Lord Jeffs Fall to 3rd-Ranked Tufts 2-0

Emily Vitale made 11 saves against Tufts.

MEDFORD, MA – The 16th-ranked Amherst College field hockey team traveled to face 3rd-ranked Tufts University this afternoon in a crucial NESCAC match-up. The Jumbos emerged with a 2-0 win, as Amherst dropped its first game of 2009.

In the first five minutes of play, Amherst held off the Jumbo attack, despite a trio of early penalty corners. On the fourth early corner of the half, Tufts seemed to open the day’s scoring with a long high drive, but the goal was waived off for being potentially dangerous.

After exchanging a pair of unsuccessful penalty corners for Amherst and Tufts, the Jumbos took a 1-0 lead with 15:18 to play. The score came on the end of a corner, as Tess Guttadauro netted an unassisted tally 19:42 into the game.

Neither team scored before the first half came to a close, with the Jumbos holding a commanding advantage in every statistical category. Tufts out-shot Amherst 12-1 in the first stanza, and held a 7-1 edge in penalty corners. Amherst netminder Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT) kept the Lord Jeffs in the game, making half a dozen saves in the frame.

Amherst turned up their offensive pressure in the second half, and pushed forward for an equalizing score. In the second half, the Jeffs were still out-shot but by a smaller margin, as the game’s end closed in with the score remaining 1-0. With just under two and a half minutes to play in the second half, Tufts added an insurance goal, once again off the stick of Guttadauro.

After the final whistle blew, Tufts held a 27-6 edge in shot, and a 12-4 advantage in corners, with Vitale making 11 saves in the game.

With the loss, Amherst falls to 2-1 (1-1 NESCAC) on the year, while Tufts improves to 3-0 (2-0). The Jeffs will return home this afternoon, and have just tonight to recover before playing Bates College at home tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 p.m.