Around the Herd: Oct. 11 to Oct. 17 in Amherst Athletics

In this week’s edition of Around the Herd: Men’s and women’s soccer secure out-of-conference wins, football narrowly falls to Colby, and cross country shows up at the Connecticut College Invitational.

Around the Herd: Oct. 11 to Oct. 17 in Amherst Athletics
George Cahill ’26 ran a collegiate-best time at the this weekend’s Connecticut College cross-country invitational. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Men’s Soccer

The men's soccer team returned to the win column in non-conference play this week, defeating then-No. 6 Montclair State University 2-1 on the road on Sunday, Oct. 15, putting an impressive stamp on its postseason resume.

The Mammoths came out of the locker room strong, starting the game on the front foot and putting the Red Hawks under immense pressure immediately. That pressure paid off just 13 minutes in. After a freekick was headed out of the 18-yard box, junior midfielder Niall Murphy ’25 collected the loose ball and sent a long pass to Ada Okorogheye ’24E. The senior roped a curling ball behind the defense to Mohammed Nuhu ’27, who cut the ball back to his left, and slotted the ball into the net at the near post to make it 1-0. Just four minutes later, the first-year got on the board again. Ryan Gomez ’25 got his head on a long throw-in, and Nuhu wasted no time, volleying the ball home to bag his first collegiate brace and double the lead. Late in the second half, Montclair got one back: a bad challenge gave the Red Hawks a penalty kick, which forward Amer Lukovic converted to make it 2-1. This kicked off a chaotic final 10 minutes, and with just 1:16 remaining, Montclair was awarded a free-kick just outside the box. With the game on the line, Lukovic’s attempt was blocked by the Mammoths’ wall, sealing a 2-1 Amherst victory. Stellar man-marking by Ben Clark-Eden ’25 on Division III-leading scorer Lukovic was key to their win — the Mammoths outshot Montclair’s potent offense 13-10, and Max Landa ’24 was called on only once during the contest.

The Mammoths return to conference action on Saturday, Oct. 21, at home against Hamilton, before finishing the regular season at home against Trinity on Tuesday. Kickoff against the Continentals is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team outscored two opponents 16-0 this weekend, taking two 8-0 non-conference wins and outshotting their opponents by a combined 106-2 in a show of their offensive firepower. On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Mammoths took the field against Rhode Island College. While the Anchorwomen held them off the scoreboard for 25 minutes, the team found their breakthrough from the penalty spot. Liza Katz ’25E was tripped inside the box, and classmate Abby Schwartz ’25E scored to put the Mammoths on the board. That goal seemed to break the ice — Ally Deegan ’24 scored 10 minutes later off a rebound, and in the 42nd minute Catherine McDonald ’27 scored her first collegiate goal, following her own blocked shot with a half-volley into the right side-netting. Katz closed the half with a goal of her own, looping the ball over the keeper, off the post, and into the left side-netting from an impossible angle. The second half was much of the same, with Halle Hanna ’26, Fiona Bernet ’25, Deegan, and Patience Kum ’25 all scoring to account for the final margin.

Unlike Saturday, it only took the Mammoths three minutes to take the lead against Vermont State University Castleton on Sunday, eventually scoring five in 16 minutes. Kum took a pass from Sierra Rosado ’25 and blasted a curling shot to the far post, before Katz chipped a freekick to Carter Hollingsworth ’25, who headed home to make it 2-0. Brooke Ingemi ’26 rifled a shot that stung the bottom of the crossbar before bouncing in and Precious Novidzro ’27 netted twice — first after taking a stellar touch off an Ingemi pass and then slipping past the defense to score off another Katz helper — to make it five. After halftime, Kum got her 11th goal of 2023, Hanna converted a penalty kick, and Katie Pedersen ’27 scored off a McDonald pass to make it 8-0.

The team controls their own fate heading into the postseason: if they win their final two games, they will clinch the NESCAC’s top seed and home field advantage for the third straight year. They will look to do just that this week, facing Hamilton on Saturday, Oct. 21, before closing the regular season on Tuesday against Trinity. Kickoff against the Continentals is at 12 p.m.


On Saturday, Oct. 14, the football team returned home to take on Colby, but fell to the Mules in heartbreaking fashion by a score of 19-16. After a scoreless first quarter, the Mammoths got on the board first, capping a nine-play drive with a 41-yard field goal by Matthew Kelley ’27. They extended that lead to 9-0 later in the quarter: Jack Cox ’25 marched his team down the field before connecting with Owen Gaydos ’25 on a five-yard touchdown pass, Gaydos’ first of the season. The Mules responded with a touchdown of their own, but the lead went up to nine once again shortly after halftime, when Cox found Carter Jung ’26 for a 60-yard score, the team’s longest passing play of the season and Jung’s first collegiate touchdown. The Mules again cut the lead to two on the first play of the fourth quarter. With just 1:34 to play, Colby got the ball back on their own 12-yard line and drove down the field to convert a field goal with just three seconds left to take a 17-16 lead. Amherst’s last-ditch series of laterals failed, and the resulting safety accounted for the 19-16 final score. Cox went 20-42 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, Jung recorded 69 yards receiving, and Luke Harmon ’26 lead the team with a career-high 13 tackles.

