Amherst Shuts Out Western New England to Improve to 5-3

Carly Leahy
First-year Carly Leahy scored her first collegiate goal to help lead Amherst to a 5-0 victory over WNEC.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College field hockey team scored early and often against the visiting Golden Bears of Western New England College, as the Lord Jeffs picked up a 5-0 non-conference win to improve to 5-3 (2-2 NESCAC) on the season. The loss snaps a two-game winning streak for Western New England, who drops to 2-9 on the year.

Amherst sprinted out of the gate and took three shots on goal before two minutes had passed, but Western New England senior goalkeeper Emilie Donka (White River Junction, VT) demonstrated why last week she was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Donka came up with a variety of spectacular saves, but the Jeffs finally hit the back of the goal when junior Catherine Calvert (Lawrenceville, NJ) sent a rocket low to Donka’s right side, giving Amherst a 1-0 lead with 26:22 remaining in the half. Junior Alyssa Dudzik (Darien, CT) set up the goal off a penalty corner.

The Amherst offense kept the pressure on, as senior Carolyn Shea (Summit, NJ) scored an unassisted goal just two minutes and 30 seconds later to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead. After nearly a 12-minute scoring drought, Amherst points-leader Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) flipped a backhanded shot just over the goal line, with the assist going to senior tri-captain Christa Porcaro (Pelham, NY).

It looked as though Amherst was going to take its 3-0 lead into halftime, but a Western New England defensive miscue sent the ball to first-year Carly Leahy (Weston, MA), who had plenty of time to settle the ball, pick a corner, and place her shot perfectly to Donka’s right side for the Jeffs’ fourth goal with 1:37 showing on the clock, as the hosts took a 4-0 lead into the break.

The Golden Bears were out-shot 19-1 in the first half, as Donka was forced to come up with an astonishing 14 saves. The Jeffs picked up eight penalty corners in the opening frame, while Western New England had one. Leading the Amherst offense were Porcaro and Malloy, who each tallied five shots in the first 35 minutes.

After nearly six minutes of second-half action, the Amherst offense got right back to work when Malloy took a pass from senior tri-captain Lauren Benson (Hamilton, NJ) and scored her second goal of the game, marking her ninth of the season. The Jeffs’ offense maintained possession for the majority of the second half, but Malloy’s second goal would be the final tally of the game, as Amherst finished with its second 5-0 victory of the season.

Senior Kathleen Boucher (Washington, DC) made one save in the first half for Amherst, while junior Jane Mostue (Lincoln, MA) stepped in for 28 minutes in the second half and first-year Kristin Hickey (Lake Forest, IL) closed out the remainder of the game, as the three combined for the team’s second shutout of the season. Donka finished with 20 saves in 66 minutes of action, while first-year Katherine Masterjohn (Warren, MA) played the final four minutes in goal for the Golden Bears.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday for a 1 p.m. NESCAC match-up with Middlebury College in Amherst.