Seventh-Ranked Field Hockey Picks up Three Wins
Issue   |   Tue, 10/21/2014 - 23:24

The Amherst College field hockey team continues to move up the national rankings, winning their last three games and extending their win streak to nine straight .The team picked up two NESCAC victories and one non-conference win over last two weeks.

The first win came against NESCAC foe, Colby, back on Saturday, Oct. 11. The battle lasted into overtime, but the Jeffs eventually pulled out the win in front of their home crowd.

Neither team was able to gain strong momentum in the first half, with shots on goal resting at three on both sides. Amherst did hold a 4-1 advantage in penalty corners, and this small edge would transfer into the second half of play.

Amherst used the break well, opening up scoring just over two minutes into the half, as Annika Nygren ’16 netted her seventh goal of the season.

Despite Amherst’s dominance of play, Colby used one of their four penalty corners in the game, to even things at one.
Amherst eventually earned the win in the ninth minute of overtime. Nygren made the insert pass on a corner, finding first-year Elizabeth Turnbull at the top of the penalty circle. The shot rang off the back of the cage, propelling the Jeffs to the 2-1 win.

“I think we were comfortable with the early lead but their late goal made us realize that we needed to shift momentum,” junior Katie Paolano said. “We came out hard in overtime and ultimately finished strong for the win.”

After the drama of Saturday’s contest, Amherst cruised to an 8-0 victory on Wednesday, Oct. 15 over non-conference opponent Castleton State. Seven different Jeffs scored on the day, while four others contributed to the scoring opportunities.

Amherst wasted no time getting on the board, mounting a 4-0 lead in just the first ten minutes of action. In the second minute Turnbull ’18 netted her fourth of the year, off an assist from Nygren.

The first-years continued to contribute, as Mary Grace Cronin ’18 extended the lead to two, thanks to an assist from Syndey Watts ’17. Two minutes later, Nygren got in on the scoring action, this one unassisted, giving Amherst a 3-0 lead.

A score from Katie Paolano ‘16, her first of the year capped off the ten-minute flurry.

Even with the early four-goal lead, the Jeffs kept pressure on the Spartans. In the 24th minute, Paolano again found the back of the net, this time off an assist from Ellie Andersen ’15.

The first half scoring action was rounded out by a goal from Mary Margaret Stoll ’17. First-year Caroline Fiore was credited with the assist on the play. The goal propelled Amherst into the intermission with a decisive 6-0 lead.

The Jeffs added two more goals for good measure in the second half, one by Grace Cronin, her second on the year, and the other by Taylor Hallowell ’17. Caroline Feeley ’18 and Nygren were both credited with the assists.

Emily Horwitz ’17 and Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 split time to earn the shutout.

Amherst held an astounding 45-2 advantage in shots on the day and a 19-2 edge in penalty corners in the game.

The winning ways continued on Saturday, Oct. 18 against Wesleyan. The Jeffs took the victory 4-0, earning their seventh shutout on the season and ninth straight win.

Characteristically, Amherst scored early and often. Four different Jeffs contributed to the tallies on the day.

Nygren found Turnbull ’18 to put Amherst on the board just five minutes into the game. Nygren again had an assist, this one to Margaret Stoll in the 16th minute to extend the lead to two.

The scoring opportunities continued to come for the Jeffs, as Turnbull ’18 assisted her older sister Annie Turnbull ’16.
Nygren provided the final blow just two minutes later, scoring unassisted to push Amherst to the 4-0 win.

The scoring was contained to the first half of play, as the final goal came in the 28th minute. Despite controlling play throughout the game, Amherst held a slim 16-13 advantage in shots and 12-9 advantage in corners.

“We are Wesleyan’s team to beat which makes the games more intense”, Paolano said. “Last year we only beat them by one, so this game could have really gone either way. The fact that we scored four goals in the first half really helped to seal the win, and the little three championship.”

Horwitz factored largely in the shutout, saving 10 shots on goal.

The Jeffs, now seventh ranked in the country, have just two regular season games remaining. They will host Smith this Thurday, Oct. 23 beginning at 7 PM and Trinity the following Wednesday, Oct. 29 again at 7 PM.

“We beat Trinity in OT last year, but they have always been a tough competitor,” Paolano said. “This year they are looking very strong, as they beat a tough Bowdoin team. We are looking forward to finishing our regular season with a challenging game to prepare us for the postseason.”