Amherst Falls to Springfield in Double Overtime, 2-1

Coffey Action
Senior tri-captain Katie Coffey nearly scored the go-ahead goal with time running out in regulation.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s soccer team entered Tuesday night’s match-up with Springfield College having not given up a goal to the Pride since 2003, and having not lost since 2001. After the two teams headed into double-overtime notched at one goal apiece, it took Springfield just 15 seconds to cap off its first win against the Lord Jeffs in six years.

Amherst had some good scoring chances early on, but it was Springfield who first got on the board. Junior tri-captain Nicole Hanewich took advantage of some sloppy Amherst passing in the backfield, as she was able to steal the ball and dribble toward the right side of the goal. Hanewich chipped a shot to the far post from 22 yards out, lofting the ball over Amherst goalkeeper Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL), who was unable to get back to her line in time. The goal increased Hanewich’s season total to a team-high six.

Springfield had another excellent scoring chance at the 14-minute mark when junior Shanda Kogut sent a ball through to Hanewich, who ripped a shot at Ferguson from a tough angle, but the Amherst keeper made the point-blank save to keep things close.

The Jeffs had a near-goal with four minutes remaining in the first half, when sophomore Kathy Nolan (Palo Alto, CA) sent a free kick from just over midfield to the 18-yard line. Sophomore Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA) let the ball bounce, then used the outside of her right foot to send a soft shot toward Springfield keeper Sue Jenney. It looked as though the shot had a chance to sneak over the head of Jenney, who was playing off her line, but the ball landed on top of the net and trickled out of bounds to end the threat.

The Pride entered halftime with a 1-0 lead despite taking only four shots and earning no corner kicks, while Amherst took 10 shots and three corner kicks.

Amherst came out of the gate strong and took less than four minutes to tie the game, as the Jeffs earned a corner kick at the 41-minute mark. The long cross was cleared by the Springfield defense, but right to the feet of Murphy, who sent a hard shot low and to the corner of the goal. Jenney got a late jump on the ball because she was screened by a wall of players from both teams, as Murphy’s perfectly-placed shot snuck past the outstretched hands of the Springfield goalie, tying the game at 1-1.

Murphy was given another scoring chance five minutes later when she was fouled from 25 yards out, but her free kick sailed wide of the goal. Neither team posed another significant threat until there was 14:30 remaining in regulation, as Amherst junior Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, VA) dribbled away from her defender and inside the 18-yard line. Yesnik ripped a shot with her left foot to the far post, only to be denied by Jenney, who dove to her left and punched the ball out of bounds.

The Jeffs took over and began to dominate with five minutes remaining on the clock. Senior tri-captain Katie Coffey (Northampton, MA) dribbled in from just beyond midfield, maneuvering past several Springfield defenders to set up a shot from 20 yards out, but Jenney once again came up huge for her team, as she was able to drop to her left side and barely get a hand on the ball, sending it just wide of the goal. Amherst took one final long-range shot with 20 seconds remaining, but Jenney was able to easily make the save and hold on to send the game into overtime.

The first extra frame flew by without any serious scoring chances for either side, but it only took the Pride 15 seconds in the second frame to bring the game to a halt. Junior Lauren Peltier took a shot from 25 yards out, once again catching Ferguson slightly off her line, as the ball hit the bottom half of the crossbar and bounced into the goal, causing the Pride to rush the field in celebration of their 2-1 victory.

Amherst (1-2-2) out-shot Springfield (6-1) 21-6 on the night, as Jenney finished with eight saves and Ferguson made five. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday for a NESCAC match-up at Tufts University.