Field Hockey Tops Two NESCAC Foes On Week
Issue   |   Tue, 10/29/2013 - 22:50
Rob Mattson, Public Affairs Office
Mary Margaret Stoll ’17 dribbles the ball away from a Wesleyan defender.

The No. 10- ranked field hockey team had a successful week and a half, garnering two NESCAC victories and one non-conference win.

Their first NESCAC victory came against Wesleyan on Homecoming Weekend, Saturday, Oct. 19.

Blair Ingraham got the scoring started for Wesleyan as she took Vanessa Block’s pass from the corner and tucked the ball in the bottom left corner giving Wesleyan a 1-0 lead.

The Jeffs answered just over ten minutes later, however, as Krista Zsitvay ’14 converted a penalty stroke, notching the game at one. The goal also earned the senior captain her 100th career point, an amazing accomplishment.

“Krista has been incredible this season and has shown tremendous skill, speed and consistency with her play,” said coach Carol Knerr. “It was fantastic to see her earn her 100th point.”

Wesleyan answered before the half was out, taking advantage of a penalty corner. Amber Bruckner received the inlet pass from Mackey Hemphill. Bruckner then found Hannah Plappert who fired a shot to the top left corner to make it 2-1 Cardinals. Wesleyan would maintain the one goal lead heading into the break.

Amherst used the break effectively and came out strong in the second half. Alex Phillie ’14 made a strong move to get the offensive chance started, weaving between two Wesleyan defenders. She put a shot on net, allowing Madeline Tank ’15 to gain control of the rebound and feed it to Ellie Andersen ’15 who fired it past the Wesleyan keeper. The goal was a huge momentum swing and tied the score just over three minutes into the second half.

The Jeffs took the lead for the first time on the day under four minutes later. Capping off an intense offensive flurry, Tank found the back of the net off an assist from Andersen.

Amherst maintained their lead and added an insurance goal. Andersen earned her second assist on the day, finding Zsitvay just inside the arc. Zsitvay lofted a towering shot that baffled the Wesleyan keeper and fell just past the goal line to give Amherst a two-goal lead.

The Cardinals did attempt to mount a come back, but they were only able to cut the deficit in half. After keeper Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 made an impressive diving save, Wesleyan’s Bruckner tucked away the rebound. The final score stood at 4-3 Amherst.

Amherst held the advantage in shots on the day (19-13) and on penalty corners (12-8) in what Coach Knerr described as a “hard fought victory.”

The team had a quick turnaround and returned to action the following Tuesday, Oct. 22 when they played host to NESCAC foe, Conn. College.

Zsitvay started the scoring for the Jeffs under ten minutes into the game. Katie Paolano ’16 had a shot on goal off an Amherst penalty corner and Zsitvay was able to gather the rebound and net a shot to the far post.

Tank doubled the lead two minutes later as she collected her own rebound and sent a shot to the left side.

Just as the second half was coming to a close, Paolano provided a third goal, converting a rebound that came off a shot by forward Zsitvay. The three-goal cushion was not enough for the Jeffs as they came out equally as strong in the second half.

Annika Nygren ’16 made it 4-0 in the Jeffs’ favor when she gained possession of the rebound from a Phillie shot and slotted it past the Camels’ keeper.

The lead was further enlarged when Zsitvay scored her second goal of the day off a pass from Phillie who faked a shot to scatter the defense and opened up the opportunity.

Sarah Culhane ’17 capped off the scoring for the Jeffs, at six goals to Conn. College’s zero, as she netted a rebound for her eighth finish of the season.

Keepers Rachel Tannenbaum and first-year Emily Horwitz split the shutout, making it their fifth in the team’s last seven games.

Amherst carried this offensive power into their contest with Smith College on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Jeffs defeated the Pioneers handily, outscoring them 8-1.

Smith was the first team on the board as Kate Este finished the assist from Alexa Dejesus just one minute into play.

Amherst replied quickly and in a big way. Tank went on a tear, scoring three goals and earning a hat trick in a span of ten minutes. These three gave her a team high thirteen goals on the season.

Amherst added another tally fifteen minutes later as Nygren found the back of the net for the eighth time this season.

The Jeffs would strike again before the close of the first half as Tank found Paolano, giving the Jeffs a 5-1 lead heading into the break.

Paolano picked up exactly where she left off in the first half, scoring her second goal on the day just under two minutes into the second half off an assist from fellow forward Culhane.

Culhane notched her own tally five minutes into the half to make the score 7-1 in Amherst’s favor.

The first-year wasn’t done however, as she added another assist when she connected with Nygren with less than twenty minutes to go in the game, providing the eighth and final goal in an 8-1 victory for the Jeffs.

The win was Amherst’s eleventh in a row and allowed them to improve to 11-2 on the season.

Amherst’s two keepers, Tannenbaum and Horwitz, again split time in net, each having one save.

The Jeffs play their final regular season game today at Trinity (8-5). The NESCAC Quarterfinals begin Nov. 2. Although the time and opponent of their matchup is still to be determined, the Jeffs will certainly be hosting a NESCAC Quarterfinal game this Saturday.