Field Hockey Hands No. 4 Tufts First Loss of Season
Issue   |   Tue, 09/30/2014 - 22:41

The Amherst field hockey team continued its impressive run, defeating two NESCAC foes this past weekend.

The Jeffs earned their first win on Saturday, Sept. 27 on the road against Tufts. It was the fourth-ranked Jumbos’ first loss of the year as well as the first time they had surrendered a goal all season.

Tufts scored first as Dominique Zarella rattled a shot off the back of the cage unassisted less than three minutes into play.

Amherst would answer before the half ended, however, as Annie Turnbull ’16 found Madeline Tank ’15 to bring the score to one apiece.

The two teams went into the break with the score still even. Despite an even split in penalty corners (three), Tufts held a decisive 8-4 edge in shots.

Each team had their opportunities to take the lead in the second half of play, as Tufts added seven shots on goal while Amherst had four. Annika Nygren ’16 scored the eventual game-winner with only seven minutes left to play thanks to an assist from Turnbull.

Emily Horwitz ’17 continued to dominate in net, only allowing one goal while turning away nine shots.

“Beating Tufts was awesome,” said the sophomore keeper. “Everyone worked really hard to make the win happen. It was such a great feeling since Tufts was undefeated and hadn’t been scored upon.”

Despite the quick turn around, Amherst looked well rested for another NESCAC matchup the following day against Bates on Sunday, Sept. 28. The Jeffs continued their winning streak with a 3-0 victory on their home turf.

“We did a good job of keeping up the momentum going into the Bates game, which was crucial for the win,” Horwitz said.

Amherst got on the board in the 25th minute thanks to a hustle play by Katie Paolano ’16 that earned the Jeffs a penalty corner. Nygren made the corner pass, finding first-year Elizabeth Turnbull at the top of the circle. Turnbull dangled to make her way around the Bates defender and sent a hard shot past the keeper, ringing off the back of the cage to give Amherst a 1-0 lead.

An insurance goal was tallied just over 10 minutes later, started by a strong effort from Paolano once again. She carried the ball far along the sideline before sending it ahead to Mary Grace Cronin ’18. The first-year put a shot on net that rebounded off the Bates keeper, but fellow first-year Caroline Feeley was there to finish the play, scoring the first goal of her collegiate career.

The third goal of the game was hard earned, as Amherst had four consecutive penalty corners before finally converting. After chaos in front of the net following the inlet pass, Tank finally knocked it home to extend the Jeffs’ lead to three.

The 3-0 score would stand through the final 35 minutes of play. Amherst held an impressive 7-0 advantage in penalty corners throughout the second half, and Horwitz had another strong outing in net to earn the shutout with six saves.

Nygren earned NESCAC Field Hockey player of the week for her seven-point week that consisted of two goals and three assists.

Amherst heads into a well-deserved week off from competition before hosting Hamilton on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. on Gooding Field. The Jeffs handed the Continentals an 8-0 loss in the 2013 regular season.