Field Hockey Edges Wesleyan, 1-0
Contact: Ben Badua
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Madeline Tank ’15 buried the game winner with just 6:39 remaining in regulation to lift the 15th-ranked Amherst field hockey team to a gritty 1-0 victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan University.
Still scoreless in the 64th minute, Kerry Fusco ’15 played a shot toward the cage from just inside the circle. Coming out of a scrum in front, Tank tapped home the game winning tally at 63:21. Scoring for the fourth time in five games, the sophomore forward currently sits tied for the team lead in goals with 10.
Notching their eighth-consecutive victory over Wesleyan, Amherst improved to 9-4 (5-4 NESCAC), while the Cardinals fell to 7-6 (4-5 NESCAC). Shutting out Wesleyan for the second-straight year, the Jeff defense recorded its fourth clean sheet of 2012.
With the Cardinals holding a decisive 22-6 shot advantage, Rachel Tannenbaum was once again stellar in net, making 11 saves en route to her ninth victory. Senior counterpart Tory Redding made two stops in the loss. Over her last three games, Amherst’s sophomore goalkeeper has stopped 29 of the 31 shots she has faced, which included a season-high 17-save effort last Sunday against third-ranked Bowdoin.
Tannenbaum had to once again be on her game from the opening whistle with Wesleyan controlling play in the offensive zone for much of the first half. Holding a 9-4 advantage in shots over the first 35 minutes, Wesleyan also clung to a slim 5-4 edge in corners, generating several quality scoring chances that prompted four Tannenbaum saves.
Staying aggressive in the second period, the Cardinals continued to apply pressure, outshooting the Jeffs 13-2 during the stanza. Ashley McLaren ’13 led the Wesleyan onslaught, finishing with a game-high seven shots (3 SOG), while Averill Roberto ’13 put three of her four tries on target.
Using big hits off the sideline, the Jeffs were finally able to connect some long passes and work the ball downfield. Taking advantage of one of their few opportunities on the offensive end, Tank put away the go-ahead marker with just under seven minutes remaining to suddenly put the visitors on top.
Looking to protect the lead, Katie McMahon ’13 worked in tandem with Alex Philie ’14 to help hold the ball in the right corner of the Wesleyan zone, running down the clock down to seal the Amherst victory.
The Lord Jeffs close out their regular season at Conn. College on Wednesday, Oct. 24.