Coming into this week, we knew that we had to be better, so we spent a lot of time working on the attacking third of the field. We got some fitness and playing time in early in the week, but the one thing we focused on was scoring goals. And after a week, it seems as if it paid off.
Today we had our second NESCAC game of the season and home opener against Hamilton. Last year we went up to their place and it turned out to be a battle. We won 1-0, but the game was very close. This year, they have had some tough matchups early in the season, so we knew they were going to be desperate for a win. When we play at home, there is a different vibe in the team. Our mentality is: “defend our castle.” If you come to Amherst, you’re in for a long 90 minutes. And I’m sure Hamilton felt that today. We beat them 5-1 with goals from Spencer Noon, James Mooney, Jae Heo, and two from Fede. Shots were 21-7 this time. We learned our lesson: hard work gets you results. We can’t settle, though. We have to stay disciplined for the rest of the season.
To prepare ourselves, we left Amherst soon after today's win so we could get up here before 9 pm, watch some film, go over the scouting report, and tune in to some college football before getting a good night's rest. Fortunately, we do not have anything before 10:45 tomorrow morning. Our bodies are tired from a game today and then several hours on the bus, so some rest could do us good. Most NESCAC teams have already played three or four league games, but tomorrow will only be our third. We need to get another league win, and our team knows it.
The problem is, how do you beat Middlebury? They have a big turf field and love to knock the ball around and use the space. Our hope is to prevent them from doing that and capitalize on open space out wide ourselves. Today we had five goals on set pieces, and hopefully good service tomorrow will allow us to put a couple in. We know this game will be a grind. Maybe set pieces will be the only goals, maybe there will be no goals at all, but as we said in the beginning of this post, finishing chances will be huge. We have to take what we can get, but it is not going to be easy.