Field Hockey Gains Momentum, Earns Two Conference Wins
Issue   |   Tue, 10/13/2015 - 23:30

It was an exciting week for the Amherst College field hockey team, which — after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to rival Tufts — was able to shut down both Connecticut College and Hamilton to boost its conference record to an even 3-3.

After Monday’s tough loss to the Jumbos, the Jeffs fired back on Wednesday by launching an impressive shutout victory over the Camels on home turf. Senior Katie Paolano provided a highlight performance with the first goal of the match as well as an assist to fellow tri-captain Annika Nygren ’16, who netted two to seal the win. Junior goalie Emily Horwitz earned her fifth shutout of the season and added eight more saves to her career stats. The win gave the purple and white a much needed confidence boost to take on the Continentals.

On Saturday, despite the disadvantages of a long trek to Clinton, New York and an early 2-0 deficit, Amherst fought back to end up one-upping the Continentals 5-4. Sarah Culhane ’17 found the back of the net four times to lead the Jeffs to the important overtime victory that they hope will stand as a turning point in their season.

Hamilton came into the game strong, scoring two goals within four minutes to take a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes still to play in the first half.

Paolano struck back before the halftime whistle, firing a pass from Culhane past goalkeeper Julia Booth to narrow the score.

Hamilton started with the momentum in the second half, and after pressuring the Amherst goal for the first four minutes of the game finally put one away past Horwitz.

Just seconds later, Amherst sophomore Caroline Feeley traveled up-field and sent a pass into the middle which was finished by Culhane to make the score 3-2. Culhane struck again less than 20 minutes later with an assist by Nygren, tying the game at three.

Culhane fired another one in the back of the net at the 61st minute mark, making it her third of the game and giving the Jeffs a one-goal advantage.

Unwilling to go down after such a hefty early lead, the Continentals fought to even the score and eventually found the net with 10 seconds remaining in the match.

The overtime period ended with a pass from sophomore Elizabeth Turnbull into the stick of Culhane, who snuck one by the left side of the Hamilton keeper to decide the game.

It was Culhane’s fourth goal of the match and her team-leading 11th goal of the 2015 season.

Up next, the purple and white match up in an away battle against NESCAC rival Colby on Saturday, Oct. 17 at noon.

Last year’s game needed extra time to be decided, and Elizabeth Turnbull ’18 eventually netted the game winner to lift the Jeffs to a 2-1 victory.

Colby will enter the matchup with a 6-5 overall record but a mere 1-5 in conference play. They most recently fell narrowly, 1-0, to Wesleyan.

Amherst will round out the weekend with a visit to Bates on Sunday, Oct. 18.

The Bobcats are just a tick above .500 this season, with a 5-4 record, but have a 2-4 mark in conference. They are coming off a 1-0 loss to Conn. College. Amherst won last year’s game by a decisive 3-0 score. This year’s contest is set to start at 1 p.m.