Division 1 boys soccer: Goals elude Amherst in 1-0 overtime state semifinal loss to Westborough

For the Gazette
Published: 11/16/2016 9:16:11 PM

BOLTON — Amherst Regional had several strong scoring bids in its attempt to score the game’s first goal.

And with the way Westborough and the Hurricanes were playing defense, it appeared that was all it was going to take to advance to the state Division 1 boys soccer final.

Unfortunately for Amherst, that one goal came during the final minute of overtime as Westborough’s Tyler Stott scored to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 state semifinal victory over the Hurricanes, Wednesday at Nashoba Regional.

Like Westborough (14-5-4), Amherst delivered championship-caliber defense. But the Hurricanes remarkable run through the postseason ended in heartbreak.

“To score the way they did was not a big surprise because of what they were able to do in the air,” Amherst coach Michael Rudd said. “Our kids gave everything they had.”

Rian Barrett delivered a corner kick to Stott, who was near the right post when he headed the ball into the goal to send the Rangers to the state final.

With just under three minutes remaining in regulation, Amherst’s Samson Heyer rang a shot off the crossbar.

“It just wasn’t our day, but this season has been magical,” Heyer said. “I wouldn’t want any other guys to be my teammates.”

The Hurricanes’ best scoring opportunity came with 9:53 left in regular time. Harrison Wolff Landau saw his close-range bid rejected by Westborough goalie Matt Morin, who made a game-saving, diving stop.

“Obviously it was very frustrating,” Wolff Landau said. “We pulled out so many late wins.”

Wolff Landau got the ball at the 5-yard line after it deflected off a Westborough player and was in great position to shoot.

“I fired it as hard as I could and it was going lower-left corner, but the keeper made a great save,” he said. “I’ll be thinking about that a lot.”

Colton Spirko had a great bid in overtime, but he too, was denied by Morin.

Amherst closed a remarkable season at 12-8-2. It beat the top three seeds en route to its second Western Massachusetts championship in three seasons.

The Hurricanes played without injured top strikers Tim Felton and Josiah Wilson.

Goalkeeper Liam Carolan kept his team in the game with seven saves.

“I am just so proud of the boys,” Rudd said. “We kept fighting.”

It was the final game for seniors Felton, Julian Fisher-Frank, Heyer, Thomas Perry, Sam Hare-Steig, Alex Perry, Carolan, Avery Clotfelter, Will Parks, Wilson, Wolff Landau, Aiden Bass, Iani Ferreira, Liam O’Connor, Marvin Rivas Ayala, Theo Scott, Andre Shepard and Shyam Tewani Mupompa.

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