Field Hockey Rallies Past Trinity, 3-2
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Netting two goals in the span of 3:12 late in the second half, the seventh-ranked Amherst field hockey team closed out its regular season slate with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Trinity College.
With the win, the Jeffs improved to 12-2 on the year and 9-1 in conference play, locking up the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championships for the first time in program history. Both Amherst and Tufts finished with identical 9-1 records against league opponents, but the Jeffs earned the top slot by virtue of their 3-0 decision over the Jumbos in head-to-head competition.
This marked the ninth-consecutive meeting in which Amherst and Trinity were separated by just one goal, with the Jeffs going 7-2 over that span. Amherst will begin its postseason run on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. when it plays host to eighth-seeded Wesleyan in quarterfinal action. The Jeffs narrowly edged out their Little Three rivals in a regular season tilt on Pratt Field, 4-3.
With neither team able to get on the board over the first 28 minutes, Amherst broke through at 28:39. Carrying the ball on the left side, Annika Nygren ’16 played the ball to the corner which eventually found its way to Krista Zsitvay ’14. Gathering it on the near post, the senior flipped a backhanded shot past Trinity sophomore goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick.
Trying to regain the momentum, Trinity earned a penalty corner early in the second half. Playing the insert, Sarah Duncan ’14 sent the ball toward Julia Rivera ’14, who stopped it at the top of the circle for Sophie Doering ’15. Looking to goal, the junior ripped a hard shot past Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 at 39:00. Less than two minutes later, the Bantams won a penalty stroke following another corner. Calmly taking the try, Samantha Sandler ’17 tucked a high shot into the back of the cage to suddenly pull the home team ahead.
Nygren nearly tied it when she found herself alone on the left post late in the second half, but the sophomore couldn’t put a shot on target. With less than 10 minutes to go in regulation, the Jeffs worked the ball into the circle before getting off a pair of shots, but Fitzpatrick stood tall to momentarily keep the Amherst attack at bay.
With just over seven minutes on the clock, Amherst won a penalty corner. Awarded a stroke of its own after a scrum in front Zsitvay knotted things up at 2-2 with her team-high 10th goal of the season. Just 3:12 later, Amherst struck again, with Nygren making a move around Fitzpatrick before slipping a shot inside the left post.
Coming forward, Trinity registered three shots over the final minute of play after winning a corner at 68:55, but couldn’t get the equalizer over the goal line as the Jeffs notched their 12th-consecutive victory.
Amherst finished with a slim 15-13 shot advantage and a 6-5 edge in corners. Tannenbaum made seven saves, while Fitzpatrick finished with eight stops.
2013 NESCAC FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, Nov. 2 at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Wesleyan at No. 1 Amherst – 1 p.m.
No. 7 Williams at No. 2 Tufts – 1 p.m.
No. 6 Trinity at No. 3 Bowdoin – 1 p.m.
No. 5 Colby at No. 4 Middlebury – 1 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 9 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinals – games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed
Remaining first round winners
Sunday, Nov. 10
Final - 12 p.m.