Around the Herd: Sept. 19 to 25 in Athletics

In this week’s Around the Herd: field hockey has a turbulent week and football secures a last-minute field goal to beat out the Continentals in a nail-biting showdown.

Around the Herd: Sept. 19 to 25 in Athletics
Field Hockey secured two 4-1 wins against Bates and Colby this weekend. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team had a jam-packed week filled with tough NESCAC and out-of-conference opponents. They kicked off with a midweek game against MIT on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The Engineers were the first to get on the board, with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter. Just one minute later, the Mammoths found the equalizer. Off a pass from junior Abbey Kays ’25, Sam Maynard ’25 controlled the ball in the offensive end, and snuck her shot between the MIT goalkeeper’s legs, tying the game at one apiece. As the game continued, the two teams continued to battle and it looked as though the game was heading to extra time. However, with under ten seconds to play, an Engineers’ shot from the top of the circle was deflected into the air by a Mammoth defender, and batted into the net by the far-side attacker with 2.1 seconds left in regulation. With no time left to respond, the Mammoths fell 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion.

Refusing to let the close loss deter them, the Mammoths returned to the field for back-to-back NESCAC games over the weekend. First up was Bates College on Saturday, Sept. 23. The No. 13 Bobcats made the trip to Amherst for what was shaping up to be an important conference contest. Bates got on the board first, scoring in the seventh minute, but the Mammoths again took fewer than 90 seconds to respond. A heads up defensive play by Kays resulted in an upfield-pass to Paige DiBiase ’25, who connected with Muffie Mazambani ’24. Mazambani beat a slew of players, splitting two defenders and tapping the ball past the goalkeeper. With the score knotted at one, the Mammoths struck again in the following minutes. Justine Liguori ’26 came up with the initial steal before the ball made its way down the field. This time it was Maynard who collected it, and put in a great individual effort, netting for a 2-1 lead to conclude the first quarter. A scoreless second period followed, but the Mammoths came out of halftime determined to up the score. Maynard rounded out a hat trick performance, striking twice in the third quarter. First, she got goal number two after capitalizing on a one-on-one opportunity to goal via a backhanded laser past the Bates goalie. And as the time ticked down in the third quarter, Mazambani sent a pass through to Maynard who corralled it and sent it past the goalie for her third of the day. The Mammoths held this 4-1 lead for the remainder of the game, with goalkeeper Sara Nidus ’25E making three saves. It was a banner day for Maynard, whose second hat trick of the young season has her sitting at a team-high 9 goals and 19 points, putting her in the top two in the NESCAC in both categories.

A quick turnaround meant the team returned to Hill Field a mere 25 hours later to take on the Colby College Mules. After a quiet first quarter, the second proved to be the Mammoths’ time. In the final minute of the half, a penalty corner give-and-go between Kate Smith ’25 and Mazambani put the Mammoths up 1-0 when the play put Smith in on goal, and she converted. While the Mules were able to equalize in the third quarter, it didn’t matter. Late in the final quarter, Kays sent a pass into the circle which Mazambani controlled, before turning to goal and blasting a shot past the goalkeeper. The Mammoths held this 2-1 lead for the remainder of the game, sealing a second victory on the weekend.

The team now holds an overall 4-3 record, and looks ahead to an away trip to face Connecticut College Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., before returning home to take on rival Williams College on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 11 a.m.


Volleyball continued their schedule at home on Tuesday, Sept. 9 versus Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island). Although they found themselves down 13-11 in the first set, they bounced back to take the first set 25-19. Never looking back after this first set win, they capitalized on their momentum and swept the remaining two sets, winning both by scores of 25-23. Kinsey Cronin ’25 led the team in kills with seven, while first-years Bailey Reid ’27 and Chideraa Ngwadom ’27 both registered six apiece. Carly Cooper ’24 and Renee Liou ’26 tallied thirteen and twelve assists respectively, with Lizzie Papalia ’25 adding two key aces in the win. With this home victory under their belt, the Mammoths headed to Williamstown to face the rival Ephs on Friday.

The Ephs came out of the locker room hot, rattling off five consecutive points to take a quick 5-0 lead. The Mammoths struck back though, closing the gap to 22-18. The first-year combination of Ngwadom and Reid had two back-to-back kills to shrink the lead, and a crucial ace from Papalia got them to within four. Ultimately, the Ephs would come out with the win, taking the first set 25-19. The second set was a battle, just like the first. The rivals traded points, going back and forth all the way to the 20 point mark. However, the Ephs registered the final three  points of the frame, and took the second set. In the third set, Williams solidified their sweep with a 25-18 win. In the match that was tighter than the sweep would seem to indicate, Charlotte Rasmussen ’26 led the team with eight kills. Cronin added three blocks, and Cooper recorded 15 assists.

