2007 Season Preview
The Amherst College field hockey team will look to build off its torrent second half of last season, which culminated with an appearance in the semifinals of the NESCAC Championship Tournament. The Jeffs posted an 8-8 record (3-6 NESCAC), their best mark since 2003, playing a schedule that included five teams that qualified for the 24-team NCAA Championship Tournament. Amherst started the 2006 season slowly, but then rattled off a five-game winning streak late in the season, vaulting the team into the NESCAC tournament. In the final game of the season, the Jeffs fell to Williams College in a windy rainstorm that forced the game to take place on the turf at nearby Springfield College. Amherst had to travel to Williams the next day to open the NESCAC tournament, and, unfazed by the previous day’s lopsided game, knocked off the higher-seeded Ephs, 1-0. One week later, Amherst challenged top-seeded Bowdoin College in the conference semifinals and came up just short, falling 1-0. The 2006 squad was no stranger to close games, with 12 of its 16 contests decided by one goal, six of which where decided in overtime, double-overtime, or penalty strokes.
The Jeffs lose two distinguished co-captains to graduation: defender Amy Watson and midfielder Rachel Carr-Harris. Watson appeared in 57 games in her career, and was a defensive force throughout. Last year Watson was named a member of the NFHCA All-New England West Region Second Team, NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team, and NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad. Carr-Harris totaled two goals and one assist last season to bring her career totals to 12 and 14, respectively, totaling 38 points in 57 games. In 2006, Carr-Harris was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team before earning Second-Team NFHCA All-New England West Region honors for the second consecutive year, and also earned a spot on the NFHCA Senior All-Star Team.
The class of 2008 features six players. Goalkeeper Kathleen Boucher allowed a mere 1.82 goals per game last season while racking up a save percentage of .800 and earning a pair of shutouts. Sarah Tracy (midfielder), Lauren Benson (defender) and Christa Porcaro (forward) combined for six of Amherst’s 24 goals last season, adding four of the team’s 14 assists. The Jeffs also welcome back senior Carolyn Shea, who played two seasons at Amherst before taking her junior years off. Shea started at midfield as a first-year and sophomore. Off the field, Boucher, Tracy and Benson each earned spots on last year’s NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team and the NFHCA DIII National Academic Squad.
This year’s squad features eight sophomores, with forward Molly Malloy leading the pack. Malloy had an impressive rookie campaign, as she led Amherst in goals (8), points (18), shooting percentage (.258) and game-winning goals (3). On the defensive end, Tierney Healey finished second in the NESCAC with five defensive saves. Tyler Tory-Murphy will join Healey on defense, while Christina Hopkins (three goals in 2006) and Haley Douds will join the forwards. Douds finished third on the team in points (7) last season, scoring three goals and assisting on another. Sarah Conway, Hannah Walker and Liz Tepe round out the sophomore class, and are versatile players who will be able to contribute at many different positions. Douds and Conway were each named to the NFHCA DIII National Academic Squad.
Amherst’s rookie class consists of Massachusetts natives Julie Santosuosso (forward/midfield), Carly Leahy (midfield) and Rachel Egan (defense), as well as Illinois natives Liz Schink (forward) and Kristin Hickey (goalkeeper).
Team morale is very high after an outstanding mid-August team trip to Holland, where the Jeffs played against three strong club teams from Holland and Germany. With strong returning players and promising first-years, Amherst is looking forward to working hard on its new turf field.