Late Goal From Ephs Pushes Amherst to 1-1 Double-Overtime Tie

Jackie Hirsch scored Amherst's lone
goal in a 1-1 tie.
AMHERST, MA – The 9th-ranked Amherst College women’s soccer team took the pitch of Hitchcock Field this afternoon against their top-ranked and undefeated rivals from Williams College. A goal from the Ephs in the 89th minute was all that kept Amherst from an upset win as it pushed the game into an eventual 1-1 double-overtime tie.

Prior to the game, Amherst recognized seniors Kate Bentley (Atherton, CA), Alanna Darling (Charlton, MA), Julia Cummings (Los Angeles, CA), Natalie Ferraiolo (Palo Alto, CA), Kate Moriarty (Westminster, MA), Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, VA) and Mary Marvel (Williamsburg, MA) who were playing in their final regular season home game for Amherst. In the recent history of the series, Amherst holds a 5-3-2 edge since 2000. Last season, the Ephs defeated the Lord Jeffs in Williamstown 2-1 in the regular season finale.

In the 11th minute, junior midfielder Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA) had a shot from the top of the 18-yard box cleared off the line. The Ephs responded with a transition opportunity, only to have Gabrielle Woodson’s shot blocked by Amherst goalie Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) as she came off the line.

Amherst broke through the Eph-defense with 20:25 remaining in the first half, when sophomore Jackie Hirsch (Wilmette, IL) pounced on a feed from Darling into the Williams box. After an Eph defender misplayed a ball that skipped on the wet grass, Hirsch took just one touch to slot a shot past Lauren Sinnenberg.

The goal stood as the lone score of the first half, with Amherst heading into the break up 1-0, but barely trailing in most statistical categories. Williams held a 7-6 edge in shots, and a 4-3 advantage in corners.

Ferraiolo made the defensive play of the game just five minutes into the second half as she recovered deep into the Amherst back half and slid in to stuff a shot.

Amherst continued to dominate the game through the second frame, as it pushed for a second goal to provide some breathing room. That goal never came, which would ultimately set up a heartbreaking moment for the Lord Jeffs.

With just over a minute remaining in regulation, Horwitz lost her handle on a ball that rolled towards the Amherst goal. The bobble allowed Woodson to come in uncontested and push home her team-leading ninth score of the year for Williams. With 1:03 showing on the clock, the game was destined for overtime.

In the overtime period, each team created a few scoring chances that came up short. After 110 minutes of play, the two teams settled for a tie, marking the first time in 2008 that Williams failed to win a game. Amherst moves to 8-1-3 (6-0-2 NESCAC) with the result, while Williams sits at 12-0-1 (7-0-1).

The Lord Jeffs will look to carry momentum off the impressive result into Friday afternoon’s regular season finale at Trinity College. Play is set to begin at Trinity at 3 p.m.