Amherst Cruises to 7-1 Win Over Johnson & Wales

First-year Hannah Cooper scored a pair of goals in the first half of Amherst's win over Johnson & Wales.

AMHERST, MA – The 14th-ranked Amherst College women’s soccer team looked dominant during a convincing 7-1 win over Johnson & Wales University Wednesday evening under the lights of Gooding Field. The Lord Jeffs improve to 5-1 on the season, while the Wildcats fall to 7-2.

Amherst increased its winning streak to three games and its shutout streak to two games. Johnson & Wales, which had outscored opponents 10-2 in its previous two contests, had its four-game win streak come to a halt.

Senior co-captain Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA) scored a goal and had two assists for Amherst, with first-year Hannah Cooper (Bethesda, MD) adding a pair of goals to lead the Lord Jeff attack. Sophomore Samantha Reynolds scored the Wildcats’ lone goal in the 72nd minute on an assist from classmate Berkeley Cecchini-Bond.

It’s difficult to play a perfect half of soccer, but Amherst came pretty close by scoring five goals without surrendering a single shot or committing a foul in the first 45 minutes of the game. The Jeffs needed only two minutes to take their first corner kick and another five to put a shot on goal, but junior Jackie Hirsch (Wilmette, IL) had her attempt cleared away by Wildcat defender Lauren Kaufman, who was positioned on the goal line.

The floodgates opened 8:44 into the first half when Murphy sent a ball into the box from the right side and had her cross headed into the goal by Cooper. Nearly seven minutes later Murphy cleaned up a rebound and ripped a high shot from just inside the 18 to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead. Murphy’s goal was a result of Amherst stringing together several crisp passes and crossing the ball from the left side.

Murphy had a hand in a third consecutive goal when she placed a free kick from the right sideline perfectly into the box, allowing Hirsch to casually place a one-timer just underneath the crossbar at the 20:05 mark. Junior Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, ME) made it 4-0 five minutes later when she sent a rocket to the upper left corner after she converted on a rebound attempt.

First-year Drew Douglas-Steele recorded her first collegiate point in Amherst's win.

Amherst’s fifth goal of the half came with only 2:24 remaining. Cooper continued to impress fans when she dribbled to the left corner, brought the ball back to her right foot and hit what appeared to be a nice cross. Cooper wouldn’t need any assistance, though, as the ball bent into the side netting of the far post.

First-year Kathryn Nathan (Pembroke, MA) opened up the scoring in the second half and gave the Jeffs a 6-0 lead when she scored an unassisted goal in the 57th minute.

Just three minutes later came the visitors’ first prime scoring chance. Senior forward Angela Cazzato was involved in a footrace with Amherst sophomore goalie Claire Bennett (Westfield, NJ). Bennett made the right play by sprawling out and cutting off Cazzato’s path to the goal, but the ball bounced by the keeper toward the net. Sophomore Livia Rizzo (Dover, MA) was there to clean up and send the ball out of bounds, and the Wildcats were unable to put a shot on goal on the ensuing corner kick.

The Wildcats would get on the board 71:31 into the game when Cecchini-Bond played a ball ahead to Reynolds to create another footrace with Bennett. Johnson & Wales would capitalize this time, as Reynolds scored her team-leading 12th goal of the season to make it 6-1.

The game’s final goal came with just under 13 minutes remaining when first-year Drew Douglas-Steele (N. Easton, MA) picked up her first collegiate point by playing a ball through to senior Cami Farkas (Cambridge, MA), who scored her first goal of the season. Amherst held a 20-2 edge in shots and a 9-1 advantage in corners.

Sophomore Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) started in net for Amherst but did not have to make any saves. Bennett stopped one shot in relief, while Kory Blythe and Jennifer Hurley combined for seven saves in the loss.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Oct. 3 when they host archrival Williams College in a pivotal NESCAC matchup at 2 p.m. on Hitchcock Field.