Around the Herd: Oct. 25 to 31

In this week’s edition of Around the Herd: cross country hosts the NESCACs and both teams finish second; football falls to Wesleyan while volleyball falls to Colby; men’s and women’s soccer advance to NESCAC semifinals.

Around the Herd: Oct. 25 to 31
Both Amherst cross country teams finished second to Williams at the NESCACs. Photo courtesy of Slate Taylor ’25.


The women’s volleyball team hosted NESCAC foe Colby College on Saturday, Oct. 28 at LeFrak Gymnasium. They were scheduled to play Bates College on Friday, Oct. 27, but in light of the events in Lewiston, Maine this past week, the game was canceled. Instead, they turned their focus towards the visiting Mules.

Prior to Saturday’s match, the Mammoths took time to honor their three seniors: Chloe Chanren ’24E, Carly Cooper ’24, and Katelyn Hamasaki ’24. The group has much to be proud of, and looks forward to their final stretch of postseason games in the coming weeks.

In the first set, the Mules came out strong, registering the game’s first six points. However, the Mammoths were undeterred: led by lethal services from Anaya Thomas ’25, the team rattled off five consecutive points to cut the lead to one. The game stayed close after that, with the following points tightly contested before Cooper helped the Mammoths pull away with five straight serves of her own giving them a crucial 19-13 lead. With the confidence of that cushion, Amherst won four of the final five points to claim the first set 25-19.

The following sets would prove tough, with Colby’s team showcasing their accuracy and skill. In the second set the Mammoths built a 17-13 lead before the Mules came back to tie the score and went on to win in a 25-23 battle. In the third and fourth sets, the Mules came out hot and jumped out to substantial leads. Amherst rallied both times with help from key serves and kills, but Colby would ultimately pull out wins in both sets by 25-21 and 25-22, respectively.  Kinsey Cronin ’25 and Charlotte Rasmussen ’26 each had 12 kills in the match to lead the Mammoths, with Cooper adding 26 assists.

With Bates unable to complete their NESCAC season, the conference expanded this year’s volleyball tournament to include all 11 teams. Heading into the postseason, the Mammoths hold the No. 8 seed and will host the ninth-seeded Connecticut College Camels in the first round of NESCAC tournament play on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

Cross Country

It was a big weekend for the cross country teams, who hosted the NESCAC Championship races this past Saturday with the No. 27 men’s team and the No. 14 women’s team both placing second in their respective competitions. On the men’s side, the Mammoths were the only team with five runners finishing in the top 20, and Harrison Dow ’27 rounded out a phenomenal debut season by earning Rookie of the Year honors after finishing as the conference’s top first-year finisher at 14th overall. Impressively, three Mammoths finished ahead of him: Theo Dassin ’24, Nick Edwards-Levin ’25, and Thomas Stephens ’26 crossed the line in eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively. Dassin, Edwards-Levin, Stephens, and Dow were all named to the All-NESCAC team for their performances, with Edwards-Levin notching a personal best eight kilometer time of 25:33.6 and Stephens running a season-best 25:34.5. Drew Stephens ’26 rounded out the Mammoths’ top 20 finishers, coming in at 25:53.1 for a 17th place finish.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women’s team also placed five runners in the top twenty finishers to solidify second place at NESCACs. Sylvan Wold ’25 — a NESCAC first team selection — was the fastest Mammoth finisher, completing the five-kilometer course in 22:33.9 to cross the line in seventh place. Claire Callon ’25 was next, earning second team all-NESCAC honors with her 13th place finish. Bella Lozier ’26 nabbed 15th place, and first-year Daphne Witherell ’27 had a strong showing as well, coming in 17th. Multiple Mammoths notched personal bests.

After strong races on Saturday, both teams look ahead to NCAA Mideast Regionals on Saturday, Nov. 11, where they will compete for a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.


The football team made the trip to Little Three Rival Wesleyan University this past Saturday, Oct. 28th, falling to the Cardinals by a 34-7 score.

The story in the first quarter was all defense: Niles Riding ’26 nabbed an interception, and Kevin Agnew ’26 blocked a 35-yard Cardinal field goal attempt to keep the score knotted at zero. While Wesleyan eventually got on the board first early in the second quarter, the Amherst defense stifled their next scoring opportunity — this time it was Trey Doyle ’25 with the clutch pick to keep the Cardinals at bay. On the Mammoths’ next drive in a crucial moment, Jack Roberge ’25E converted on the third down to keep the drive alive. Quarterback Mike Piazza ’24E then connected twice with Michael Quartermain ’26 for significant yardage, before running into the endzone himself for the team’s first score. Kicker Matthew Kelley ’27 converted on the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.

