New England will be the place to be this fall for soccer action as Lord Jeff soccer kicks off another season. On paper as one of the strongest teams in the region, Amherst boasts strong leadership and playing experience from its two appearances in the NCAA tournament in 1993 and 1995. In reality, the Jeffs possess the potential to live up to and exceed these superlatives. As long as the mutual respect and team mentality continues to hold, Amherst men's soccer will indeed "Get it Done in '96!"
Returning ten starters including All-American Mario Watts '97 at forward and All-New England players Tim Christian '98 and Steve Carr '97, Lord Jeff soccer possesses the talent and experience to remain one of the top teams in New England. Finishing last season ranked No. 3 in the region, Amherst hopes to improve upon their 8-4-4 record.
With a perennially strong backfield, the Jeffs return goalie Kevin Larner '99 after a successful freshman campaign against the hard-shooting NESCAC. While the defense loses captain Jeff Mazer to graduation, the increasing depth of the team should fill in any gaps created. Stopper-back Tim Christian was the team leader with six assists, adding to his two goals on the season.
The heart of the team lies in the midfield, Amherst's deepest positions. Brian Angelini '00E returns from an abridged 1995 season to help Co-Captain Steve Carr '97 run the middle of the field. On the wing will be George Langendorf '98, who had a banner year in 1995 with five goals and four assists. His impact was most keenly felt against Wheaton, as he assisted one and scored another goal against the then No. 2 ranked team in New England.
Mario Watts '97 returns with his track-star speed at forward. Netting five goals with four assists last year, Watts posed a constant threat to opposing goalies, often double or triple teaming the All-American to contain the head of the Amherst offense. But another leader emerged unexpectedly in Matt Diggs '99. The forward tallied four goals and four assists in his rookie season, including a two-goal, one-assist performance against Babson.
Under the tutelage of Head Coach Kalekeni Banda, Amherst soccer will push itself to rely on not only the inherent talent of each player, but on the pressures and desires of the team to succeed. Led by a group of eight dedicated seniors, Lord Jeff soccer will continue its quest for "perfect" soccer and an demonstration of what their potential can generate.