M. soccer falls to Amherst in NESCACs
Andrew Meisel ’13 winds up to clear the ball away from Colby’s opponents.
Colby men’s soccer kicked off their 2011 season with a 2-0 win over Connecticut College. Six wins, seven losses, and a tie later, the season has come to an end after a first-round loss to Amherst College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) playoffs.
In order to make the playoffs, the Mules’ hopes rested on one game—a midweek matchup with Bates College at home this past Wednesday. This is the third straight year that the Colby has needed a win against Bates in the season’s final week to make the NESCAC playoffs, and the third straight year they have succeeded in doing so. Not only did the men’s 3-2 victory on Wednesday propel them to the eighth- seed in the playoff bracket, it earned them Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) bragging rights after a 2-0 defeat of Bowdoin College earlier in the year.
The game’s first half was a scoreless, defensively dominated period. The second, however, had more goals than an ambitious New Year’s resolution. Senior forward and leading scorer Eric Barthold opened the scoring on a header that came off of a lofted cross from the wing by Jon Stronach ’15. Just 1:16 later, junior midfielder Donny McMaster scored in his third game of the season after being sidelined with an injury. McMaster’s goal came off of an assist from sophomore forward Nate Tolman. The Bobcats’ comeback effort was renewed when they scored on a diving header in the 74th minute. Shortly thereafter, junior midfielder Andrew Meisel scored on a penalty kick to regain the two-goal lead over the Bobcats. Bates junior John Murphy put a 25-yard shot past goalkeeper Ben Joslin ’12 in the 80th minute to once again narrow the lead to one goal. The Colby defense thwarted further comeback efforts by Bates, and the Mules held on for the 3-2 victory and the last seed in the playoffs.
Earning the eighth seed brought with it a matchup with the sixth-ranked team in the nation, Amherst. The Lord Jeffs were 7-1-2 in the conference entering the game. First-year Milton Rico put Amherst on the board early, scoring on a rebound in the 12th minute after Joslin made a save. Amherst forward Spencer Noon scored the second goal, his first of two, in the 20th minute. Amherst didn’t score again until the 74th minute, when Alejandro Sucre’s shot off of a corner kick found its way into the net. The Lord Jeffs’ final goal was Moon’s second on the day, when Joslin fell victim to wet conditions and let the ball roll into the net behind him. Amherst outshot Colby 20-5 during the game, and Colby’s season ended in a 4-0 defeat.