Lady Jeffs Look to Get Over Playoff Hurdle
Issue   |   Wed, 09/04/2013 - 10:29
Megan Robertson ’15 Public Affairs Office
Sarah Canning ’14 is one of the seniors to watch out for this season.

Coming off an 11-5 season, the Amherst field hockey team looks to have another strong showing this fall. Last year’s edition of the Lady Jeffs got off to a strong start, winning their first five games, before stumbling to the tune of three straight losses (three of them in overtime). In fact, four of the team’s five losses last year came in OT, incuding their last of the season, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Middlebury in the NESCAC playoffs. Notably, only one of those losses came at home. Season highlights for the Jeffs included a 3-2 win over Williams and a 3-2 OT road win against Trinity in the first round of the NESCAC tourney.

Despite losing four outstanding seniors, Nomi Conway, Mary Katherine McNeill, Sarah Wise and Katie McMahon, the Lady Jeffs still have a talented returning group of players. Goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum ’14 is ready to continue her dominance protecting the net. Ranked in the top 10 nationally with an 82.6% save percentage, Tannenbaum earned a spot on the All-NESCAC first team as well as a pot on the Capital One At-Large Academic All-District first team. Another member of the junior class, Madeline Tank, also looks to have another great season. As one of the team’s leading scorers, Tank had twelve goals last season. Representing the senior class, Krista Zsitvay and Alex Philie will step up into a leadership role. Both players received All-NESCAC second-team recognition last year and played an important part in the team’s offensive successes.

Sophomores Annie Turnbull, Annika Nygren, and Katie Paolano all received consistent playing time last year and look to have the same this season. Nygren scored three goals last season, and Turnbull was a crucial element to the team’s defense. With this experienced group of players, Amherst takes on Middlebury, who ended the Lady Jeffs’ season last fall, in their first home game of this year on September 7th. Other notable games this season are an away game against rival Williams on September 21st as well as home game against Bowdoin on Sept. 14. Amherst hopes to go farther this season in the post season with the NESCAC tournament starting on Nov. 2 and the NCAA tournament starting on Nov. 13. If they can improve their record in close games, the sky is the limit, including another run at a NESCAC title and a possible berth in the NCAA tournament.