Women’s Soccer Extends Win Streak to 14, Reaches NCAA Round of 16
Issue   |   Tue, 11/15/2016 - 23:07

The Amherst women’s soccer team is headed to the NCAA Sweet 16 after defeating Lasell College and Swarthmore College this past weekend. The purple and white opened NCAA Division III tournament play at home on Saturday and finished with a decisive 4-0 victory.

Amherst came out with a strong start, scoring three goals in the first half. Emily Hester ’17 kicked off the offensive pressure just three minutes in, when she narrowly missed a shot over the crossbar. At the 7:32 mark, Rubii Tamen ’19 was the first to find the back of the net, giving Amherst a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, Ashlyn Heller ’17 doubled the lead. She took a shot that was initially deflected by the Lasell goalkeeper, but followed her shot and pushed the rebound across the goal line. Hannah Guzzi ’18 then scored her 16th goal of the season with a ball that found its way just under the crossbar.

The best scoring opportunity Lasell had was a shot that actually made it past the Amherst goalie, Chelsea Cutler ’19, but Megan Root ’19 made an amazing defensive play to maintain the shutout.

In the second half, Sloan Askins ’20 sealed the victory with the fourth Amherst goal. With four different players notching a tally for the purple and white, it was evident that the win was a full team effort.

“This weekend showed not only how well we can play, but also that we are ready to fight when things get tough,” Root said.
On Sunday, playoff action heated up, and the purple and white had to continue to show that toughness against Swarthmore.

Again, Amherst came out with a strong offensive start, scoring all four of their goals in the first half. Only 5:20 into the game, Tamen led the charge and made the score 1-0 after she flicked the ball over two defenders and ran after it to put it in the net.
In the 18th minute, Amherst got their first corner kick of the game, and Delancey King ’18 looped the ball in front of the goal so that Heller could get her head on it and score her second goal of the weekend.

A few minutes later, Guzzi scored her 17th and 18th goals of the season. The first tally came off of a rebound from a deflection by Swarthmore’s goalkeeper, and the second was earned off a penalty kick.

A Swarthmore player fouled an Amherst player inside the box, so Guzzi was selected to take the spot kick. She proceeded to successfully sneak the ball into the right corner of the net.

At the end of the first half, Swarthmore picked up their first goal of the game when a player ripped a ball from far down field that sailed past defenders and into the net. In the second half, Swarthmore earned their second goal off a penalty kick. However, Amherst was able to maintain a lead of two goals until the final whistle blew.

With the victories, the purple and white advance on to the NCAA Sweet 16 and are tabbed to take on an undefeated William-Smith next Saturday, Nov. 19.

“We have strong momentum as we approach the William-Smith game,” sophomore Caleigh Plaut said. Plaut has been a consistent starter for the purple and white, but recently went down with an ACL injury. “Although the game will not be easy, we have the confidence, talent, and motivation to succeed this coming weekend.”

The team hopes to extend its season and winning streak, which now stands at 14, the second longest in school history. This will be the purple and white’s ninth program appearance in the Sweet 16 and for the first time since the 2011 season.