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NCAA Semifinal Preview: W&L vs. No. 13 Amherst The Generals and Mammoths will meet in Friday's men's soccer semifinal in Salem, Virginia.

Athletics-image-600x400 NCAA Semifinal Preview: W&L vs. No. 13 Amherst

The Washington and Lee men’s soccer team will meet 13th-ranked Amherst on Friday, Dec. 1, in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship at 6:30 p.m. at Kerr Stadium in Salem, Va.

The Generals (15-4-5) return to the National Semifinal round for the second time in three seasons and the second time overall in program history. The team’s 2021 tournament ended in the semifinal round to eventual national champion Connecticut College, 2-1, in overtime.

Amherst (17-2-3) is also making its first appearance in the Final Four since the 2021 season, when they fell to Connecticut College in the championship game on penalty kicks. Overall, this marks the Mammoths’ seventh appearance in the national semifinals. They have made the championship game three times and won the 2015 national title.

The 2023 NCAA Tournament has been one of strong defensive play from both sides. The Generals are 3-0-1 in this year’s tournament and have outscored opponents 5-1, with their one goal allowed tied with the Mammoths for the fewest in the tournament. W&L used a 2-0 win over Western Connecticut State and 2-1 victory over SUNY Oneonta in the first two rounds to get to their fourth consecutive Round of 16, and fifth in the last six tournaments. The Blue and White then bested No. 20 Tufts, 1-0, before outlasting No. 16 Colorado College in a penalty shootout after 110 minutes of play yielded a 0-0 draw.

Amherst is a perfect 4-0 on their run to Friday’s semifinal matchup with the Generals. The Mammoths downed SUNY Poly, 2-1, in the first round on Nov. 11, before posting three consecutive 1-0 victories over Stevens, Occidental and Middlebury, with the Stevens and Occidental contests needing the full 110 minutes to decide a winner. The Mammoths earned the NESCAC’s automatic berth into the tournament when they defeated Tufts, 1-0, in the conference title game on Nov. 5.

The Generals and Mammoths have never faced off in men’s soccer prior to Friday’s semifinal matchup.

As a team, the Generals are averaging 2.38 goals per game and allowing 0.92, while Amherst is scoring 2.05 goals per contest, with 0.73 allowed on average. W&L’s offense is led by 2023 ODAC Offensive Player of the Year Weyimi Agbeyegbe, who enters semifinal play with 32 points on 13 goals and six assists. Agbeyegbe scored in each of W&L’s first two NCAA Tournament games; he has tallied a goal in four of the team’s seven postseason games and he has added at least one point in five of the seven.

The Generals boast seven players with double-digit points this season, with other leading goal scorers including senior Grant McCarty with eight and sophomore Alec Perez with seven. As for the Mammoths, Mohammed Nuhu leads the offensive efforts with 18 points on seven goals and four assists this season, while Ada Okorogheye, Declan Sung and Ignacio Cubeddu top the team leaderboard with five assists each. Okorogheye comes in second in points with 17 (6g, 5a), with 14 points (5g, 4a) from Simon Kalinauskas and 11 from Sung (3g, 5a).

W&L’s Will Joseph, this season’s First Team All-ODAC and All-Region goalkeeper, has elevated his play in the team’s biggest games this season. All three team shutouts during the NCAA Tournament are credited to Joseph, which has helped him lower his season goals-against average to 0.89 across 2,111:59 of action. Amherst’s Max Landa has started 20 games for the Mammoths and owns a 0.60 GAA in 1,786:44 with eight clean sheets.

Information regarding tickets, streaming, live stats and more can be found at www.generalssports.com/FinalFour. Washington and Lee University current students can sign up to take the fan bus from Lexington down to Salem. You must register in advance using the link here.