Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information
AMHERST, Mass. – With two minutes left to play in a tie game, Fikayo Ajayi curled a corner kick into the back of the net for his second goal of the day and Amherst survived a brave ten-man Salem State squad with a 2-1 victory in its NCAA Tournament First Round game on Saturday at Hitchcock Field.
The Mammoths improve to 12-3-2 on the season and will advance to Sunday's second round game, which will be played at 1:00 pm at Hitchcock Field against the winner of Endicott and Springfield.
Salem State, the champions of the MASCAC, closes out its season with a 12-6-1 record.
Amherst had a 23-8 edge in shots and a 12-1 corner kick advantage, and outshot Salem 10-3 in the first half, but failed to break through until the 23rd minute, when Ajayi converted a penalty kick after a foul in the box.
It was the fourth goal of the year for the striker, and his second penalty kick conversion in as many chances this season.
Mike Stone made four saves in his first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. He punched away a difficult attempt by Grace Dos Santos to keep the game scoreless just minutes before the home team earned a penalty kick.
His counterpart, Chris Jimenez, made seven saves in defeat for the Vikings.
Dos Santos would get his revenge in the 66th minute, tying the game when he broke into the box on the left side and went nearly to the end line before sliding the ball past Stone from a difficult angle.
Both teams had chances to win the game in the final 20 minutes. With 18:25 to play, Jimmy McMillian clanged a shot off of the right goal post.
Ten minutes later, Salem State nearly took the lead when leading scorer Mayele Malango got free in the box, but Stone came way out of his net to cut down the angle and block the shot attempt.