Women's Soccer Juggles Past Jumbos in 2-0 Win
Issue   |   Wed, 10/05/2011 - 01:27
Kate Berry '12
Kathryn Nathan ’13 scored a penalty kick, accounting for one of the Jeffs’ two goals in their shutout victory over Tufts.

With two wins this weekend, the women’s soccer team matched the school record for best start to a season at 7-0-0 (5-0-0 NESCAC). The Jeffs beat Trinity and Tufts, both by scores of 2-0.

“I think a huge part of our success so far this season has been our team chemistry; we all have a common goal, to reach our collective potential and compete for every single game, and have bought into it 100 percent,” senior tri-captain Jess Wall said.

The Jeffs faced Trinity on the road. Despite hard play in the first half, both teams remained scoreless. The Jeffs held a 7-5 edge in shots, but were frustrated by the Bantam goalie and strong defense. On the other side of the field, the Bantams bounced a shot off the crossbar midway through the first frame, but didn’t put any other shots on goal.

The sophomores pulled through for the Jeffs in the second half. Kate Sisk ’14 broke the deadlock at the 52:01 mark with her first career goal off an assist from classmate Sarah Duffy. Chloe McKenzie ’14 sealed the deal with her second career goal at the 80:36 mark, also off a pass from Duffy. The Jeffs were more dominant in the second frame, out-shooting the Bantams 7-2. Goalkeeper Allie Horwitz ’12 had one save in the second half for her fourth shutout of the season.

The Jeffs defeated Tufts at home this Saturday, dealing the Jumbos their first loss of the season. Tufts attacked the Jeffs right from the get-go, earning two corner kicks in the first five minutes. The Jeff defense remained composed and managed to clear both without giving up a shot on goal.

The Jeffs’ first scoring opportunity came in the 33rd minute when Kathryn Nathan ’13 sent a pass to McKenzie. But the Tufts goalie reacted quickly and slid to cover the ball.

Emily Little ’13 had the next scoring attempt for the Jeffs, following a cross to the right side of the box. The diving Tufts goalie managed to get a hand on that shot too. McKenzie went after the rebound, but a Tufts defender cleared the ball off the goal line, keeping the game scoreless. The Jeffs continued to be aggressive and challenge the Jumbos, as Duffy launched a shot in the 23rd minute, but it bounced off the crossbar.

The Jeffs’ offensive pressure finally paid off with just over a minute left in the first half. Tufts had a handball in the box, which gave the Jeffs a penalty kick. Nathan capitalized on the opportunity, scoring easily and putting the Jeffs up 1-0 at the intermission.

The Jumbos put up an early shot in the second half off of a free kick, but Horwitz was there with the save. The Jumbos pressured Horwitz with under 19 minutes left to play, sending a cross-pass towards the goal, but Horwitz made the save.
Less than a minute later, Stewart received another pass in the box, but couldn’t control the ball. Horwitz came out to dismiss the scoring threat once again, holding on to her 16th career shutout.

With eight minutes left to play, first-year Mel Stier fed a pass to Sisk on the left side of the box, and the sophomore put away her second career goal to give the Jeffs a two-goal cushion.

The Jeff offense was clearly dominant, holding a 17-5 edge in shooting and an 8-4 advantage on corner kicks. Wall said “I think that every game, we’ve been growing and improving as a team, and our performance against Tufts this weekend was our best yet.” But she thinks her team can do even better: “We definitely have not reached our full potential yet.”

The Jeffs return to action at Williams next Saturday. The game will be streamed live online. Wall said that “we need to just come out hard and play a full 90 minutes.” The last time Amherst faced the Ephs was in the NESCAC Championship, which they lost 1-0. But Wall is confident that the Jeffs can be victorious this time around.

“Past results don’t matter; what matters is how we show up to play this Saturday,” she explained. “If we come out with the intensity and focus that we’ve been bringing to our recent training sessions and games, and maintain it until the final whistle, we can absolutely come out on top.”