McMahon's Four Goals, Three Assists Lead Amherst Past Smith

Katie McMahon '13 scored four goals and had three assists in Amherst's win over Smith.

AMHERST, MA – Sophomore forward Katie McMahon (Denville, NJ) scored four goals and dished out assists on three others to lead the 17th-ranked Amherst College field hockey team to a 9-0 win over Smith College Tuesday evening on Gooding Field. The Lord Jeffs improve to 9-3, while the Pioneers fall to 4-9.

McMahon has been unstoppable as of late, recording 30 points in the past five games. She leads the NESCAC in assists (11) and points (43) and ranks second in goals (16), trailing only Tufts University’s Tamara Brown ’11, who has scored 18 times this season.

Also highlighting Amherst’s win was senior tri-captain Liz Schink (Chicago, IL), who faced eight shots and made five saves to earn the shutout in her first collegiate appearance in the cage. Schink was tested several times throughout the night and responded brilliantly, playing aggressively to help the Jeffs secure their third consecutive shutout and sixth of the year.

Amherst held a 5-0 lead at halftime and scored its sixth goal 48 seconds into the second half, with McMahon having a hand in each of the Jeffs’ first six goals. The hosts added three goals in the final 18:17, finishing the night with a 31-8 advantage in shots (16-2 in the second half) and a 9-3 edge in penalty corners (5-0 in the second half). Savannah Lawson ’14 finished with nine saves for the visitors.

McMahon needed less than five minutes to put Amherst on the board. After Carly Dudzik ’12 (Darien, CT) had an attempt knocked away, McMahon came up with the loose ball and dribbled herself free before placing a shot from the left side to the far post to make it a 1-0 game. Nine and a half minutes later, a McMahon shot from the top of the circle was deflected into the cage by Krista Zsitvay ’14 (New Vernon, NJ), who picked up her third goal of the year.

Liz Schink '11 made five saves and earned the shutout in her first collegiate start as a goalkeeper.

Smith came back and earned its first penalty corner of the game with 19:30 remaining in the half, but the Pioneers could not put a shot on goal. Two minutes later Grace Maliska ’14 made a nice effort on a deflection, but Schink came up with her first big save of the evening.

The Jeffs scored three times in a span of 8:25 to close out the scoring in the first half, with McMahon netting back-to-back goals after deflecting shots by Rachel Lupien ’12 (Baltimore, MD) and Chrissy Cantore ’12 (Hershey, PA). Cantore then put home her sixth goal of the season on an assist from McMahon.

The Pioneers would get the final scoring chance of the opening half when Maliska fired a close-range shot on target with five minutes to play, but she was denied by Schink. Smith was awarded a penalty stroke after Schink fell on top of the ball to prevent a rebound, but Phoebe Hopkins ’12 hit the left post to keep the score at 5-0 heading into the break.

Amherst bumped its lead to 6-0 when Zsitvay assisted McMahon less than one minute into the second half. The Jeffs nearly scored 10 minutes later when Cantore carried the ball into the circle and ripped a shot at Lawson, but the Smith goalie came up with a nice point-blank stop.

The Jeffs’ seventh goal came with 18:17 remaining when Carly Leahy ’11 (Weston, MA) had a shot denied by Lawson, but Lupien was there to clean up the rebound. Forty-seven seconds later, McMahon put home a rebound after a shot by Lupien to bring the score to 8-0. The hosts scored on another rebound with 10:48 to play, with Casey Silver ’12 (Wheelright, MA) rounding out the goal scorers and Nomi Conway ’13 (West Hartford, CT) getting credit for the final assist.

Prior to Tuesday’s game Schink had recorded five goals and six assists as one of Amherst’s top scoring threats, totaling 46 points in her career as a speedy forward.

Amherst increased its winning streak against Smith to 15 games, with its last loss to the Pioneers coming in 1994. Both teams will return to action this Saturday, with the Jeffs traveling to face Wesleyan University at noon in a pivotal NESCAC matchup. Smith will host Wheaton College at 1 p.m.