The Amherst College field hockey team spent the weekend in Maine, where the team matched up first against Colby on Saturday and then against Bates the next day. Ranked No. 14 entering the weekend, the purple and white fell short to the lower-ranked Mules in a frustrating and heartbreaking loss that dropped them to a 3-4 record in NESCAC play.
The next day, the Jeffs were able to bounce back to defeat the Bobcats in a shutout win. Their record now stands at 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the NESCAC.
After a scoreless first half in Waterville, Maine, the Jeffs saw a change in momentum when Colby’s McKayla Blanch whacked one past Amherst goalie Emily Horwitz ’17 off of a corner opportunity in the 47th minute.
Although the Jeffs ended up leading the Mules in both shots and corners, they were unable to put one on the board and even the score.
Amherst highlights from the match include three saves made by Horwitz and five shots from senior midfielder Annie Turnbull. The loss — though disappointing — served as motivation for their matchup against Bates the next day.
A trio of goals in the first half gave the Jeffs the hefty lead they needed to shutout the Bobcats and bring the field hockey team’s NESCAC record up to an even 4-4.
Seventeen minutes into the game, junior Sarah Culhane punished a mishap in the Bobcats’ defense by picking up a loose ball and sending it into the middle, where it was finished by Elizabeth Turnbull ’18 with a clean shot past Bates goalie Cristina Vega, making the score 1-0.
Senior captain Katie Paolano doubled the score 15 minutes later, with an assist by fellow senior Annika Nygren.
Amherst’s leading goal-scorer Culhane put her 12th goal of the season away with just 25 seconds to go in the half. A shot by Elizabeth Turnbull off of a penalty corner rebounded right into the stick of Culhane, who notched it away just past Vega’s right side.
The goal proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Bobcats.
Though the Jeffs were held scoreless in the second half, they dominated the play and kept sufficient enough pressure on the Bobcat defense to keep Horwitz’s net free from scoring.
By the end, the Jeffs had outshot the Camels 15-8 and earned eight corners to Bates’ four.
In addition, junior goalkeeper Emily Horwitz registered two saves in order to preserve the shutout.
The purple and white will travel to play Smith on Thursday, Oct 22 at 7 p.m.., hoping to clinch another win. Smith looks to be a tough matchup, they come into the game with an 8-6 record overall, including a 4-2 mark in conference. Amherst easily defeated the Pioneers by a 4-0 score in last year’s matchup.
With only Wesleyan and Trinity left to play in the NESCAC conference, the Jeffs still have hopes of ending the regular season with a winning record and advancing to the NESCAC tournament.
They’ll face Wesleyan this on Saturday, Oct. 24 for their homecoming game before taking on Trinity on Wednesday, Oct. 28 for a midweek matchup. Last year, the team made it to the NESCAC quarterfinal before falling to Tufts in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss.