Field Hockey Tops Williams and Springfield
Issue   |   Tue, 09/24/2013 - 23:35
Megan Robertson '15, Public Affairs Office
The Jeffs intently watch their teammates battle on the field against arch rival Williams.

The Jeffs travelled to Williamstown on Saturday, Sept. 21 to take on the Ephs in an important NESCAC West battle.
Amherst controlled play throughout much of the game, keeping the ball in Williams’ end.

“We came out really strong right after the whistle blew,” said Catie Downey ’16.

The Jeffs wanted to put pressure on the Williams defense and were able to take 11 shots on goal.

“We were never satisfied with the lead and never let up on the Williams’ goalie,” added Katie Paolano ’16.

Krista Zsitvay ’14 put the Jeffs on the scoreboard 15 minutes into the first half, scoring the first of her three goals. After an impressive save by goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum ’15, Amherst transitioned quickly and move the ball efficiently down the field. Zsitvay made a move towards the net from the left side and put it past Williams’ keeper Nina Kumar to give the Jeffs an early lead.

Zsitvay doubled Amherst’s lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. The senior forward took a penalty stroke for Amherst and was again able to beat Kumar, sending the Jeffs to the intermission with a comfortable lead.

“Krista really stepped up and maneuvered the ball well, which paid off for us,” Paolano commented.

Williams came out of the break strong, mounting a formidable offensive attack. Tannenbaum, however, was able to keep the Ephs off the board; earning two of her four saves on shots garnered by consecutive Williams’ corners. First-year Molly Connolly ’17 helped preserve the shutout by blocking a shot in front of the open net, ending a Williams scoring opportunity.

Amherst later expanded their lead on a penalty corner. Ellie Andersen ’15 started play by centering a pass to Alex Philie ’14 and then darting to the front of the net, where Philie found her open teammate for the goal. The goal was Anderson’s first of the season and gave Amherst a 3-0 lead.

Zsitvay rounded out the scoring opportunities for the Jeffs. She scored the third goal of her hat trick when she put the final nail in the coffin for the Ephs by finding the back of the net with just over eight minutes remaining.

Thanks to Saturday’s win, the Jeffs have now been victorious in five of the last six meetings in the storied rivalry with Williams. With the win, Amherst moved into second in the NESCAC standings with a 2-1 conference record.

Following their shutout against Williams, Amherst took on Springfield College at home last night and notched an 8-2 victory, advancing their record to 3-2 overall and giving the Jeffs a three-game winning streak. Forward Madeline Tank ’15 led the scoring with an impeccable four goals on four shots, while Zsitvvay continued her strong play by adding three assists on the day.

A little over six minutes into the contest, Springfield jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against the Jeffs, but Amherst responded with seven unanswered goals. Amherst led 5-1 at the half before tacking on three more goals in the second half. In addition to Tank’s four scores, midfielder Kerry Fusco ’15, Anderson, first-year forward Sara Culhane, and forward Katie Paolano ’16 all had one goal against Springfield.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, Amherst will take on the No. 2-ranked Tufts Jumbos (4-0 on the season) at home in a crucial NESCAC battle among ranked opponents.