Around the Herd: Sept. 13 to 18 in Athletics

In this edition of Around the Herd: men’s and women’s soccer start their seasons strong, and cross country succeeds at the Little Three Championship with the women’s team defending their championship title.

Women’s Soccer

The No. 10 women’s soccer team delivered an astonishing 9-0 victory over Lasell University on Gooding Field this past Thursday, Sept. 14. Wasting no time to solidify their lead, the Mammoths found the back of the net in the first six minutes of the game with a perfect pass from Abby Schwartz ’25E to Patience Kum ’25 leading to the goal.

This set the tone for the rest of the game as the offensive onslaught continued: Only 10 minutes after their first goal, first-year Jessica Lomo ’27 beat two defenders and placed a shot under the goalkeeper’s arm. Her shot was quickly followed by Kum’s second goal of the day. Creative playmaking from Liza Katz ’25E paved the way for the next two  goals, scored by Ally Deegan ’24, and Gigi Golden ’24. The game ended with goals from Katz, Halle Hanna ’26 (also assisted by Katz), and Brooke Ingemi ’26, leaving no doubt about the Mammoths’ dominance. Golden and Hanna’s goals against the Lasers were the first of their Mammoth careers.

Although all three Amherst goalkeepers — Mika Fisher ’25E, Katya Besch ’25, and LuLu Fickes ’26 – saw playing time, only Fickes faced a shot on goal during the contest, further highlighting the Mammoths’ dominance.

The Mammoths impressive start to the season in a highly charged match three days later, a Sept. 17 contest against Tufts that concluded in a decisive 4-1 victory. The game’s intensity was evident from the start, with Amherst capitalizing on a free kick, as Katz’s precise delivery led to Kum’s skillful left-footed strike, giving Amherst an early 1-0 lead. Although the Jumbos managed to level the score early in the second half, the Mammoths quickly regained the lead with a second goal from Kum and never looked back. Goals from Katie Pedersen ’27, her first as a Mammoth, and Ingemi spelled the end for Tufts as the Mammoths celebrated their first NESCAC victory of the season.

Men’s Soccer

The No. 7 men’s soccer team started their week with a commanding 3-0 shutout against Manhattanville College. With all three goals scored in the first half of the game, Mammoths cruised to an easy victory.

The team started strong, with a header goal from Simon Kalinauskas ’25 off a throw by Declan Sung ’24E, in the game's first ten minutes. Despite holding the early lead, the Mammoths were quick to double their advantage, as Mohammed Nuhu ’27 capitalized on a defensive error, netting his first collegiate goal.

Just before halftime, the team managed to extend their lead with another first collegiate goal, this time from first-year Riley Priddy ’27. Strong defense in the second half sealed the win. The victory also marked a historic moment for head coach Justin Serpone, who became the all-time winningest head coach in Amherst men's soccer history with his 233rd win, surpassing Peter Gooding’s total.

Carrying this momentum into their next game, the team brought home a remarkable triumph over then-No. 24-ranked Tufts on Bello Field, putting an end to a three-game losing streak against their rivals. The Mammoths secured their first victory on Bello Field in dominant fashion, downing the Jumbos 3-1.

While Tufts took an early lead with a goal in the 21st minute, Amherst was quick to respond when Ada Okorogheye ’24E converted a penalty kick to level the score at 1-1. In the 68th minute, another long Sung throw-in found its way into the net after deflecting off of a Tufts defender, granting Amherst a 2-1 lead. The Mammoths sealed the deal in the 79th minute when Nuhu extended the lead with a well-executed strike off of a through ball from Fynn Hayton-Ruffner ’25. Despite being outshot 14-9, Amherst's steadfast defense and six crucial saves from Max Landa ’24 secured their victory in this intense showdown.

Field Hockey

In an intense battle on Friday, Sept. 15, at Tufts’ Ounjian Field, the 5th-ranked Jumbos secured a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory over the college’s No. 11 field hockey team. The match was a showcase of determination from both sides, with Tufts ultimately clinching the win in the extra period.

The Mammoths put up a strong fight throughout the game. They dominated time of possession in the first half, generating five shots on goal and four penalty corner opportunities, while Tufts managed just one shot in the same period.

In the third quarter, the Mammoths had two prime opportunities to take the lead which were ultimately shut down by the Tufts goalkeeper. However, Amherst found their breakthrough  with just over seven minutes remaining in the game. Dylan Bloom ’27 played a strategic pass to Sam Maynard ’25 at the top of the circle, who expertly maneuvered into Tufts’ territory. With precision, Maynard lofted a shot over the Jumbo netminder, finding the back of the net and giving the Mammoths the lead.

Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived as Tufts responded almost immediately. Mammoth keeper Sara Nidus ’25E made the initial save off of a Tufts penalty corner, but the rebound was swiftly dispatched into the goal, leveling the score at 1-1.

In overtime, with only five minutes and 32 seconds remaining, another Jumbo goal sealed a 2-1 victory for the Jumbos.

The Mammoths, though falling short in this hard-fought contest, look ahead to their next matchup against the MIT, hoping to bounce back and find success after dropping their first two NESCAC contests of the season.

Cross Country

In a competitive showing at the Little Three Championship at Wesleyan University’s Long Lane Farm course, the men’s cross country team secured a commendable second-place finish, scoring 40 points in the event. Senior Theo Dassin ’24 led the charge, claiming fourth place and matching his career-best cross-country finish from the previous year’s Little Three Championship, navigating the 8-kilometer course in 25:31.1.

On the women’s side, the cross country team demonstrated exceptional prowess at the Little Three Championship, successfully defending their championship title. Sylvan Wold ’25 seized the spotlight, recording her first collegiate cross-country victory with a stellar personal-best 6-kilometer time of 22:04.7. Not far behind, classmate Julia Schor ’25 secured second place for the second consecutive season, finishing about 10 seconds later with a time of 22:14.1. The Mammoths, ranked 15th in the nation, managed to earn 30 points, narrowly edging rival Williams for the title by three points.

The Mammoths now look forward to their next challenge at the Pavlich Invitational next Saturday, Sept. 23, at Bard College.


In the highly anticipated season opener for both NESCAC squads, Middlebury College emerged victorious with a 21-7 win over the football team at Youngman Stadium in Middlebury, Vermont on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The Panthers set the tone early with a scorching start on offense, scoring touchdowns on three of their first four drives. However, the Amherst defense managed to regroup in the second half and hold off Middlebury for the remainder of the game.

The game’s highlights included a lightning-fast 53-yard Panther touchdown reception on their second offensive snap. A second score on their very next drive gave Middlebury a 14-0 lead and, despite a three-and-out forced by the Mammoth’s defense, Middlebury struck again at the top of the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown, extending their margin to 21-0.

The third quarter saw a resurgence from the Amherst defense, as they forced turnovers on Middlebury’s first two drives. Sophomore defensive back Luke Harmon ’26 intercepted a pass, before a forced fumble by linebacker Trey Doyle ’25 was recovered by defensive lineman Ethan Burdo ’25E.

Amherst avoided a shutout in the final minute of the game, as first-year quarterback John Collier ’27 connected with senior wide receiver Cam Jones ’24 for a 4-yard touchdown, the first scored of both players’ careers

Looking ahead, the Mammoths will return to Amherst for their home opener, facing off against Hamilton on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m. on Pratt Field.


In an exhilarating conference opener, the volleyball team fought a gripping five-set battle against Hamilton College. After narrowly dropping the first set 25-21, Amherst found themselves trailing 10-7 in the second. However, they fought back valiantly, ultimately clinching a dramatic win with kills from Kinsey Cronin ’26 and Charlotte Rasmussen ’26, taking a two-point lead at 17-15 in favor of the Mammoths.

After clinching the second set, the third saw Amherst’s dominance as they erupted for seven consecutive points to secure a decisive 25-13 victory. Despite a valiant effort, the Mammoths couldn't maintain that momentum, facing a tough challenge in the fourth set — Hamilton took charge early and secured a 25-11 triumph. The decisive fifth set saw Hamilton seize control for good, ultimately leading to a 15-7 victory. Anaya Thomas ’25 led the Mammoths with 15 kills and 13 digs, while Rasmussen matched her with 15 powerful kills. Cronin contributed 10 kills along with five blocks.

The next day, in their game against Middlebury, the Mammoths faced a tough challenge, falling to the Panthers in a 25-19, 25-13, 25-16 at the Panthers’ Pepin Gymnasium. The Mammoths, now 2-5 for the season and 0-2 in conference play, struggled to gain momentum against a formidable Middlebury squad. Despite a spirited effort, Middlebury's consistent performance proved decisive in securing the win. Notably, Cronin showcased a strong performance with six kills and three blocks, while Thomas and Chideera Ngwadom ’27 contributed four kills each for the Mammoths. Carly Cooper ’24 provided 11 assists in the effort.