AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst College has been selected as one of four sites for the NCAA Men's Soccer Quarterfinals. As winners of the New England Region, the Lord Jeffs will host Northeast Region Champion Ithaca College on Saturday, November 22 in a 12:00pm match. The winner moves on to the Final Four, to be played the following weekend on the campus of a participating institution.
Amherst men's soccer is making its first trip to the national quarterfinals as only the second men's team to reach the Elite Eight in school history. The Jeffs compiled a 9-4-1 record in the regular season before earning a No. 4 seed in the New England bracket, where they hosted NESCAC rival Middlebury in a first round game. Deadlocked at 3-3 after four overtimes, Amherst emerged victorious 4-2 in penalty kicks for a trip to Brunswick, Maine for the New England Final Four. Finally hitting the frozen field on Tuesday after several snow delays, the Jeffs ousted top-seeded Bowdoin 2-0 in the semifinal on a pair of Matt Diggs (Seattle, WA) scores off Tim Christian (Agawam, MA) feeds. Facing Plymouth State for the regional championship, Amherst fell behind less than six minutes into the game, but Co-Captain Mike Sullivan (Andover, MA) equalized in the 13th minute. Andy Kay (North Easton, MA) notched two goals in the match, including the game-winner with 5:05 left in regulation to hand Amherst its first-ever NCAA New England Championship in three attempts. In the process, the Jeffs have the school record for most wins in a season, first set in Peter Gooding's last year as Head Coach before his seven-year hiatus from the team. The Jeffs enter the match with an 11-4-2 mark, and they are paced by Kay with 11 goals and four assists and Co-Captain Christian with eight goals and two assists. Diggs follows with 17 points off six goals and five assists, and Devin Talbott (Washington, DC) has five goals and four assists so far in his senior campaign.
Ithaca enters the match as three-time Northeast Region Champs in its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Last year the Bombers advanced to their first-ever Final Four, falling to the eventual national champions in penalty kicks. This year, Ithaca boasts a 14-4-1 record after outscoring opponents 45-14 on the hot feet of senior trio Mitschel lavender (Lima, Peru - 11 goals, 4 assists), Guillermo Illadoy (Lima, Peru - 8 goals, 5 assists) and Robert Perman (Rockville Centre, NY - 7 goals, 1 assist), who have combined for half of the team's 122 points this season. The Bombers reached the Elite Eight as the No. 3 seed in the Northeast Region. Facing Rochester in the semifinals, Ithaca survived 120 scoreless minutes to edge out the hosts 4-3 in penalty kicks. The Bombers claimed a 2-1 victory over Rensselaer in the regional final for a trip to the Elite Eight.
Tickets are available at the gates for $4.00 for adults, $2.00 for students with ID and $1.00 for children under 12.
NCAA Men's Soccer National Quarterfinal Saturday, November 22: Northeast Region at New England Region 12:00pm Ithaca Bombers (14-4-1) at Amherst Lord Jeffs (11-4-1) # # # 11/20/97