Women’s Soccer Suffers First Loss of the Season, Splits on the Weekend
Issue   |   Wed, 09/30/2015 - 00:26

The Amherst College women’s soccer team (5-1-0) suffered its first lost of the season last weekend in an away matchup against conference archrival Williams (6-0-0). The Jeffs wrapped up their weekend with a decisive 3-0 win over Wheaton College (6-3) at home.

Heading into Saturday’s contest, Amherst and Williams were the only two remaining undefeated teams in the conference and the only NESCAC schools ranked in the NSCAA coaches poll top 25. The Jeffs’ fate was decided early on when Williams’ Audrey Thomas, gathered a rebounded shot and netted the first and only goal of the game at the 10-minute mark. This goal would be just enough to overcome the 17th-ranked Jeffs.

“Against Williams, we didn’t start the game like we wanted to,” captain Jessy Hale ‘16 said. “Instead of attacking we played defensively and waited for them to go to goal. The second half was a completely different game. We were attacking and had them on their heels. We need to work on starting the game with that same mentality and looking to score right away.”

Five minutes after the Ephs’ goal, Amherst mounted a response. Sarah Zuckerman ‘17 delivered a corner kick to Megan Root ’19, whose volley narrowly missed the goal.

In the first half, Williams recorded 10 shot attempts, double the chances posted by Amherst. Williams also held a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks. Though Amherst wouldn’t allow another goal in the 80 minutes of action following the Ephs’ goal, the team was unable to recover from the 1-0 deficit.

Amherst controlled the tempo of play for much of the second half, but despite multiple opportunities, the Jeffs struggled to find the back of the net. Both teams registered six shot attempts and two corner kicks apiece in the back-and-forth battle.

Amherst net minder Holly Burwick, who places third in the NESCAC with a .70 goals-against average, recorded six saves in the losing effort.

On Sunday, the Jeffs bounced back from the loss with a convincing victory over Wheaton. Amherst amassed all three of its goals in the first half.

“We knew we needed to carry our momentum and attacking mentality from the second half of the William’s game into the match against Wheaton,” Rachael Abernethy ’16 said. “It was critical that we start strong and play our game. I’m very proud of the way we learned to improve from yesterday’s game in order to succeed today. I’m not only referring to the scoreboard. Today we had fun, and were successful in playing for the love of the game.”

The crafty Jeffs offense pounced early and wouldn’t look back. Amherst displayed the epitome of teamwork finding the net on three combination plays. Emily Hester ’17 notched the first goal seven minutes into the game off of a cross from teammate Hannah Guzzi ’18.

Guzzi tallied another assist when Eden Charles ‘19 collected Guzzi’s shot on goal and finished the play for her first collegiate goal.

Charles rounded out a stellar offensive effort sending a through-pass to Abernethy who was able to touch the ball past the Wheaton keeper.

Burwick recorded her second shutout on the year en route to the victory over Wheaton.

The purple and white enjoy six days off from competition before returning to home action with an in-conference doubleheader featuring NESCAC competitor Tufts (2-4-0) and Connecticut College (1-2-3). Last year the Jeffs defeated Tufs 2-0 but fell 1-0 to the Camels.

In last year’s contest against Tufts, Guzzi and Hale tallied a goal apiece when Amherst outshot the Jumbos 13-8. In their loss against Conn. College, the Jeffs were outshot 16-9. This year, Amherst looks to complete its first doubleheader sweep and amass two more conference wins.

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