Adam Purdy '13 Makes Career-High 10 Saves & Rory O'Neill '13 Nets Equalizer as Men's Soccer Ties Amherst
Wesleyan and Amherst played to a 1-1 double-overtime deadlock Sat., Oct. 20 to leave the Little Three title in possession of all three combatants as all games in 2012 ended in a tie. Wesleyan and Williams opened Little-Three play this season with a scoreless draw. Then Amherst and Williams following suit midseason with the same result. It is just the second time in Little Three men's soccer history that all three games have resulted in tie, the first time coming in 1932.
Wesleyan evened the count in the 66th minute when Rory O'Neill '13 (#7, right side photo) blasted a 20-yarder into the right corner of the net past the Amherstr keeper, just the second goal allowed by the Lord Jeffs all season. Only Hamilton, in a 5-1 Amherst victory, had put a ball in the net against the Lord Jeffs, ranked second nationally in Division III. It was the third goal of the year for O'Neill. His goal followed a pass from Walter Rodriguez '13, who picked up his first scoring point of the season.
Amherst had gotten on the board first in the 45th minute for a 1-0 lead right before halftime. A header from in front with just :22 left before intermission was set up by a pin-point cross from the right side.
While the teams played the final 54 minutes of the contest scoreless, the game was not without drama and opportunity. Two of the better chances to end the game came in the first overtime period as an Amherst attacker got loose in tight on the left side and fired a point-blank shot on goal that Adam Purdy '13 (#30, right side photo) stopped just two minutes into the extra frame. A minute later, Brandon Souza '16 bounded a hard shot from the left side that hit the outside of the right upright. The rebound went to O'Neill whose low header was grabbed by the Lord Jeff goalie as he lay on the ground.
Amherst outshot its host by a wide 29-12 margin, giving rise to Purdy's career-best 10 save game. His previous high for saves in a game had been eight as he has started 65 consecutive games for the Cardinals over his four seasons.
Both teams complete their regular-season play Wed., Oct. 24 when Wesleyan visits Trinity and Amherst heads to Connecticut College. Amherst is currently tied with Williams for the top spot in the NESCAC standings while Wesleyan sits third. Both teams will host first-round NESCAC tournament game on Sat., Oct. 27.