Undefeated Field Hockey Hacks Bates, Middlebury
Issue   |   Wed, 09/21/2011 - 02:54
Photo courtesy of Alec Jacobson '12
Katie McMahon '13 scored a goal against Bates and two of the Jeffs' three goals against Middlebury

The Jeffs extended their record to 3-0 (3-0 NESCAC) this weekend by outshining Bates College and Middlebury College in their first two home games of the season. They started the weekend with a decisive 7-1 win over Bates on Saturday morning, and carried their momentum into Sunday afternoon by taking down Middlebury, 3-1.

Co-captain Carly Dudzik ’12 said the team was excited by the prospect of an undefeated weekend. “We knew that we had two tough opponents but could come away with two wins,” said Dudzik. “Our main goals were to play as a team and use our passing game. We played our game and didn’t let our opponents change our style of play.”

Fellow senior captain Stephanie Clegg added, “We knew we had to take it one game at a time. We never overlooked Bates and only thought about Middlebury once the Bates game was over. Honestly, we couldn’t have written a better story for this weekend.”

Amherst kicked the weekend off right by overpowering Bates in its home opener. Highlights included strong showings from sophomore Krista Zsitvay and first-year Ellie Andersen, who each contributed two goals. Madeline Tank ’15, Katie McMahon ’13, and Sarah Canning ’14 also scored to propel the Jeffs to victory. Tank’s three assists, along with sophomore Alex Philie’s helper, rounded out the Amherst offense.

While the defense wasn’t terribly busy, first-year Rachel Tannenbaum recorded a save in goal after an impressive performance against Trinity on Tuesday. Although the Bobcats managed a goal in the final minutes of regulation, it did not distract from the fact that the Jeffs kept the action on Bates’ half of the field for the majority of the game.

Amherst then focused on avenging last year’s loss to Middlebury by handing the seventh-ranked team its first loss of the season on Sunday. The Jeffs struck first at 9:12, when Dudzik received a pass from Philie and ripped a shot off to convert a penalty corner into the team’s first goal of the game.

Middlebury answered when Elinore O’Brien tipped a loose ball into the net before the teams broke for halftime. In the second half, while Amherst won six penalty corners and registered a smattering of shots on goal, it was McMahon who finally netted one to break the tie, tipping Zsitvay’s pass past the Panthers’ goalie. Minutes later, McMahon redirected another loose ball into the net to register Amherst’s third and final goal.

Amherst’s defense held Middlebury to 10 shots to Amherst’s 22, and Tannenbaum delivered once again with five saves in net. “Once we figured out how to move as one unit,” Clegg explained, “we knew we’d be able to defend any offense.”

Coupled with the Jeffs’ 1-0 win over Trinity last Tuesday, these two wins land Amherst in the top position in the NESCAC. While Amherst looks strong, Dudzik plans to keep her focus. “I thought we executed well, but can capitalize on our opportunities more if we keep working hard at practice,” she said. “We just want to keep this momentum going and stay positive throughout the rest of the season.”

Head Coach Carol Knerr spoke proudly of the team’s performance and general attitude. “In our program, we take things one day at a time and work to improve as much as we can each day,” said the coach. “This team is a hungry and motivated group of athletes. They are fierce competitors who embrace challenges and play with confidence. We can’t wait for our next game.”
The team will have another home matchup against Springfield on Wednesday before traveling to Hamilton on Saturday.