The Jumbos extended their lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute, as junior back Matt Zinner posted his first goal of the season and the second of his career, as he beat Owen to the bottom left corner of the net. Freshman forward Joseph Braun tried to extend the Jumbos advantage to 3-0 less than a minute after Zinner's goal, but his shot was saved by Owen.
During the 57th minute of action, Owen saved a shot by junior midfielder Kevin Halliday, and then Greenwood responded with a save on senior forward Christopher Martin.
The Jumbos held an 18-12 advantage in shots, including an 8-4 advantage in the shots-on-goal category. Amherst earned five corner kicks, while the Jumbos were awarded four. The game was a physical matchup, as the Jumbos were called for 20 fouls, while Amherst was whistled for 17 infractions. Amherst was the recipient of a pair of yellow-card bookings.
The Jumbos will compete against Hamilton at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at Bello Field. The squad will then embark on a three-game road trip, as they will compete against Middlebury Saturday (Oct. 8) at 1 p.m., Connecticut College Saturday (Oct. 15) at 2 p.m. and Trinity Sunday (Oct. 16) at 3:30 p.m. The squad will be back on its home field against Keene State on Wednesday (Oct. 19) at 4 p.m.