Solid Core of Jeffs Return for 2013-14 Season
Contact: Mike O'Brien
The Jeffs will have the difficult task of replacing one of their all-time greats, Geneva Lloyd ’13, but return five seniors and 13 total players from a year-ago in which Amherst reached its 12th-consecutive conference tournament with a 13-11-1 overall record and 10-5-1 league mark in 2012-13. Joining the 13 returners are 8 first-year players, who should add depth and strength to the Amherst line up. First-year head coach Jeff Matthews, who served as interim last year, expects every member of this young Jeff team to play a role in the team’s success.
“We are as good as our last player and every role is just as important,” said Matthews. “We have a really strong team concept.”
Amherst, who had the second toughest schedule in the NCAA a year ago, has another difficult task ahead in 2013-14. The Jeffs begin the season on the road against Hamilton but return to Orr Rink the following day for another evening matchup against its NESCAC foe. Following consecutive games at Wesleyan, Amherst prepares for a difficult task of four-straight games against preseason top-10 opponents. They conclude December with a home and away game before heading into a month-long break.
“You learn what you need to work on, where you need to be, by playing the best,” said Matthews. “It’s the type of schedule we want to have here at Amherst.”
Upon returning to action, the Jeffs welcome eight-straight home games beginning Jan. 4 and ending Jan. 28. They finish the season with four consecutive away games, followed by back-to-back home meetings against Trinity. In the first of the two home games, Amherst will play its second annual ‘Pink in the Rink’ game on Friday, Feb. 14 before ending the regular season at Bowdoin.
Amherst must look for other scoring options on the front line in 2013-14 following the loss of Megan Doyen ’13 to graduation. Doyen led all Jeff forwards in scoring but Tori Salmon ’15 was the team’s assist leader and is poised for another impressive season. In just her second year with the team, Salmon ranked second in points (25) on seven goals and 18 assists. Her 18 assists were second-best in the NESCAC en route to first team all-conference laurels as well as All-New England honors. Emily Flom ’15 will also be looking to build on an impressive sophomore campaign in which she finished tied for third on the team in goals (7) and fourth in points (11). Matching Flom with seven goals a year ago was Erin Martin ’16, one of the top first-year’s in the league. The sophomore made a significant impact and played all 25 games while amassing nine points (7 G, 2 A).
Senior duo Courtney Baranek and Barret McBride look to provide an additional scoring punch as well as veteran leadership on a young squad. Baranek, the team’s co-captain, tallied six goals last season and will be a leader on and off the rink this year. McBride dished out seven assists and will be expected to have another solid season alongside Avery Stone ’14, Madeline Tank ’15 and Eileen Harris ’16.
The Amherst blue line will have great depth with veterans Hayley Opperman ’14, Anne Gillard ’15, Melissa Martin ’15, and Caroline Bomstein ’16 returning. Opperman will serve as co-captain and looks to improve upon her seven points from a year ago (2 G, 5 A). Gillard is a versatile defender, who can play forward when asked, and Martin is coming off an injury. Bomstein was chosen as the team’s most improved player during the 2012-13 campaign and is looking to pick up right where she left off.
Returning to the net for Amherst will once again be Kerri Stuart ’14. The senior logged 1223:35 minutes between the posts last year and started 21 games with an 11-8-1 record. Stuart posted a 2.45 goals-against average and .896 save percentage with two shutouts.
First-year Yuna Evans provides Stuart with depth at the position.