After dropping their first two matches of 2013 in overtime the Amherst field hockey team rattled off 13 consecutive victories, en route to the program’s first-ever number-one seed in the NESCAC tournament. Their impressive run was cut short by just one goal, falling to Middlebury 1-0 in last year’s semifinal. After being snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee, this year’s goal is obvious.

The Amherst men’s golf team is looking to follow up its spring campaign with a strong showing this fall. The Jeffs graduated two seniors, but they are returning a solid core and will look to add to that group with three incoming first-years. Jack Arena ’83, Coach of the Year in 2010, will be returning for his 21st season as the Jeffs’ head coach.

On August 3, the baseball team embarked on a 14-hour journey to the small island country of Japan as part of a cultural exchange. With the help of alumni, coaches and the school administration, Amherst rekindled a partnership with the prestigious Japanese liberal arts school, Doshisha University.

There is a story about James Taylor, a boy and his pig. The boy raises a pig named Kosher until she is too large to live in his house and he finds her a new home with James Taylor’s pig, Mona. The story cheerfully touches on the boy’s mishaps with Kosher and the ultimate ending of any pig, but with an unexpected twist. I will not ruin the story for anyone because it is a wonderful two-page account that I cannot do justice.

Men’s soccer returns to action in 2014 following a team trip to France this past summer and two consecutive Elite Eight appearances. Last season, the Jeffs finished with an 18-1-2 overall record and an 8-0-2 mark in NESCAC play. The team also won the 2013 NESCAC Championship and attained a no. 1 national ranking for the first time in program history.

Irish director John Carney brought us the quirky and low-budget movie musical “Once” in 2007. “Begin Again,” his newest release, tries to replicate the charm of “Once” and almost succeeds in doing so. For its setting, the 2014 film swaps the streets of Dublin for an idealized version of New York City cherished by hipsters. There’s an abundance of red brick, green spaces and intimate music lounges and an absence of crowds. In “Once,” Carney selected the unknown actors Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová to play his leading man and lady.