Men’s soccer advances to NESCAC semis with upset over Amherst

#7 Greg Milnarik '19, #21 Quinn O'Malley '18, #9 Matt Casadei '19, #18 Killian Clancy '18, and #12 Aidan Wood '20 (Josh McKee photo)
#7 Greg Milnarik '19, #21 Quinn O'Malley '18, #9 Matt Casadei '19, #18 Killian Clancy '18, and #12 Aidan Wood '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Aidan Wood '20 recorded a hat trick including the game-winning goal to lead the Hamilton College men's soccer team to a 4-3 comeback victory over nationally ranked No. 10 Amherst College at Amherst's Hitchcock Field on Saturday afternoon and advance to the NESCAC semifinals.

Dating back to 2011, this is the 10th meeting between the two teams and Hamilton's first victory over the Mammoths.  

Seventh-seeded Hamilton (8-6-2 overall) will face top-seeded Tufts on Saturday, Nov. 4 in Medford, Mass., and fifth-seeded Middlebury will play third-seeded Bowdoin. In the other quarterfinal matchups, the Panthers defeated fourth seed Connecticut College 1-0 in overtime, and the Polar Bears advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks after they played sixth-seeded Williams to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes. The two semifinal winners will battle in the NESCAC Championship final on Sunday, Nov. 5 with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs.

Sebastian Derby scored in the 11th minute to give the defending conference champions a 1-0 lead at halftime. Jimmy McMillian doubled the Amherst lead 8:37 into the second half.

Matt Kastilahn '18 responded 40 seconds later with the first goal of his Hamilton career, igniting the Continental attack. Wood tied the score 2-2 with an unassisted goal in the 62nd minute. With help from Jefri Schmidt '20, Wood scored his second of the game during the 75th minute as Hamilton took a 3-2 lead before Amherst's Cutler Coleman evened the score two minutes later.

Wood scored his third game-winning goal of the season with 5:05 remaining in the second half. Hagop Kouchakdjian '21 was credited with the assist, the first of his Hamilton career.

Hamilton had 12 shots in the second half and outshot Amherst 15-13 overall. The Continentals recorded a 10-3 corner kick advantage.

Linds Cadwell '20 earned his seventh win of the season and Kofi Hope-Gund suffered his first loss for Amherst. Both goalkeepers made six saves.