The Year in Sports: Fall Season
Issue   |   Thu, 05/19/2016 - 19:20
Amherst Athletics

Women’s Cross Country
The women’s cross country team ran to second place at Little Threes, fourth at NESCAC championships and seventh at NCAA northeast regionals. Savanna Gornisiewicz ’17 and first-year Lizzie Lacy led the team on the season. Lacy impressed in her rookie season by winning the individual title at NESCACs with a time of 21:48. Lacy was the first rookie to win the conference since 2003. The first-year followed her win with a 21st-place finish (second on the team) in NCAA regionals. She then completed her season with a 73rd-place finish running as an individual at nationals. Gornisiewicz finished 12th at NESCACs, earning second team All-NESCAC honors, 18th at regionals, and 65th at nationals. The team also led eight NESCAC teams named All-Academic with a cumulative GPA of 3.58.

Men’s Cross Country
Led by standout sophomore Mohamed Hussein, the men’s cross country team raced to second place finishes at Little Threes and NESCACs, a first place finish at ECACs, and finished their season ranked 10th nationally. Hussein won five individual titles on the season, including wins at both Little Threes and NESCACs. One of the top Division III performers in the country, the sophomore was named NESCAC and USTFCCCA runner of the week three times each, a new program record. Senior captain Dan Crowley rounded out his impressive career by earning First Team All-NESCAC honors and leading Amherst’s performance at nationals by finishing in 18th place. Raymond Meijer ’17 garnered second team All-NESCAC honors, while brother Tucker Meijer ’19 was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Jeff Seelaus ’16, Craig Nelson ’18 and Kevin Connors ’17 formed the remainder of Amherst’s seven-man team, one of Amherst’s best in recent history.

Women’s Golf
The women’s golf team showed tremendous consistency in the fall, finishing four of their five tournaments in fourth place while claiming second at the Middlebury Invitational.

First-year Kate Weiss entered her first collegiate season and led Amherst in scoring at the NYU Invitational with an eighth-place finish and at the Mount Holyoke Invitational with a third place finish.

Senior captain Devyn Gardner then finished tied for first at the Middlebury Invitational, helping Amherst to a second place finish, their best of the season.

First-year Katie Rosenberg then led Amherst to a fourth-place finish at the Williams Fall Invitational with a second-place individual finish. The Invite also doubled as the inaugural NESCAC championship, in which Amherst finished third.

The purple and white then finished fourth at the Wellesley College Invitational behind 13th-place finishes from Rosenberg and Zoe Wong ’18.

Men’s Golf
Amherst, which began its 2015-16 campaign 10th of 20 teams at the two-day Williams Fall Invitational, added a 16th place mark at the 32nd annual Duke Nelson Invitational hosted by Middlebury. Following the NESCAC qualifier, the purple and white powered to a sixth place showing at the ECAC Division III Championship to close out the fall portion of its schedule. The team used its course time in the fall to prep for their impending spring season, where they compete in the NESCAC tournament.

Field Hockey
Led by a talented group of upperclassmen, including Annie Turnbull ’16, Annika Nygren ’16, Emily Horowitz ’17 and Sara Culhane ’17 the Amherst field hockey team impressed with a 12-5 overall season, winning six of 10 against NESCAC teams and advancing to the semifinals of the NESCAC championship. Culhane led the team in goals scored, with 15, while Nygren followed close behind with 13. Turnbull and Horowitz both garnered ECAC All-New England all-star accolades, Turnbull having started every game since her freshman year and Horowitz for her 103 saves, and five shutout games in goal. Horowitz’s .824 save percentage was ranked 19th in the nation among Division III goalies. The team impressed off the field as well, winning the ZAG/NFHCA All-Academic award for outstanding performances in the classroom.

Amherst football continued to dominate over the course of its 2015 season, with another undefeated NESCAC run. Their perfect 8-0 season was marked by large margin victories, the closest game coming at the hands of Wesleyan, a 27-18 victory. Standout players included a group of talented seniors including wide receiver and punter Jackson McGonagle who ranked second in the NESCAC in touchdowns, fifth in the conference in yards per catch and ninth in yards with 484 on the season. In addition to his impressive receiving season, McGonagle was also voted to the second all-NESCAC second team as a punter. Senior safety Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn also garnered postseason accolades, as he was named a division III All-American for his 52 total tackles — 27 of them solo — 4 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 2 blocked field goals and 2 defensive touchdowns. Rounding out the squad, senior offensive lineman Sam Hart was AFCA division III Coaches All-American Selection for his part in the offensive line that allowed Amherst to have the most effective rushing game in the NESCAC.KC Fussell ’15 followed his stellar sophomore season with a second place finish at the Little Three championships. Crowley was close behind in third, while Turissini and Reighard placed seventh and 14th, respectively. These performances were not enough to push the Jeffs past the eventual champ, Williams.

Women’s Soccer
For their third consecutive season, Amherst women’s soccer advanced to NCAA championship tournament play, earning an at-large bid to the tournament after a shocking loss to Middlebury in the first round of the NESCAC tournament. The women fought their way into the second round of the tournament, falling in penalty kicks to a talented Brandeis team. The season was highlighted by senior goalkeeper Holly Burwick, who raked in the accolades, including a Division III All-American award, a First Team NEWISA All-New England award, a First Team NSCAA Scholar All-American honor, a First Team All-East Region accolade, a First Team All-NESCAC mention and a First Team ECAC New England All-Star recognition. On the offensive side, junior midfielder Emily Hester came up clutch for the team again and again, with five game winning goals on the season and three two-goal games, earning her a First Team All-NESCAC selection, a Second Team ECAC New England All-Star and First Team NSCAA All-New England Region praise. The women finished 11-3-3 on the year and are looking forward to another strong season in the fall.

The Firedogs enjoyed a successful season, making a postseason NCAA tournament run that lasted two rounds before falling in five sets to a talented MIT squad. The team was led by a strong group of seniors as well as standout underclassmen. Katie Warshaw was the crowd favorite, earning herself a first Team All-NESCAC selection and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American for her 527 digs — averaging 5.27 per set — 75 assists and 19 aces. Over four years the senior amassed 1,722 digs, 225 assists and 99 service aces. Junior Maggie Danner was also named second-team all-NESCAC with 261 kills, 3.0 kills/game and 37 blocks. The purple and white’s senior class of Ahern, Carter, Newby and Warshaw conclude their careers with an overall record of 78-29, including three consecutive 20-plus win seasons (2013, 2014, 2015); three straight NESCAC semifinal appearances (2013, 2014, 2015) and an NCAA championship tournament appearance.