Amherst Shuts Out Mount Holyoke, 3-0

First-year Emily Vitale made six saves to earn the first solo shutout of her career.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College field hockey team put a stop to its two-game losing skid and snapped Mount Holyoke College’s four-game winning streak Wednesday night on Gooding Field, as the Lord Jeffs earned a 3-0 victory over the Lyons. Amherst improved to 4-3 on the year, while Mount Holyoke fell to 5-2.

The Lyons brought an explosive offense to Gooding Field and were coming off an impressive 16-goal performance this past Monday, but it was Amherst that struck first Wednesday night. Less than three minutes into the game, first-year Carly Dudzik (Darien, CT) received the ball in the center of the circle and without hesitating turned and ripped a knee-high shot that made its way to the back of the cage.

The Mount Holyoke bench came alive when first-year Shara Robertson (KZN, South Africa) stormed up the right side of the field and seemed to be headed straight for her team-leading 10th goal of the season, but her near-post shot went just wide of the cage. The Lyons had another prime scoring chance when first-year Maddy Starbranch (Durham, NH) got open for a close-range shot with just 3:30 showing on the clock, but Amherst first-year Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT) made her first and only save of the half to preserve the lead.

Amherst headed into halftime with its 1-0 lead in tact, as the hosts held a 5-2 advantage in shots and the visitors won the penalty corner battle, 4-3. Senior goalkeeper Allie Walsh (Ann Arbor, MI) made four saves to keep the Lyons in the game.

Dudzik got right back to work early in the second half and sent a rocket off the post just three and a half minutes into the frame, but it was first-year Casey Silver (Wheelright, MA) that scored the Jeffs’ second goal. Silver received a pass from sophomore Julie Santosuosso (Canton, MA) just inside the circle and snuck a beautiful shot inside the far post to give Amherst a 2-0 lead with 28:18 to play.

A Mount Holyoke penalty corner in the final minutes nearly resulted in the Lyons’ first goal of the game, as junior Katelyn Frick (Lafayette, NJ) found Robertson on the near post only to have her shot deflected out of bounds. Amherst countered and increased its lead to 3-0 when junior Haley Douds (South Orange, NJ) dribbled down the right side and crossed the ball to sophomore Liz Schink (Chicago, IL), whose one-time sweep crossed the goal line just as time expired.

Amherst held a slim 11-10 advantage in shots, Vitale and Walsh each made six saves, and Mount Holyoke took 10 penalty corners compared to the Jeffs’ nine.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Oct. 4 when they host 10th-ranked Tufts University at 11 a.m. on Gooding Field.