AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst men's soccer boasts an untained 4-0-1 record and a No. 7 national ranking. Rated as the best team in New England, the Lord Jeffs have surpassed all expectations in what was supposed to be a "rebuilding year."
Peter Gooding took over the helm of his former team late in August after the Jeffs had posted a 6-7-1 showing in 1996. Bringing with him a 122-64-32 record against Division III schools over the 22-year course of his tenure, Gooding has rejuvenated the program, even after the loss of eight members of the Class of '97, one of the strongest classes in Amherst soccer history.
Unranked at the beginning of the season, Amherst cracked the regional top-10 after knocking off fourth-ranked Brandeis and defending ECAC Champions, No. 8 Connecticut College in a single week. The Jeffs jumped into the top spot this week, vacated by Williams after the Ephs' 2-1 loss to Middlebury. Amherst faces the Panthers, now third in the region, at 12:30pm on Saturday.
Vaulting Amherst men's soccer to these heights are a talented crew of 28 team members, including All-New England co-captain Tim Christian '98 (Agawam, MA). Andy Kay '00 (North Easton, MA) leads a potent offense that disposed of Bowdoin 3-1 on Saturday. The sophomore has six goals and an assist to his credit as one of the most prolific scorers in the NESCAC.
Holding down the fort is a veteran defense featuring the return of sweeper Nate McDonald (Burnsville, MN) and defender Jon George (Minneapolis, MN) for their senior campaigns. Along with senior Co-Captain Mike Sullivan (Andover, MA), the trio has protected keeper Kevin Larner (Short Hills, NJ) against aggressive attacks and have allowed only five goals this season.
NSCAA/Umbro Men's College Soccer Rankings Division III New England Rankings Division III Men's National Ranking 1. Amherst 4-0-1 1. Wheaton (IL) 7-0-1 2. Wheaton 6-1-0 2. Johns Hopkins (MD) 6-0-0 3. Middlebury 3-1-0 3. Virginia Wesleyan 7-1-0 4. Williams 3-1-0 4. Macalester (MN) 5-0-2 5. Bates 4-1-0 5. Rowan (NJ) 6-1-0 6. Plymouth State 4-2-0 6. Kenyon (OH) 6-2-0 7. Tufts 4-1-0 7. Amherst (MA) 4-0-1 8. Keene State 5-2-0 8. Rochester (NY) 4-1-1 9. Brandeis 7-2-0 9. Messiah (PA) 8-0-1 10. Bowdoin 3-2-0 10. Trinity (TX) 8-0-1 # # # 9/30/97