QUINCY, Mass. (9.26.11) – The Anna Maria College AMCATS defeated Eastern Nazarene 2-1 in a non-conference matchup Monday. With the win, the AMCATS travel back home with their first victory, bringing them to 1-8-1 on the season and Head Coach Zach Rocha notches his first collegiate win. The Lions' loss dropped them to 1-8 on the year.
The day did not start off the way either team wanted it to go when the game's start had to be moved back almost two hours due to heavy Boston traffic. For the Lions, there was too much time to get ready, while Anna Maria had to basically jump off the bus with their cleats tied and ready to go.
The Eastern Nazarene Lions took advantage of Anna Maria not having any time to get ready and aggressively controlled the ball for the first 15 minutes, dominating play. Their strong start became even stronger when sophomore Josh Kaplan, assisted by a beautiful header from Mark Sullivan, struck a stylish ball right past the diving hands of the goalkeeper to put the Lions on the board first.
Soon after ENC made their statement with the first goal of the match, the AMCATS came back with a goal of their own, off the foot of Deven Plant (Medford, MA) in the 17th minute, which was set up by well executed team passing. With the game tied, both teams made a conscious effort to tighten up the screws on the defensive end, becoming more physical on every ball. Despite the strong defensive effort, the Lions kept up the pressure in the offensive end, peppering the AMC goalie, Mike Dandurand (Warwick, RI) with shot after shot. The AMCATS goalkeeper stood his ground, coming up with six saves in the contest, not giving in to ENC's onslaught.
With a little more than four minutes left in the first half, Anna Maria posted their second goal of the match on a bizarre play where Dandurand, on a goal kick, airmailed the ball all the way into the Lions zone where it took a huge hop off the artificial turf over ENC defenders and was finished easily by Allan Mugisha (Burlington, MA).
In the second half, the Lions came out firing again at AMC's goal, but could not find the back of it for the rest of the game. Eastern Nazarene finished the game with 17 shots compared to AMC's nine. There was no doubt that the Lions had plenty of fire power in Mondays contest, they just could not hit their target.
The AMCATS travel to Johnson & Wales on Wednesday for a 3:30 matc