Amherst Hangs on for 2-1 Win Over Babson

Sophomore Liz Schink scored Amherst's second goal to remain the Jeffs' points leader.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College field hockey team earned a 2-1 victory over visiting Babson College Thursday evening on Gooding Field. The Lord Jeffs increased their winning streak to three games—the longest streak by the Jeffs since 2006—to improve to 7-4 overall, while the Beavers dropped to 9-6 and have now lost six of their last 11 games.

Reigning NESCAC Player of the Week Molly Malloy (Stamford, CT) looked to become Amherst’s season-points leader when she set up for a penalty stroke after less than three minutes of first-half action, but her shot went wide of the cage. Just 61 seconds later, however, Malloy redeemed herself by receiving a pass from senior Alyssa Dudzik (Darien, CT) and beating Babson goalkeeper Jessica Pashos (Winchester, MA) on the far post. Dudzik set up the play by starting a fast break from behind midfield, as she carried the ball all the way into the circle before finding an open Malloy.

Amherst kept the pressure on and controlled the opening 10 minutes of the game, but the Beavers stormed right back with a swarming offense that forced first-year keeper Emily Vitale (Cheshire, CT) to make several saves early in the opening frame.

Head coach Carol Knerr’s decision to substitute sophomore Liz Schink (Chicago, IL) into the game paid off immediately, as Schink took a pass from first-year Chrissy Cantore (Hershey, PA) and snuck a one-timer just inside the post and past the diving Pashos. Schink regained the Jeffs’ points lead with her sixth goal of the season, as she gave Amherst a 2-0 lead with 13:33 to play in the first half.  

The Beavers got on the board five-and-a-half minutes later when they capitalized on a penalty corner. After the ball bounced around in a crowded circle, Vitale made a save on a shot from sophomore Colleen Kelly (Milton, MA), but sophomore Sarah Fredlund (New Preston, CT) was there to pick up the rebound and cut her team’s deficit in half with 8:03 showing on the clock.

Babson had the last scoring chance of the first half when it earned a penalty corner with no time remaining, but the Amherst defense stood its ground and preserved the 2-1 lead. The Jeffs out-shot the Beavers 11-6 in the first 35 minutes but lost the penalty corner battle, 8-4. Pashos stopped six shots, while Vitale made five saves.

Schink had a clear path to the cage in the opening 20 seconds of the second half, but Pashos came up with a sprawling save—the first of many spectacular saves in the second frame—to thwart a promising scoring chance for the Jeffs.

The save of the game—and perhaps of the year—came when a shot off the stick of Malloy seemed to be heading to the back of the cage and just underneath the crossbar with 17:20 remaining in regulation. Pashos jumped and reached across her body to punch the ball out of bounds, as she continued to impress everyone at Gooding Field.

Pashos made 15 saves in all but picked up a tough loss on the night, as neither team scored in the second half and the Jeffs held on for the 2-1 victory. Vitale picked up the win by stopping five shots. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Oct. 18 when they head to Wesleyan University for an 11 a.m. Little Three matchup with the Cardinals.