Wesleyan immediately responded with another touchdown in the following minutes, but Agnew made another big play, blocking the extra point to keep the score at 13-7. The Mammoths final drive of the second quarter looked promising, but their march was halted by a pick-six that gave the Cardinals a 20-7 lead at the half. Ending the half with this play made it hard for Amherst to get going in the second half. They went scoreless and ultimately gave up two more touchdowns to account for the 34-7 final score. Agnew led the Mammoths on special teams with two blocked kicks and Andy Skirzenski ’24 led the team with 13 tackles. Roberge and Sam Gerber ’26 each had five receptions in the contest. The Mammoths will look to rebound on Saturday, Nov. 4 against Bowdoin College in their final road game of the year. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Women's Soccer

Riding two goals in the final ten minutes, the No. 4 women’s soccer team outlasted the Tufts Jumbos 3-1 and solidified their spot in the NESCAC Tournament Semifinals. On a warm fall day at Hitchcock Field, the Mammoths struck first: with 17 minutes left in the first half Patience Kum ’25 controlled a loose ball, outmuscled the Tufts defender, and spun back to her right to deliver a strike into the right side-netting. Despite coming out of the half strong, Tufts found the equalizer ten minutes into the second period when a Jumbos shot from the left corner of the box deflected off the crossbar and ricocheted off an Amherst defender into the net. Following this series of unfortunate events, however, the Mammoths bounced back. With just under nine minutes left in regulation, following a foul drawn by Abby Schwartz ’25E, Fiona Bernet ’25 buried a clutch free kick into the upper left corner of the net from 24-yards out, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. The Mammoths put the Jumbos away shortly after. First-year Precious Novidzro ’27 received a great header from Bernet and skillfully weaved through two Tufts defenders before delivering the final blow: a perfectly-placed shot into the lower right corner of the goal. The final whistle blew minutes later, and the Mammoths advanced to their third-straight NESCAC Semifinal.

With the win, the top-seeded Mammoths will host the rest of the tournament this weekend. They will face No. 4 seed Wesleyan this Saturday, Nov. 4 on Hitchcock Field. If they best the Cardinals, they will host the winner of the two-three matchup between Williams and Bowdoin on Sunday. Kickoff against Wesleyan is set for 11 a.m.

Men’s Soccer

In a closely contested playoff matchup, the No. 13 men’s soccer team hung on to beat the Wesleyan Cardinals 1-0 to advance to the NESCAC Semifinals. After a 1-1 draw in early October in which they scored in the final 30 seconds, the Mammoths sought to bounce back and come out of the locker room hot. Applying pressure right out the gate, the Mammoths nearly capitalized when Ada Okorogheye ’24E almost scored on a one-on-one opportunity in the match’s opening minutes. After having the better of play early in the match, the Mammoths offense  broke through on their first corner kick. Niall Murphy ’25 rose above everyone in the center of the box and headed home a perfect ball from Mohammed Nuhu ’27 for his fourth goal of the season and handed the home squad a 1-0 lead.

Once they gave themselves that lead, they protected it: the Mammoths showcased stellar defensive play to hold onto their slim margin the rest of the way. Simon Kalinauskas ’25 and Ben Clark-Eden ’25 were both standouts defensively, flying all over the field all day to extinguish Wesleyan’s pushes for an equalizer. In a chaotic final 10 minutes of the second half, Murphy showcased his defensive ability, connecting on a crucial tackle to nullify the Cardinals’ most dangerous opportunity in the corner of the Amherst 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Max Landa ’24 notched two saves and stood solid all afternoon long to wrap up his fifth shutout of the season.

The No. 2 seeded Mammoths advance to face the third-seeded Connecticut College Camels, who defeated the Amherst team 3-2 earlier this month to hand them their only NESCAC loss. If they best Conn., they will face either top-seeded host Middlebury or No. 4 seed Tufts in the final. The Mammoths will travel to Vermont this Saturday, Nov. 4, to face the Camels at 1:30 p.m.

Field Hockey

Led by a clutch performance from junior Kat Mason ’25, the No. 12 field hockey team defeated No. 10 Tufts in the NESCAC Quaterfinal 3-2 in an overtime, golden-goal thriller.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Mammoths struck first. Kate Smith ’25 inserted a penalty corner to Isa Lattuada ’26, who slid a pass across the top of the circle to Mason. She snuck a slapshot past the Jumbos’ goaltender to take the lead. After Tufts equalized, the Mammoths capitalized off another penalty corner when Anna Aiello ’26 set up a one-timer for Muffie Mazambani ’24 who delivered a rocket into the back left corner of the cage, giving Amherst a 2-1 advantage. Following another Tufts goal, the game remained deadlocked through the end of regulation.

In a thrilling overtime period, the Tufts goalie stifled an offensive opportunity from Sam Maynard ’25 that could have ended the game. On the counter attack, Mammoth goalkeeper Grace Puchalski ’27, making her second collegiate start, hustled out of the net and made a sliding save to keep the game tied. Following another defensive stop for the Jumbos, Mason made the play of the game, stealing the ball from a Tufts player and racing past two more defenders. After dribbling nearly 50 yards, Mason buried another slap shot past the Jumbo goalkeeper, winning the game on a walkoff goal and advancing Amherst to the NESCAC semifinals. The Amherst offense came through in the clutch, but so did Puchalski, who tallied five saves to propel the Mammoths to a huge victory. The team will travel to Middlebury College this Saturday, Nov. 4  and look to upset the undefeated, No. 1 ranked Panthers in the NESCAC semifinal round. They will take on Middlebury at 11 a.m. looking to earn a place in the following day’s Final.