Women’s Soccer Beats Trinity, Tufts to Stay Atop NESCAC Standings
Issue   |   Tue, 10/02/2012 - 23:21
Niahlah Hope '15, Public Affairs Office
Center midfielder Amanda Brisco '14 has been pivotal for the Jeffs.

The women’s soccer team continued their winning ways this week, remaining undefeated with a 3-1 victory over Trinity and a 2-0 triumph over Tufts. Both were key NESCAC wins that earned the team top spot in the conference standings.

The Jeffs struggled in the early going against the Trinity Bantams in what will be their only Thursday game of the season. The Bantams had the better of the chances in the beginning stages of the contest, but solid goalkeeping from first-year goalkeeper Holly Burwick kept the Jeffs level.

The team settled down at about the 20-miunute mark and was able to control possession and generate the vast majority of scoring opportunities for the rest of the game. “Leading up to the Trinity game, we worked on moving off the ball and playing to feet,” Coach Jen Hughes said. “This enabled us to control possession for much of the Trinity game. We certainly have room to improve in this area, but it’s getting better.”

Despite the advantage in ball control, the Jeffs didn’t break through until the 38th minute when first-year sensation Megan Kim won and converted an aerial cross from Jessy Hale ’16.

From there, things fell into place according to captain Kathryn Nathan ’13. “Our team did take a while to score against Trinity,” she said. “Once we put a goal away, we began to relax and keep possession of the ball. In the future, we are looking to come into games on fire from the starting whistle and get on the scoreboard early.”

The College found the net again in the 51st minute, when Alex Hart ’15 headed in her first collegiate goal off a cross from Nathan.

Trinity responded less than four minutes later when first-year Alexa Menard headed in a goal. The score ended the Jeffs’ opponents’ scoreless streak at 524 minutes. It was the first goal the team has surrendered all season. Sarah Duffy ’14 capped off the scoring for the Jeffs in the 78th minute, netting a through ball from Amanda Brisco ’14 for the insurance tally.

Unfortunately for the Jeffs, their slow start repeated in their next game at Tufts. The first half would have been scoreless were it not for a Jumbo own goal. “We struggled in the first half against Tufts,” Coach Hughes said. “[We] were lucky to come away with a 1-0 lead at the half on an own goal.”

In the second half, the Jeffs came out much stronger form, led by first-year phenom Megan Kim. Kim scored in the 60th minute for her second goal in as many games.

Kim is one of the fastest players on the team and seems to have found her footing and broken her way into the starting lineup for good. Barring injury, she should be a stalwart on the Jeffs’ front line for years to come.

Captain Kate Sisk ’14 thinks the first-year is like a fine wine that will continue to improve with age. “I think Megan’s success is a great thing,” she said. “I believe she will improve throughout the rest of the season as she gains more and more game experience.”

Kim seems to have turned a corner over the last two games. “I definitely think that this past weekend was a major breakthrough for me because it gave me whole new level of confidence,” she said. “College soccer was definitely a change of pace and intensity compared to any other level of soccer that I’ve played.”

Kim and the Jeffs next opponent play next Saturday against Wlliams, who is undefeated in NESCAC play. The game is not only a rivalry contest, but it will help determine who will host the year-end NESCAC Championship.

“I am so completely excited,” Sisk said. “It’s always an honor to compete for Amherst in this great rivalry. As with any other game against any other opponent, we are playing to win.”