The Mammoths will play at home again next weekend, taking on the Tufts Jumbos on Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team had a light week, playing only once on the road against local rival Spingfield and returning home with a 4-0 win. The Mammoths took a 1-0 lead into the half after scoring off of a penalty corner opportunity just 4:17 into the game: Kate Smith ’25 played the ball to Muffie Mazambani ’24, whose initial shot was blocked, but Justine Ligouri ’26 got the best of the resulting scrap in front of goal and netted to take the lead. While the rest of the first half was quiet, the Mammoths doubled their lead just 2:46 into the second via a Mazambani laser off an assist from Sam Maynard ’25. Mazambani made it 3-0 with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter off a give-and-go with Maynard. Kat Mason ’25 scored the final goal of the day for the Mammoths: Smith collected a pass off a penalty corner and sent it to Mason, who redirected the ball into the cage to cement the 4-0 win. The Mammoths outshot the Pride 20-1 on the day and neither Mammoth goaltender was called upon to make a save.

The Mammoths will travel to Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m. before returning to NESCAC play against Hamilton on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m.


Amherst volleyball dropped both of their contests this week, first falling to local foe Springfield 3-0 on Thursday, Oct. 12, before dropping a NESCAC bout to Tufts two days later by the same scoreline. The Mammoths started their game against the Pride strong, getting within one on multiple occasions in the first set. They narrowed the lead to 10-9 after kills by Anaya Thomas ’25 and Carly Cooper ’24, but that would be as close as the Mammoths would get before losing the set 25-19. The second set again started fast, and the Mammoths took a 4-3 lead of kills from Chloe Chanren ’24 and Charlotte Rasmussen ’26 before widening their lead to three, but again, the Pride pulled away to take the set 25-17. By set three, Amherst seemed spent, and dropped the final frame 25-11. Thomas led the Mammoths with six kills on the day.

Unfortunately, Saturday saw much of the same pattern for the Mammoths. The first set was their strongest of the day, gaining an 8-6 advantage in the first set off an ace from Cooper before the Jumbos stormed back to take the lead. Amherst then went on a run of their own to get within three, but Tufts rattled off a 7-1 run to win the set 25-17. This was as close as the Mammoths would get all day, losing the second set 25-14 and the final frame 25-9 to fall 3-0 to the Jumbos. Rasmussen led the Mammoths with eight kills against Tufts, and Lizzie Papalia ’25 notched 11 assists.

The Mammoths return to the court on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. against UMass Dartmouth, before taking on the University of Hartford the following day.

Cross Country

Both cross country teams ran strong races this past weekend, with the men and the women placing 11th and 13th respectively at the 26-team Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 14. On the men’s side, competing against the defending national champions, the No. 24 Mammoths were the only team to enter five runners in the championship Race. George Cahill ’26 was the first Mammoth to cross the line in 25:19.8 (36th place), with Aidan Gemme ’26 0.6 seconds behind him to place 37th — both were collegiate bests. Henry Dennen ’26 finished 53rd with a season-best time of 25:41.3, and senior Ian Dopp ’24 finished in a career-best 26:03.4 to come in 81st. Harrison Talcott ’27 also finished in a collegiate-best time, at 26:25.0. On the women’s side, the No. 13 Mammoths entered six runners in the championship race, with Allison Loundsbury ’26 the top-placing Amherst runner, coming in 43rd with a 22:39.3. Claire Callon ’25, Annika Paylor ’24, and Piper Lentz ’26 all recorded career bests at 22:40.9 (48th), 22:43.6 (51st), and 23:26.1 (91st), respectively. Keira Hodum ’27 was the final scorer, posting a 23:51.6 (126th) and finishing 0.6 seconds ahead of Sidnie Kulik ’25 (23:52.2, 127th).

The Mammoths’ next race will be NESCAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, at UMass.  

Men’s Tennis

In their final play day of the fall, the Mammoths played both Conn. College and Nichols College on Saturday, Oct. 14. In a show of strength, Amherst swept both of their opponents, taking the first match of the day against the Camels 9-0 before also blanking the Bison 7-0.

Women’s Golf

Playing at the inaugural Little Three Championship this past weekend, the Mammoths placed second, falling to rival Williams 5-1 while beating Wesleyan by the same scoreline in match play. Mehr Luthra ’24, Jessica Huang ’25, Lindsey Huang ’26, Kaia Wu ’26, Annabelle Chen ’27 and Abigail Kim ’27 competed for the Mammoths. This tournament closed the fall season for the Mammoths and they will return to play in the spring looking to defend their NESCAC title.