Amherst Falls to No. 3 TCNJ, 5-1

First-year Livia Rizzo scored Amherst's lone goal in her collegiate debut.

EWING, NJ – The Amherst College women's soccer team opened its 2008 season against some of the toughest competition in Division III, as the Lord Jeffs suffered a 5-1 loss to No. 3 The College of New Jersey. The teams were notched at 1-1 after 45 minutes before the hosts erupted for four second-half goals.

Despite TCNJ being heavily favored, the teams were evenly matched in the opening half. Each side scored one goal and had one corner kick, with the Lions holding a 7-2 advantage in shots. Jamie Kunkel scored the game’s first goal after 17 minutes and 49 seconds of action, with Brenna Rubino picking up the assist.

Less than five minutes later, Amherst first-year Livia Rizzo (Dover, MA) netted her first collegiate goal to tie things up at 1-1, with junior midfielder Jillian Whiting (Clark, NJ) recording the third assist of her career. Junior Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL) made two saves for the Lord Jeffs in the first half.

The second half was a completely different story for TCNJ, which took 19 shots in the last 45 minutes while shutting down the Amherst offense. The Jeffs managed to preserve the tie for 10 minutes in the second half before Casey Caruso’s unassisted goal gave her team a 2-1 advantage. Rubino and Eva Gimello each added one goal for the Lions, with Kunkel adding a second tally with 12:49 remaining in the game.

The game was closer than the score indicates, as senior Kate Bentley (Atherton, CA) spearheaded a solid defensive effort by the Lord Jeffs, with the majority of TCNJ's goals coming off set pieces rather than lapses in the Amherst defense.

Ferguson finished with seven saves for Amherst (0-1-0), while Jessica Clarke did not record any saves for TCNJ (3-0-0). The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Sept. 13 when they travel to Middlebury College to kick off the NESCAC slate.