Amherst Suffers 4-0 Loss to No. 10 Tufts

HealyTierney Healey made three defensive saves in the loss.By Ben Kaplan ’09

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College field hockey team lost to 10th-ranked NESCAC rival Tufts University 4-0 at Gooding Field this afternoon. Junior Amanda Russo (Garden City, NY) had two goals, while senior Brittany Holiday had a goal and an assist. The loss drops the Jeffs to 4-4 (2-3 NESCAC), while Tufts remains undefeated at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the NESCAC.

Tufts quickly got the ball into Amherst territory and earned its first penalty corner five minutes into the game. Junior Michelle Kelly (Downington, PA) ripped a shot headed for the back of the goal, but junior Tierney Healey (Moreland Hills, OH) made a spectacular defensive save to quell the threat.  

Tufts continued to press with two successive corners, but another Healey defensive save kept the score knotted at zero. Shortly after, Kelly had another opportunity on a breakaway, but a streaking Rachel Egan (Worcester, MA) lunged in to break up the shot attempt.

Tufts capitalized on its fourth penalty corner of the afternoon when Brittany Holiday (Wellesley, MA) knocked in her own rebound past Amherst goalie Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT), who dove to save Holiday’s first try.

With 6:30 left in the half, the Jumbos seemed poised to double their lead as they marched down the field on a two-on-one counterattack. Vitale aggressively charged the ball and Healey had her back yet again as she sprawled out for her third defensive save. Tufts eventually built its lead with 2:57 remaining in the half on a broken penalty corner when Russo sent the ball in from directly in front of the circle.

Tufts dominated possession in the first half, earning six corners to Amherst’s one and getting off nine shots, while the Jeffs could only muster a single shot.

The second half started off with a bang when Tufts got four shots on goal in the first five minutes, but Vitale turned away each one. Amherst almost got on the board, but Tufts first-year goalie Taylor Dyer (Windham, MA) kicked away junior Molly Malloy’s (Stamford, CT) shot, which would prove to be Amherst’s last shot on the day.

With 26 minutes remaining, Russo chipped the ball over the cluster of players in the circle for her second goal, giving Tufts a three-goal cushion. Five minutes later, Tufts notched another goal on a well-executed corner, with Kelly touching in a cross from Holiday.
Amherst managed three penalty corners and two shots in the game, while Tufts attempted 19 shots and 11 corners.  Vitale finished the day with 11 saves, and Dyer only had to make one for the shutout victory.

Amherst returns to action Thursday, Oct. 9 for a 7 p.m. game at Western New England College, while the Jumbos will play again Saturday, Oct. 11, when they head to Middlebury College for a 1:30 p.m. matchup.