Field Hockey Hopes to Earn First NESCAC Victory Over Williams
Issue   |   Wed, 09/23/2015 - 00:53
Amherst Athletics
Caroline Fiore ’18 opened the scoring for Amherst against Keene State.

The Amherst College field hockey team is still hoping to find its momentum after picking up a midweek victory over Keene State before falling to NESCAC foe Middlebury over the weekend. The Jeffs did rebound again, with a 6-1 rout of Springfield College on Tuesday night.

The team bounced back well in its Wednesday contest against Keene after suffering a tough loss to Bowdoin last Saturday.

They secured an early lead over the Owls, as Caroline Fiore ’18 netted her first goal of the season just 11 minutes into play.

The goal came thanks to an Amherst corner opportunity. Annika Nygren ’16 made the inlet pass, finding Fiore who blasted a hard shot to the right of the Owls’ keeper.

Amherst would extend its lead before the half was out, again courtesy of a corner chance. Annie Turnbull ’16 executed the corner pass this time, connecting with sophomore Mary Grace Cronin, who capitalized to tally her first goal of the season.

Goalkeeper Emily Horwitz ’17 made six saves en route to her second shutout of the year.

Despite the strong showing against Keene, the Jeffs again failed to string together consecutive wins, suffering a setback against Middlebury on Saturday, Sept. 19. Nygren tallied the Jeffs’ two lone goals in the 4-2 loss.

Middlebury was first to strike, getting on the board just over three minutes into play. Pam Schulman, the Panthers’ leading goal scorer, tacked on her fourth of the season.

Nygren answered just 28 seconds later when she one-timed a pass from Cronin past the Panthers’ keeper.

After the offensive flurry that started the half, both teams tightened up on the defensive end, resulting in 31 minutes of scoreless play to conclude the first half.

The opening start to the second half proved to be similar to the first, as Amherst quickly broke the tie. Nygren needed just 35 seconds to tally her second goal of the game. The assist came from Cronin, who had intercepted a Panthers’ pass down field.

Despite Nygren’s impressive day, Middlebury went on to score three unanswered goals. Grace Jennings evened the score in the 41st minute and Caroline Knapp put the Owls ahead just three minutes later.

Amherst did have opportunities to respond, as they outshot the Panthers 16-14, but could not convert on any of their opportunities.

Middlebury tacked on an insurance goal in the 66th minute, Knapp’s second of the day.

The loss set Amherst back to 0-2 in conference play.

After the difficult loss on Saturday, the Jeffs used their non-conference midweek contest to again try to sway momentum in their favor. They defeated Springfield College with ease, as four different Jeffs contributed goals.

Springfield College got on the board first, as Maggie Kennedy scored just under eight minutes into play. That would be the Spirits’ lone goal in the game.

The Jeffs then quickly evened the score again, before tallying five additional unanswered goals. Nygren scored, unassisted in the ninth minute of play, following up her impressive offensive performance from Saturday.

Fiore and Cronin also again contributed to the scoring, both adding unassisted goals in the 21st minutes and 22nd minutes respectively, bringing the score to 3-1.

After dominating first half play, Amherst carried the comfortable 3-1 lead into the break.

The Jeffs continued to control the game heading into the second half, matching their scoring totals from the first half.

Sara Cuhlane ’17 scored in the 39th minute, gathering the assist from Kendall Codey ‘19.

Cronin and Nygren later scored their second goals of the game, with Cronin’s coming in the 53rd minute and Nygren’s in 57th. Nygren supplied the assist on Cronin’s goal while Fiore contributed to the scoring play on Nygren’s tally.

Horwitz made nine saves to help the Jeffs secure the victory.

The team’s true test will come this Saturday, Sept. 26. The Jeffs will take on Williams and try to earn their first conference victory.

“Our team has been working hard to be a threat offensively and tonight we made that goal a reality against Springfield,” Nygren said. “We’re looking forward to riding on this wave of momentum into the weekend for our first Little Three match up against Williams.”

Saturday’s game will be played at Williams, starting at 11 a.m.