Sixth Ranked Field Hockey Shuts out Wesleyan, 1-0
Issue   |   Wed, 11/06/2013 - 01:10

Field hockey had an impressive week, closing out their regular season winning streak at twelve games and defeating Wesleyan in the NESCAC Quarterfinals.

The team travelled to Trinity to close out regular season play. The series has always been close knit when the Jeffs take on the Bantams.

The 3-2 decision of this game marked the ninth consecutive time the two have been separated by a single goal.

Amherst scored first as Annika Nygren ’16 sent the ball down the left wing where Krista Zsitvay ’14 received the pass. Zsitvay was able to slot a backhanded shot past the Trinity keeper to open up the scoring in the 28th minute.

Amherst held their 1-0 advantage into the intermission. Trinity, however, came out of the break strong.

Four minutes into second half action, the Bantams capitalized on one of their five penalty corners as Sarah Duncan inserted to Julia Rivera. Rivera then set up Sophie Doering who netted the equalizer.

Trinity took the lead just under two minutes later after earning a penalty stroke. First year Samantha Sandler converted the try to give the Bantams their first lead of the day.

The home team maintained this lead for the majority of the second half.

Finally with seven minutes remaining in play, the Jeffs were able to re-tie the score. After a scrum in front of the net, Amherst earned a penalty stroke of their own. Senior captain Zsitvay converted the try to knot things at two, providing for an exciting few final minutes.

Amherst took the lead with under four minutes remaining in regulation. Nygren made a strong move to beat the Trinity keeper and tucked the ball into the far left corner.

Trinity did mount a comeback attempt, firing three shots on net in the final minute of play, but the Amherst defense was able to turn away the offensive drive and secure the victory.

Amherst goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 finished with seven saves on the day.

The win improved the team to a 12-2 record on the season and a 9-1 standing in NESCAC play. This secured the No. 1 seed in NESCAC playoffs for the Jeffs and also home field advantage throughout the NESCACs.

They playoffs began on Saturday, Nov. 2 with a rematch of the Homecoming game against Wesleyan. Amherst had defeated the Cardinals 4-3 in the regular season and would again win by a one-goal margin.

The Cardinals came into the match with a 5-9 regular season record and as the No. 8 seed in NESCAC playoffs.
Both teams mounted impressive scoring chances early.

The first opportunity came for Wesleyan about fifteen minutes into play. Mackey Hemphill ripped a shot on goal that dinged off the post. Tannenbaum was able to turn away the junior’s second shot and end the offensive effort.

Amherst responded to this effort in the twenty forth minute. Ellie Andersen ’15 inserted a corner pass to Zsitvay who finished the play, earning her twelfth goal of the season and the lead for Amherst.

Both sides did mount offensive opportunities for the remainder of play, but stingy defense and impressive goaltending kept both sides off the board.

Defender Annie Turnbull ’16 stepped up and was impressive in key moments for the Jeffs, making numerous defensive stops. At the start of the second half she was able to make a goal line stop to keep Wesleyan off the board.

Zsitvay’s goal proved to be the game winner as the Jeffs defeated the Cardinals for the second time on the season and improved to 3-0 all time in post-season play against their Little Three rival. It also earned the senior NESCAC Player of the Week honors.

The advantage fell Amherst’s way in shots and corners, 13-7 and 13-3 respectively.

Tannenbaum had her third shutout of the season and made five saves on the day.

The NESCAC Semifinals will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Gooding Field. The Jeffs will take on No. 4 seed, Middlebury, at 11:30. The Jeffs fell to Midd, 4-3, in overtime of their season opener.

No. 2 Tufts will face No. 3 Bowdoin following the first contest. Winners of both matches will go head to head in the NESCAC Finals on Sunday, Nov. 10 at noon on Gooding Field.