Women's Soccer Settles to Scoreless Tie with Middlebury at Home

Amherst goalie Lili Ferguson posted her third shutout
of the season in the scoreless tie.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s soccer team played a gutsy game against visiting Middlebury College this afternoon on Hitchcock Field. Battling hot and hazy weather, both teams left everything they had on the pitch, but came up just a little short of finding the back of the net, settling for a scoreless tie.

Amherst out shot the Panthers in the first half by an 8-4 margin, with a trio of chances coming off the foot of leading-scorer Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA). The Jeffs also received an opening half lift from first-year sensation Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, ME), who had a pair of tries before halftime.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the first frame, as the clock whittled down on the re-match of last season’s NESCAC Championship match. Less than a year ago, these same sides battled on this field to a scoreless tie at the end of regulation. Both sides emerged from halftime hoping to end the scoring draught.

Amherst had the better of chances in the second half, with the first coming just a dozen minutes into the frame. Once, again Murphy was the catalyst for the Jeffs, as she hit a free kick from 30-yards off the post.

Amherst junior forward Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, VA) had Amherst’s next scoring chance with 18:49 remaining in regulation. After beating a defender on the right side of the box, the striker’s shot was tipped off the crossbar by Middlebury goalkeeper Adele Plunkett. The ball caromed back into play, but was sent out of danger by a Panther defender.

In the first overtime session, Middlebury returned the favor and sent sophomore Jenny Galgano in one-one-one with Amherst keeper Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL). Galgano hit a screamer towards the Amherst net, but Ferguson was up to the task as she tipped the shot over the crossbar to save the game.

Murphy had Amherst’s final significant scoring opportunity in the first overtime when a beautifully flicked header by Yesnik freed her one-one-one with Plunkett. Murphy chose to shoot early and try to catch the Panther goalie by surprise, but hit the shot wide left.

Middlebury had a the last real scoring chance of the game in the final seconds of the first overtime period on a free kick on the edge of the Amherst goal box. The shot snuck through the Amherst wall, but Ferguson smothered the ball to end the period.

When the final whistle blew, Amherst held a 21-9 advantage in shots, but could not find a game-winner. The Jeffs move to 2-4-3 (2-1-1 NESCAC) on the season, while the Panthers sit at 5-2-2 (3-2-1 NESCAC) after the result. Amherst returns to action mid-week for a Wednesday night conference tilt with Trinity, under the lights at Gooding Field at 7 p.m.