Field Hockey Dominates in 3-0 Week, Downs Two NESCAC Competitors
Issue   |   Tue, 10/04/2016 - 22:01
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Junior Caroline Fiore helped lead an Amherst defense, which conceded only three goals in last week’s action and earned a shutout against Bates.

This past week, the Amherst women’s field hockey team performed exceptionally well, meeting and perhaps exceeding the team’s high expectations for the season. Despite a full week, including away matches at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NESCAC-rival Tufts, followed by a return home for a match-up against Bates, the purple and white remained dialed in, and the result was an unblemished 3-0 record for the week.

They began with a midweek matchup against MIT on the Engineer’s home turf. Both teams created some good scoring opportunities in the first half, but neither was able to penetrate the other’s defense and find the back of the net until the second half.

In the attacking third of the field, Elizabeth Turnbull ’18 found the stick of Sara Culhane ’17, who got a quick shot off, regained possession of her rebound and then scored. Amherst took the lead at the 53-minute mark.

Continuing to charge forward, Culhane was at it again in front of the Engineer’s cage and managed to record her second goal of the match, a tally which ended up being the deciding margin in the contest. MIT’s Rachel Rotteveel kept the game at a one-goal deficit, as she scored her team’s one and only goal of the game with three minutes remaining on the clock. The game finished at 2-1 in favor of the purple and white.

Amherst then traveled to Tufts on Saturday, Oct. 1. Tufts got on the board just five minutes into the half, when Gigi Tutoni slotted one into the Amherst goal. However, Amherst evened the match 50 minutes into the game, when Culhane notched her first goal of the game. Tufts again took the lead, but were not able to clinch the win in regulation as Culhane scored yet another goal, this time off of a pass from Mary Grace Cronin ’18. This tally ended up being the last goal scored in the game, as neither team could break the 2-2 deadlock.

The first 15-minute overtime passed by without a goal scored for either side. After obtaining the advantage off of a foul in the second period of overtime, Turnbull dished a passed to Culhane who scored her third and winning goal of the game in the 91st minute. The game marked Culhane’s second hat trick of the still-young season, and brought her goal tally on the season to an incredible 14, three of which have ended up as game winners.

“The Tufts game was so back and forth, with so many close calls, and winning a game the way we did felt amazing,” Cronin said.

On Sunday, the purple and white faced its third game of the week at home against Bates. Cronin capitalized off of a corner insert from Kendall Codey ’19 to give Amherst the early lead. A mere 10 minutes later, Shannon Tierney ’19 fed a ball to Mary Margaret Stoll ’17, who increased the goal advantage over Bates to two. Caroline Feeley ’18 scored the final goal of the match in the last minute of the game. When the final whistle sounded, the purple and white had earned a 3-0 victory.

“This weekend was really pivotal for us as we approach the midpoint of our season,” Cronin said. “To get two really important conference wins at this point in the year means so much for our postseason aspirations.”

The purple and white now own an overall record of 7-2 and stand at 3-2 in the NESCAC. Amherst returns to action this Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Connecticut College at 5:00 p.m. Later in the week they’ll take on Hamilton at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 starting at 11:00 a.m.