Men’s soccer falls against Amherst and Hamilton

Colby Men’s Soccer endured a rough patch as they dropped two key NESCAC games in as many weekends. Despite the promise shown in the team’s hard-fought 1-0 loss to Amherst on October 15, the Mules were unable to carry on their momentum, falling 4-0 to Hamilton at home this past weekend.

While most Colby students were off campus to relax over Fall Break, the team prepared to face off in an away match versus defending national champions Amherst. The game opened with a strong offensive showing by the Purple and White as they fired repeated shots against Mules’ keeper Avery Gibson ’20. Gibson, however, managed to save or parry the relentless Amherst attacks, which then enabled Colby to take the offensive. Capitalizing on a counter-attack, Chandler Smith ’18 successfully beat an Amherst defender and took a shot which was then parried wide by an opposing player. Only minutes later, Brandon Fahlberg ’17 had another chance, firing a shot inches from the goal. Despite the quality of their counter attacks, the Mules were simply too hard pressed by Amherst’s offensive to create enough chances, with Amherst outshooting the Mules 20-7. Amherst’s relentless offense paid off just before half time, as Bryce Ciambella beat two Colby defenders to score with 3:30 left in the half.

After strong offensive play in the first half, the Mules found themselves in a more defensive position in the second. Colby’s defense had not fallen behind, however, as the team worked hard to ensure Amherst was unable to further their lead with a series of brilliant defensive plays. Following a strong save from Gibson, Amherst launched another shot, only for Smith to make a quick-thinking goal line clearance. With the Mules presenting an immovable defense, and Amherst launching an unstoppable offense, the second half wound down to a final score of 1-0 in favor of the home side.

Despite enduring a loss against Amherst, the Mules hoped to carry their momentum into their final home game against Hamilton on October 22. The Continentals opened strong, with Matt Casadei heading a goal into the Mules’ net to make it 1-0, his first of two for the day. Colby were quick to regroup and mount an  attack led by Evan Dwyer ’18, who posted three of Colby’s shots for the day. While the attacks proved unsuccessful, the Mules’ defense still held strong against the Continentals, holding the score at 1-0 into halftime.

Faced with the exact same situation as they had against Amherst, hopes were high for the Mules to put up yet another defensive battle and at the very least hold the scoreline at 1-0.

Despite the similar circumstances to their previous game, the scoreline was anything but the same. With Mules’ defender Avery Heilbron ’18 sent off on a second yellow for an illegal tackle, the Continentals fired three goals in during the second half for a final score of 4-0. Mules back Andrew D’Anieri ’18 commented on the red card’s effect on the game, saying “being down a man for most of the second half was difficult, especially because we had to push forward to go for the win.”

With the loss, the Mules fell to 1-6-2 in the NESCAC (4-8-2 overall), finding themselves in last place as they go into their final game against Bates. D’Anieri and his team remain positive however, as the Mules head into a match he described as a “massive rivalry.”

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