Women's Soccer Suffers Season-Ending 4-0 Loss to TCNJ in NCAAs

2009 Team
Amherst season came to a close today in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s soccer team played host to the visiting Lions of The College of New Jersey this afternoon in the Second Round of the 2009 Division III NCAA Tournament at Hitchcock Field. The Lord Jeffs saw the Lions score a trio of second-half scores en route to a 4-0 victory. With the result, Amherst’s season comes to end with a record of 13-4-1, while the Lions advance to the Round of 16 and improve to 18-2-1.

In yesterday’s opening round, Amherst scored three second-half goals to power a 3-0 win over Eastern Connecticut State University in the day’s first game. In the nightcap, the Lions advanced past Plattsburgh State University with a 2-0 result. Amherst and TCNJ have played twice in recent history, with the Lions topping Amherst 5-1 and 5-0 in the opening weekends of both 2008 and 2007. In 2006, Amherst and TCNJ played to a scoreless tie in the NCAA Tournament Round of 8, with the Lions advancing on penalty kicks.

The first great scoring chance of the game did not come until the 32nd minute, when Amherst junior Maureen Griffin (Morgan Hill, CA) played a perfect corner kick into the six-yard box. Sophomore Livia Rizzo (Dover, MA) found the end of the pass, but could not redirect her header on the TCNJ frame.

With just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, TCNJ’s Katie Landrigan (Rutherford, NJ) beat an Amherst defender a the top of the 18-yard box and lifted a hard shot into the near upper corner of the Amherst goal. Landrigan’s unassisted score to put the Lions up 1-0 came just 1:23 after she took the field as a substitute.

After a corner kick in the 42nd minute, Griffin nearly equalized for Amherst with a hard left-footed strike to the top of the TCNJ goal. A diving one-handed save by Lions goalie Jessica Clarke (Wayne, NJ) pushed the ball over the crossbar. The shot sparked a short burst of three consecutive corner kicks for the Lord Jeffs, as the first half ended with Amherst pushing for an a score.

Just 2:33 into the second half, TCNJ doubled its lead as Briann McDonough (N. Arlington, VA) dribbled into the left side of the Amherst 6-yard box and cut a pass back to teammate Jillian Casey (Voorhees, NJ) for a one-time shot into the net.

In the 56th minute, Amherst goalie Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) made a diving save to push another Casey shot wide of the left post. Moments later, Amherst senior co-captain Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA) lofted a free kick just over the TCNJ crossbar to keep Amherst trailing 2-0.

With just 22 minutes to play, Horwitz made another great save on a McDonough shot after the TCNJ forward fought off a trio of Lord Jeff defenders. Just three minutes later, Allyson Anderson (Point Pleasant, NJ) scored the clinching goal for the Lions, chipping Horwitz from a near impossible angle on the left side.

The Lions added an insurance tally in the 79th minute, as Brittany McGinley (Cranford, NJ) pushed home an Alexa Rozzi (Freehold, NJ) service. Down the stretch, Amherst continued to fight until the final whistle, earning a number of corner kicks and nearly beating Clarke on multiple opportunities.

In the end, the TCNJ back-stop held off the Amherst pressure and posted her second shutout win of the weekend, and 14th clean sheet of the year. Clarke made nine saves in the win, while Horwitz played very well with seven saves in the losing effort. Both teams had 17 shots in the game, while Amherst held a 10-2 edge in corner kicks.