2005 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship
First Round
Sunday, Oct. 30
Saturday, Nov. 5
Sunday, Nov. 6
No. 7 WES 4, at No. 2 BOW 1
No. 7 WES 1, at No. 1 WIL 0
No. 7 WES 3, vs. No. 4 AMH 2 
at No. 3 MID 1, No. 6 TUF 0
No. 4 AMH 1, vs. No. 3 MID 0
at No. 4 AMH 2, No. 5 BAT 1 - 2OT

Championship Seeding
Championship Preview  Championship Records 

Wesleyan Wins 2005 Men's Soccer Championship Over Amherst

Courtesy Williams Sports Information

Box Score

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.- In one of the most exciting games played at Cole Fields this year, the Wesleyan Cardinals defeated Amherst by a score of 3-2. Their victory today marks the first time that a #7 seed has ever won the NESCAC Tournament in any sport. Matt Nevin scored twice within 2 minutes to give Wesleyan a 2-0 halftime lead, only to have the Lord Jeffs tie it up with 15 minutes left to play. Ross Pemmerl scored the decisive game-winner on a free kick from 50 yards out.

As early as the first few minutes of the game, it became clear that this would be the fastest and most physical game of the weekend. Both squads turned in aggressive, inspired play, the urgency of the game evident at all times.

The latter part of the 1st half had Wesleyan controlling play at their offensive end of the field. In the 33rd minute, the Cardinals struck first blood. Mike Walker took a free kick from the left flank. In a textbook play, Matt Nevin took Walker's pass and sent a beautiful header past Amherst keeper Jeff Grover.

Refusing to play a conservative, defensive strategy after that, Wesleyan extended their lead just 2:07 later. Once again, it was Matt Nevin who put the goal away, this time on a long throw-in from the right sideline. A scrum ensued in front of the goal, but Nevin came up with the ball and a clear line of sight to the goal. And just like that, the Cardinals had a 2-0 lead that they would take into halftime.

The 2nd half saw Wesleyan dropping many players back into the defensive end to try to maintain their lead for the next 45 minutes against an Amherst squad that ranked just 7th in the conference with 1.53 goals per game average.

In the 62nd minute, the Lord Jeffs broke the seal. Ryan O'Donnell fired a laser of a pass from the left corner of the field that found the head of Nick Lynch on the near post. Lynch skillfully headed the ball past keeper Matt Knall, scoring the most incredible goal of the day. With that, a whole new game was born.

A strong wind picked up, adding to the overall chaos and excitement of the event. This culminated in Adrien de Bontin's game-tying goal in the 75th minute. A long throw in from the sidelines found de Bontin at the top of the offensive box. The senior forward fired a shot into the back of the net, setting up a dramatic finish.

The tied score did not last long. Less than 2 minutes later, Wesleyan fortuitously scored on a Ross Pemmerl free kick from 50 yards out. The long kick, which was never intended as a shot, somehow found its way into the back of the net without touching a single player in front of the goal. The goal gave the Cardinals their 3-2 lead.

The final 15 minutes were marked by several offensive opportunities by Amherst which simply could not find the back of the net. With a wide-open goal in front of him, a shot by Nick Lynch was barely deflected by a Wesleyan defender to help preserve the 3-2 win and conference championship.

"This was a fabulous college soccer game," said Amherst coach Milton Gooding. "I'm not sure that either team deserved to lose, but my hat goes off to Wesleyan. Geoff Wheeler did an absolutely fantastic job with them down the stretch."

"I'm just so proud of my guys," said Wesleyan coach Geoff Wheeler. "They had a fantastic weekend, and now we're so excited going into the NCAAs."

First Round - Sunday, Oct. 30 at Higher Seeds

No. 7 Wesleyan 4, at No. 2 Bowdoin 1
at No. 3 Middlebury 1, No. 6 Tufts 0
at No. 4 Amherst 2, No. 5 Bates 1 - 2OT

Semifinals - Saturday, Nov. 5 at Williams
No. 7 Wesleyan 1, at No. 1 Williams 0
No. 4 Amherst 1, vs. No. 3 Middlebury 0

Championship - Sunday, Nov. 6 at Williams
No. 7 Wesleyan 3, vs. No. 4 Amherst 2