Amherst Shuts Out Trinity for Key Conference Win

Darling Erik
Junior Alanna Darling scored on a penalty kick to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s soccer team increased its unbeaten streak to three games with a key 2-0 conference win over Trinity College. The Lord Jeffs (3-4-3/3-1-1 NESCAC) took a 2-0 lead just 20 minutes into the first half and played solid defense the rest of the way, as the Bantams (5-3-2/3-2-1) were unable to crawl back into the game. With the win, Amherst moved into third place in the conference standings.

Both teams struggled to get their offenses going, but Amherst took full advantage of its first scoring opportunity. Sophomore Cami Farkas (Cambridge, MA) beat a Trinity defender to a loose ball in the corner and took a few dribbles along the end line before sending a cross out to the 18-yard line. The ball made its way to sophomore Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA), who gave herself room with one dribble and sent a hard shot low and to the keeper’s right side. The perfectly-placed shot made its way to the back of the net for the first goal of the game, as Amherst took a 1-0 lead after 14 minutes of action.

Murphy nearly added to the Amherst lead three minutes later when she received a corner kick from senior tri-captain Heather Nowak (New Haven, CT) and one-timed a shot toward the goal with the outside of her right foot. The ball rocketed into the lower half of the crossbar and bounced back into play, but the Bantam defense was able to end the threat.

The Jeffs kept the pressure on and took advantage of a Trinity handball inside the 18-yard line, as Amherst was awarded a penalty kick with 24:42 showing on the clock. Head coach Jen Hughes elected to go with junior Alanna Darling (Charlton, MA), who placed her shot low and to the corner, as there was not much Trinity first-year keeper Emily Weedon could do to stop it. The Jeffs rode their 2-0 lead for the rest of the half, playing some of the best soccer the Amherst fans had seen from their team all year.

Nowak nearly added a third goal eight minutes into the second half when her shot from 25 yards out sailed beyond the reach of Weedon, but the ball hit the intersection of the near post and the crossbar to draw a collection of sighs from the Amherst crowd.

Trinity surged in the final six minutes of the game, but sophomore keeper Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL) kept her cool and minded her net well. With 3:45 left in the half, the Bantams ripped a shot from 15 yards out, but Ferguson came off her line to cut down the angle and was able to knock the ball away to an Amherst defender. Less than a minute later, Trinity played a long ball that got past the Amherst defense, forcing Ferguson to sprint out of her zone and slide-tackle the ball out of harm’s way.

The Trinity surge was too little, too late, as Amherst held on for the 2-0 victory. The Jeffs out-shot the Bantams 16-7 on the night, while winning the corner kick battle, 5-2. Ferguson finished the night with three saves, while Weedon made 10 stops for Trinity.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday for a NESCAC match-up with Colby College. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. at Colby.