Five Jeffs Earn All-NESCAC Praise
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Posting a 13-3 overall record, the eighth-ranked Amherst field hockey team garnered five All-NESCAC selections, led by first-team honorees Krista Zsitvay ’14 and Alex Philie ’14. Head coach Carol Knerr was named the conference’s Coach of the Year, while Madeline Tank ’15 and Rachel Tannenbaum '15 each earned a spot on the second-team.
With Amherst dropping its first two games in overtime, Knerr helped spearhead a remarkable turnaround that saw the Jeffs reel off 13-consecutive victories en route to the program’s first-ever NESCAC Tournament No. 1 seed. Going 6-4 against league opponents while earning the conference’s No. 5 seed a year ago, the Purple & White finished its 2013 NESCAC slate with a 9-1 mark, which included signature victories over No. 5 Bowdoin and No. 6 Tufts.
The first Amherst coach to take home Coach of the Year honors, Knerr has led the Jeffs to a 63-21 record over the past four seasons, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2011. Under her tutelage, Amherst has advanced to the league semifinals in each of the past four years and is 117-72 overall since her arrival in 2001.
One of the program’s most prolific scorers, Zsitvay earns her first, first-team selection after being named to the second-team in 2012. Held scoreless through the team’s first three games, she erupted for a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over archrival Williams on Sept. 21. Going on a tear, she recorded two goals and nine assists over the team’s next five contests.
Scoring in four of the squad’s last six games, she became the latest member of the Jeffs’ 100-point club with a pair of tallies against Wesleyan on Oct. 19. Closing out the year in impressive fashion, she had two goals (including the equalizer) in the regular season finale against Trinity to help Amherst lock up the No. 1 seed, before collecting the team’s only marker in a quarterfinal win over Wesleyan. Factoring into the scoring in 13 of the team’s 16 games this season she finished the year ranked fourth in the conference in points (37) and tied for second in assists (13). Also with 12 goals in 2013, she completed her career with 112 points on 43 markers and 26 helpers.
Starting 66 of her 67 career appearances, Philie has long been a staple in the Amherst midfield. Named to the second-team in each of the past two seasons, this is her first stint on the league’s first-team. Playing an integral role in the Jeffs’ transition game, the Purple & White ranked second in the league in scoring (4.0 gpg).
Tallying two goals and three assists in her 16 appearances, she helped Amherst wrap up the year with a 64-20 goal differential. Over the course of her decorated career, Philie has amassed 57 points on 19 goals and 19 helpers.
Quickly becoming one of the squad’s most explosive forwards, Tank turned in a stellar statistical season, ranking among the league’s leaders in points and goals. Factoring into the scoring in nine of the team’s game’s this year, she racked up 30 points on 13 goals and four assists. Netting a career-high four tallies against Springfield on Sept. 24, she had three markers and an assist against Smith later in the season.
Winning the starting goalkeeper job since her arrival in the Pioneer Valley, Tannenbaum earned her third selection to the all-conference team. Giving up the fourth fewest goals in the NESCAC (19), she made 14 saves in a win over fifth-ranked Bowdoin - Amherst’s first in five meetings against the Polar Bears. Two weeks later, she turned in the first of three clean sheets on the year, helping the Jeffs shut out sixth-ranked Tufts for the first time in a decade. Logging 998:56 minutes in net, she posted a 1.71 goals-against average and a .782 save percentage.