SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - September 26, 2007 – Tony Distasio (Burlington, Conn.) tallied a pair of outstanding goals and added an assist but it was not enough as the Springfield College men’s soccer team dropped a hard-fought battle the fifth-ranked Amherst Lord Jeffs, 4-3, under the lights Wednesday evening at Brock-Affleck Field.
With the result, Amherst improved to 6-0, while Springfield fell to 4-5.
The Jeffs jumped out of the gate just forty seconds into the game, when junior Nick Lynch hammered a hard shot low and to the Springfield keeper’s right post. Springfield’s BJ Sturdivant (Bear, Del.) was up to the early challenge, and pushed the shot wide.
The Pride netted the first goal of the game after Distasio’s header found the back of the twine. After keeper Jeffrey Glover denied Adrian Schippers (Ashby, Mass.) on a fastbreak, Springfield was awarded a corner kick. Jeremey Scheer (Enfield, Conn.) sent a bending ball into the box and a diving Distasio headed ball into the net on the near post with just under 14 minutes remaining in the half.
Amherst responded immediately as just five minutes later after Ryan O’Donnell finished a through ball from John Kneeland at the top of the box. O’Donnell collected the ball as he slipped past a pair of Pride defenders and fired a shot underneath the outstretched arms of a charging B.J. Sturdivant to tie the contest.
With just 2:05 showing on the clock before halftime, Amherst took its first lead of the game when Joe Addison volleyed home a cross from Lynch. Lynch played a beautiful cross in bending behind the last Pride defender for Addison to volley in off the fly.
The two sides battled equally for the first ten minutes of the second frame, with Springfield creating the first scoring opportunity. Distasio tallied his second goal of the contest on another header with 30:48 left in regulation. Colin Cook (Wilbraham, Mass.) sent a inswinging free-kick from 23 yards out on the ride side of the field that Distasio headed inot the right side of the net.just outside the 18-yard box that Distasio flicked into the left side of the net.
Duker needed only a minute to hand the lead back to Amherst, as he scored his fourth goal of the season off a long driven cross from Mark Crane.
Jeff Grover made the save of the game in the 76th minute off a hard shot from John Plourd (Southampton, Mass.). The Springfield midfielder took a pass back from the far side, and hit a half-volley with the outside of his right foot to Grover’s left. The Amherst goalie made a full extension save to keep the lead for the Jeffs.
With just 7:23 remaining in the game, Amherst sophomore Reid Wilson drew a penalty kick in just his second minute on the pitch. Kneeland converted to give Amherst a two-goal cushion.
Springfield would not go away as it cut the lead to one with just 4:13 remaining. Schippers brought the home crowd to its feet when he dove full extension and headed home a glorious tally off a feed from the left from Distasio to cut the Amherst lead to one.
Each team recorded 16 shots in the game with Grover making four saves and Sturdivant recording three. In a physical match, the two teams combined for 45 fouls.
The Pride return to action on Saturday when it hosts conference-foe Wheaton at 1:00 p.m.