Panthers Earn 1-1 Draw With No. 2 Amherst

Ryan Grady finished with a season-best 10 saves on Sunday, including seven in the second half.
Ryan Grady finished with a season-best 10 saves on Sunday, including seven in the second half.

The Middlebury men's soccer battled with second-ranked Amherst on Sunday for 110 minutes, earning a 1-1 NESCAC draw with the Mammoths (6-0-2, 3-0-2). Middlebury (5-0-3, 2-0-3), who is 8-0-4 in its last 12 road matches, returns to action on Saturday with a road contest at Bates starting at 2:00 p.m.

During a first half where scoring chances were hard to come by, Amherst's best opportunity came in the 28th minute when Gabe Gitler bent a left-footed shot from 35 yards away that the Panther defense cleared away.

Middlebury got on the scoreboard first with 15:13 left before halftime. Noah Hannam backfooted a nifty pass to a charging Henry Wilhelm, who one-touched a shot into the right side of the Mammoth goal from six yards past goalie Kofi Hope-Gund. The tally is Wilhelm's first of the season. Neither side had an opportunity over the remainder of the stanza, as Middlebury took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Amherst looked to knot the score with 31:25 remaining in regulation when German Giammattei worked his way into the Panther box, but goalie Ryan Grady came off his line and stuck out his right foot to deny Giammattei's shot.  

The Mammoths tied the contest at 1-1 with 9:18 left in the second half, capitalizing on a loose ball near the midfield stripe. Dane Lind gathered the ball nearly 35 yards away, sending a pass forward to Giammattei, who ripped a low shot just under Grady's right arm. The goal was Giammattei's NESCAC-leading 10th tally of the fall. Nearly four minutes later, Amherst had a good scoring chance, but a shot by Lind from 10 yards straight on was punched away by Grady, as the first-year Panther keeper tallied seven saves in the stanza.

In the first overtime, Giammattei sent a hard, low shot from the right that Grady smothered with a little more than five minutes left.

During the second extra period, Lind rifled a shot from 25 yards from the right less than two minutes into the frame that sailed just wide. Giammattei had another chance with 3:10 left, but his attempt from 12 yards was blocked by a Middlebury defender, as the match finished in a 1-1 draw.

Grady finished with a season-high 10 saves for Middlebury in the draw, while Hope-Gund made four stops for Amherst. The Mammoths held a 33-10 advantage in shots and a narrow 5-3 edge in corner kicks.