Amherst Struggles with TCNJ, Suffers First Loss of Season

Sophomore Lili Ferguson came up with seven saves in Amherst's 5-0 loss to The College of New Jersey.

EWING, NJ - The Amherst College women’s soccer team struggled from start to finish in its game against host The College of New Jersey, as the Lord Jeffs suffered their first loss of the season, 5-0. Jamie Kunkel ran wild on the Amherst defense, leading her team by scoring three goals. The second-ranked Lions improve to 4-0-0 on the year, while the seventh-ranked Jeffs drop to 0-1-1.

The game was a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal match-up, when TCNJ and Amherst ended in a 0-0 deadlock, only to have the Lions advance on penalty kicks, 3-0.  

It didn’t take TCNJ long to figure out the Amherst defense, as Dana DiBruno set up Coleen Weber for the game’s first goal after just two minutes of action. Kunkel got her hand in the scoring 8:21 later, when she found the back of the net with a helper coming from Briann McDonough.

McDonough closed out the first half with a goal of her own, with Courtney Krol picking up the assist. Despite setting up four corner kicks in the first half compared to the Lions’ three, the Amherst offense was severely outmatched, with TCNJ out-shooting the Jeffs 13-3 before halftime, forcing sophomore goalie Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL) to come up with five saves.

It was all Kunkel after halftime, as she scored the only two goals of the second half, with McDonough picking up the assist on the first goal before the unassisted second tally. Amherst managed to set up only one corner kick in the second frame while being out-shot 8-3. Ferguson finished the day with seven saves, while Jessica Clarke and Kristina Kuda combined for three saves for the Lions.

After a very challenging weekend during which Amherst played two national powerhouses in as many days, the Jeffs return to action on the road Wednesday, Sept. 12 for a 4:30 p.m. match-up with Eastern Connecticut State University. Amherst will follow up with its first conference game of the season, an 11 a.m. showdown at Bates College on Saturday, Sept. 15. The Jeffs will not play their first home game until Tuesday, Sept. 18, when they take on Springfield College.