Jeffs End Regular Season with 2-1 Loss to Trinity, Earn No. 2 Seed
Sandy Shepherd '13 played outstanding defense throughout Friday's game against Trinity.
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s soccer team entered the final game of the 2010 regular season riding an eight-game unbeaten streak against Trinity College, but the visiting Bantams earned a 2-1 win Friday afternoon on a cold and windy Hitchcock Field to earn the right to host a NESCAC Championship game for the first time in program history.
Trinity defender Heather Lyhne ’13 scored in the 38th minute and senior defender Caroline Washburne made it a 2-0 game in the 41st. Amherst cut its deficit in half just before halftime when Sarah Duffy ’14 (Fairfield, CT) netted her first collegiate goal, but neither team would score the rest of the way.
The Lord Jeffs drop to 6-6-2 (5-2-2 NESCAC) and have earned the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. They will host seventh-seeded Bowdoin College Sunday, Oct. 31, at 12:30 p.m. on Hitchcock Field in the quarterfinal round.
Trinity (7-3-4, 4-3-2) needed to defeat Amherst and hope for a Middlebury loss in order to host a quarterfinal game, and the Bantams got exactly that. Trinity grabbed the No. 4 seed and will host fifth-seeded Middlebury Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The game’s first goal came with only 7:56 remaining in the first half. After Jenny Ley ’12 delivered a cross that the Amherst defense could not clear, Lyhne ran on to the loose ball and poked it past Lord Jeff goalkeeper Allie Horwitz ’12 (Woodbridge, CT) to make it a 1-0 game.
Just three and a half minutes later, Trinity forward Shea Kusiak ’14 played a ball to the corner for Washburne, who ripped a shot to the near post. Horwitz made a nice effort to get her hands on the shot but could not hang on, as the ball hit the ground and trickled over the goal line to give the visitors a 2-0 lead with 4:21 on the clock.
Duffy brought some life back to the Lord Jeffs when she recorded her first collegiate points with only 2:06 remaining before halftime. An Amherst cross from the right wing was punched away by Trinity goalkeeper Emily Weedon ’11, but the ball made its way to the middle of the box. Duffy was there to clean up, placing a perfect shot to the keeper’s right and putting the Jeffs on the scoreboard.
Amherst carried that momentum into the second frame and nearly scored in the first two minutes. Reigning NESCAC Player of the Week Amanda Brisco ’14 (Houston, TX) beat a defender in the box and managed to get free for a close-range shot, but goalkeeper Lily Pepper ’12—who replaced Weedon at the start of the second half—was there to make a point-blank save.
Trinity nearly made it a 3-1 game with 11 minutes remaining in regulation when Ley ripped a shot from just outside the box, but Horwitz made a spectacular diving stop to keep the Jeffs within range. The last push from Amherst came with only 20 seconds showing on the clock, as Emily Little ’13 (Sherborn, MA) attempted a bicycle kick in the box but was denied by Pepper, whose save secured the Bantams’ win.
Horwitz finished with five saves for the Jeffs, while Weedon made one stop and Pepper saved three shots. Weedon earned the win to improve to 4-2-3.
In the second half, Amherst held a 9-3 advantage in shots (13-11 overall) and a 5-0 edge in corner kicks (8-1 overall), but the Jeffs could not find a solution for Pepper, who entered the game leading the NESCAC in goals-against average and save percentage. Standing out throughout the game was Amherst sophomore defender Sandy Shepherd (Coronado, CA), who won countless 50-50 balls and put in one of her best performances of the season.
Prior to Friday’s game, Amherst honored seniors Maureen Griffin (Morgan Hill, CA), Caitlin O’Malley (Medfield, MA), Jackie Hirsch (Wilmette, IL), Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, ME) and Claire Galiette (Avon, CT). The Lord Jeff Class of 2011 has posted a 38-19-10 record since 2007.
Sunday’s quarterfinal game between Amherst and Bowdoin will be a rematch of the 2010 season opener. The Jeffs left Brunswick, Maine, with a 2-1, come-from-behind win that day thanks to goals from Brisco and Claire Galiette ’11 (Avon, CT).
2010 NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals
Sunday, Oct. 31 – All games begin at 12:30 p.m.
No. 8 Bates at No. 1 Tufts
No. 7 Bowdoin at No. 2 Amherst
No. 6 Wesleyan at No. 3 Williams
No. 5 Middlebury at No. 4 Trinity