Jeffs Advance to NESCAC Finals with 4-1 Win Over Bates
Kathryn Nathan '13 scored twice to lead Amherst.
AMHERST, MA – Kathryn Nathan ’13 (Pembroke, MA) scored a pair of goals to lead second-seeded Amherst College to a 4-1 win over eighth-seeded Bates College in the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship semifinal round Saturday afternoon at Hitchcock Field. The Lord Jeffs (8-6-2, 5-2-2 NESCAC) will host Williams tomorrow at noon, while the Bobcats end their season at 6-8-2 (2-6-1 NESCAC).
Amherst carried a 2-0 lead into halftime thanks to goals from Nathan and Maureen Griffin ’11 (Morgan Hill, CA). The Bobcats made it a 2-1 game early in the second period on a goal from Tina Tobin ’12, but Amherst scored twice in a span of less thane one minute to put the game out of reach.
These teams were evenly matched when they played to a 0-0 tie on Sept. 12, but Amherst held a 26-5 advantage in shots this time around. This was the third meeting between the Jeffs and Bobcats in NESCAC Championship history, with Amherst winning in the 2003 finals (6-0) and 2006 semifinals (3-0).
Nathan’s first goal came less than six minutes into the game. It started to develop when Allison Dorey ’12 (San Francisco, CA) played a long ball from the backline to the right corner, resulting in an Amherst throw-in deep in Bates territory. After the ball was played to the middle, Kyla Woodhouse ’11 (Topsham, ME) played it ahead to Nathan in the box. Nathan had two defenders at her heels and her shot was deflected, but it had enough on it to get by goalkeeper Annie Burns ’12 for the 1-0 lead with 39:11 on the clock.
A wet field created some sloppy play in the first half, and Amherst capitalized to get its second goal. A loose ball made its way to Griffin, who took a shot from 25 yards out. Burns lost her footing while trying to reposition herself, as she got her hands on the ball but couldn’t hang on. Griffin’s first goal of the season gave the Jeffs a 2-0 lead with 14:35 to play. Bates would take its only shot of the half two minutes later, but the attempt by Kara Stefaniak ’14 was saved by Amherst’s Allie Horwitz ’12 (Woodbridge, CT).
Tobin cut the Bobcats’ deficit in half six minutes into the second frame on an assist from Alix Vandeventer ’12. Receiving a pass in the box with only Horwitz to beat, Tobin calmly placed her shot inside the near post to make it a 2-1 game with 39:00 to play.
The hosts’ next two goals came with 28:15 and 27:18 remaining in regulation. The first came when Sarah Duffy ’14 (Fairfield, CT) played a ball to Emily Little ’13 (Sherborn, MA), who sent a cross from the left corner to Wall. From 25 yards out, Wall placed a perfect shot underneath the crossbar on the far post to give Burns little chance of making a save. Moments later Little picked up another assist when she fed Nathan to make it a 4-0 game, marking Nathan’s second two-goal performance of the season.
With six minutes to play Amherst’s Amanda Brisco ’14 (Houston, TX) hit the post and Livia Rizzo ’12 (Dover, MA) ripped a rebound on target, but substitute goalkeeper Anabel Schmelz ’14 came up with a nice save. Bates made a nice push in the final minutes, but a free kick from Jacqui Easton ’12 was saved by Horwitz and an attempt from Stefaniak went wide.
Burns finished with five saves and allowed four goals in 71:07 for Bates, while Schmelz stopped four shots in the final 18:53. Horwitz made three saves for the Jeffs to improve to 7-5-1.
Quarterfinals – Sunday, Oct. 31
No. 1 Tufts ties No. 8 Bates, 0-0 (2OT)
(Bates advances on penalty kicks, 3-2)
No. 2 Amherst def. No. 7 Bowdoin, 3-2
No. 3 Williams def. No. 6 Wesleyan, 4-1
No. 5 Middlebury def. No. 4 Trinity, 2-0
Semifinals – Saturday, Nov. 6 (at Amherst)
No. 2 Amherst def. No. 8 Bates, 4-1
No. 3 Williams def. No. 5 Middlebury, 2-0
Championship – Sunday, Nov. 7 (at Amherst)
No. 2 Amherst vs. No. 3 Williams - 12 p.m.