Amherst Teams Climb National Rankings

Contact: Ben Badua

Amherst, Mass. – Going a combined 8-0 on the week, the Amherst College field hockey and men’s and women’s soccer teams catapulted into the national rankings. Here’s a quick look at how they did and where they stand:

Rachel Tannenbaum '15 stopped a second-half penalty stroke against 15th-ranked Trinity to preserve a 1-0 win in the opener.

Unranked to open the year, the Amherst field hockey team began its 2011 campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win at 15th-ranked Trinity in Hartford, Conn. Krista Zsitvay ’14 (New Vernon, N.J.) netted the game’s lone score, while Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 (Berwyn, Pa.) made eight stops to secure the Jeff victory.

Amherst carried that momentum into its home opener, handily defeating Bates, 7-1. Zsitvay netted a pair of scores in the win, while first-year Madeline Tank (Winnetka, Ill.) finished with five points on a goal and three assists.

The Lord Jeffs closed out the week by notching just their third victory over Middlebury in the last decade, downing the seventh-ranked Panthers 3-1. Zsitvay again led the Amherst charge by netting the game’s first goal in the 10th minute, while Katie McMahon ’13 (Denville, N.J.) recorded a pair of second-half scores to seal the win.

By virtue of its 3-0 week, Amherst climbed to 12th on the NFHCA coaches poll, behind NESCAC rivals #4 Bowdoin, #8 Middlebury and #9 Tufts. Despite the loss to the Jeffs, Trinity held steady at #15.

Amherst currently tops the NESCAC, while ranking 22nd nationally, in scoring with 3.67 goals per game. Leading the nation in penalty corners (19.67), the Jeffs also rank 12th in scoring margin (3.0) and points per game (9.67), while slotting fifth in save percentage (0.882) and seventh in goals-against average (0.67).

Zsitvay, with four goals and an assist in the opening week, has helped kick-start the potent Amherst attack, ranking 19th and 20th in the nation in points (3.0) and goals (1.33) per game, while Tank sits fifth in assists per contest (1.0). Standing out in net, Tannenbaum leads the country in goals-against average (0.35) and save percentage (0.933).

Federico Sucre '13 netted his first goal of
2011 in Amherst's 3-2 victory over Bates.

Opening 2011 with wins over Colby-Sawyer and Bridgewater State, Amherst men’s soccer entered this past weekend’s play with hopes of continuing to build on their early season success. With a pair of NESCAC games on the docket, the Lord Jeffs rose to the challenge, securing a 3-2 win over Bates before shutting out 18th-ranked Middlebury, 3-0.

The conference’s reigning Player of the Week, Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, S.Korea) netted three goals and added an assist, serving as a catalyst to a dynamic Amherst offense. Ahead 2-0 on a Federico Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela) marker at 10:34 and a Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.) goal in the 17th minute, Heo capped off Amherst’s scoring, netting what proved to be the game winner at 52:11.

Heo wasted no time getting on the board against rival Middlebury, burying the game’s opening tally just 6:45 after the opening whistle. Noon then found the back of the net for the second time in as many days by putting away the team’s second tally in the 28th minute before Heo tacked on a third score late in the second half.

Now 4-0-0 on the season and 2-0-0 in conference play, Amherst jumped up two spots to fifth in the latest NSCAA coaches poll. Fellow NESCAC rival Williams retained its spot in the national rankings at 11th, while Bowdoin came in 22nd, breaking into the top-25 after receiving votes the week prior. With four goals on the year, Heo currently ranks tied for 18th in the nation in goals per game (1.0).

Sarah Duffy '14 scored six goals in three
games en route to NESCAC Player of the Week honors.

Hoping to get off to a fast start, Amherst women’s soccer began its 2011 season with a decisive 7-0 shutout of Mount Holyoke. Jess Wall ’12 (Glencoe, Ill.) and Amanda Brisco ’14 (Houston, Texas) led the way, scoring a pair of goals within the first 2:24 to give Amherst a 2-0 lead entering the half.

Sarah Duffy ’14 (Fairfield, Conn.) netted her first score off of a Kathryn Nathan ’13 (Pembroke, Mass.) through-ball from the midfield in the 56th minute before Brisco tallied her second marker at 61:01 to extend the Jeff margin to four.

Duffy struck again in the 63rd minute before finding the back of the net for the third time at 69:44. Just 1:46 later, Duffy buried her fourth goal to become the first Lord Jeff in at least a decade to record four goals in a game.

Looking to break a scoreless deadlock in the squad’s NESCAC opener against Bates, Duffy again came through, this time redirecting a Brisco cross into goal to put the Lord Jeffs on top. Senior co-captain Jill Kochanek (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added a second tally in the 83rd minute to secure the Amherst’s 2-0 triumph.

In search of their third consecutive victory, the Lord Jeffs turned to Wall and Duffy in their matchup with Middlebury, with the duo delivering a pair of first-half goals in another 2-0 Amherst shutout that propelled the upstart Jeffs to the top of the NESCAC standings.

Entering the season unranked, Amherst received votes in the NSCAA’s latest coaches poll. Rival Williams served as the NESCAC’s lone representative in the top-25, ranking fifth nationally.

Behind senior goalkeeper Allie Horwitz’s (Woodbridge, Conn.) nearly 250 scoreless minutes in net, Amherst currently leads the nation in goals-against average and save percentage, with Horwitz topping both categories on the NCAA’s individual rankings.

Named the NESCAC Player of the Week for her efforts, Duffy currently ranks second in the country in goals per game (2.0) and sixth in points (4.0), while Nathan sits third in assists (1.33). As a team, the Amherst offense currently leads the league and sits 21st in the nation in scoring with 3.67 goals per contest.

NFHCA Coaches Poll

NSCAA Coaches Poll