The Mammoths look ahead this week to back-to-back NESCAC games. First, they take on Bowdoin College on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., before making a pit stop in Connecticut to face Connecticut College on Saturday at 2 p.m.


The Amherst football team had a banner home-opening game. They took on the Hamilton Continentals on a beautiful fall Saturday, winning their first home game of the season with a score of 17-14. For the Mammoths’, their first offensive possession resulted in a touchdown. On the third snap senior running back Tariq Muhammad ’24 sliced through the entire Hamilton defense with ease before running over the final defender and taking the ball 63 yards to the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown. The Continentals would tie the score at 7-7 later on in the first quarter, but neither team would add to the score before halftime, and the teams entered the locker rooms tied. This didn’t happen without a fight, though; Amherst stifled multiple offensive attempts, including a clutch sack by sophomore Luke Harmon ’26 in the second quarter to force a punt. However, in the third quarter, the Continentals ultimately made their way into the endzone to gain a 14-7 lead heading into the final quarter of the play. The Mammoths refused to settle, though. Relying on their passing game to move them down the field, first-year quarterback John Collier ’27 began spreading the ball around. Passes to wide receivers Carter Jung ’26 and Sam Gerber ’26 had the Mammoths on a steady progression towards the end zone. Once they made their way into the redzone, Collier connected with Cato Legaspi ’26 for a 14-yard touchdown — the first of Legaspi’s career. The extra point was good, and the two teams were tied once again.

With the ball now back in the Continentals’ hands with under three minutes to go, the defense stepped up. It was Harmon once again, this time making the play of the game. Reading the quarterback, he stepped into the passing lane to intercept a Hamilton pass after only three plays and 19 seconds had elapsed. He returned the pick for what seemed to be a touchdown, but was ultimately called back after he stepped out of bounds at the five yard line. After unsuccessful rushing attempts, the Mammoths sent in first-year kicker Matthew Kelley ’27 for a 21-yard field goal attempt. Displaying poise and skill, Kelley hit paydirt, giving the Mammoths a 17-14 lead with just 1:09 remaining. In the final seconds of play, Hamilton attempted a hail mary that was batted down by Matthew Monteleone ’26 to seal the win. Collier went 20 for 32 passing on the day, while Gerber racked up eight catches and Muhammad led the team in rushing with 78 yards and a touchdown.

This win leaves the Mammoths with a 1-1 record, and they will look ahead to next Saturday’s game at defending NESCAC champions Trinity College. The Sept. 30 contest will kickoff at 1 p.m.

Cross Country

Amherst’s cross country teams took to the course at the Pavlich Invitational this weekend, with both teams collecting top-three finishes in the 15-team event on Saturday, Sept. 23.

The No. 28-ranked men’s team finished the event in second place, with four Mammoths placing in the top 10 and seven finishing in the top 20. Thomas Stephens ’26 paced the team on Saturday, finishing fifth with a time of 25:36.0 — an eight-kilometer collegiate best for the sophomore. Theo Dassin ’24 crossed the line next, crossing seventh in 25:36.9, with Harrison Dow ’27 close behind in eighth (25:37.9). Drew Stephens ’26 rounded out Amherst’s top-10 finishers, completing the course in 25:45.1, a personal-best eight-kilometer time. Nick Edwards-Levin ’25, Aidan Gemme ’26, and Stan Craig ’27 placed 16th, 18th, and 19th, with times of 25:58.5, 26:03.6, and 26:07.4, respectively. The rest of the team ran well, with no Mammoth placing below 57th in a 155-runner field.

The No. 12 women’s team also saw similar stellar results, placing third of 15 teams while racing with only seven runners. Allison Lounsbury ’26 was the first Mammoth runner to cross the line, finishing the six-kilometer course in fifth place with a time of 22:53.2. Saturday also marked the first time Lounsbury’s career that she was Amherst’s top finisher in a race. Classmate Bella Lozier ’26 was next, finishing only 2.5 seconds later, and matching her career-best finish with a time of 22:55.7. Annika Paylor ’24 continued her hot start to the season, placing 14th with a personal-best six-kilometer time of 23:24.9. Sidnie Kulik ’25 and Thea Crawley ’27 rounded out the Mammoths’ scorecard with 31st and 32nd place finishes in 24:27.2 and 24:32.3, respectively. Emma Vatnsdal ’27 and Julia Gentin ’26 ran strong races as well: Vatnsdal crossed the line in 42:47.3, good for 37th place, and Gentin finished in fifth with a time of 26:09.5.

Catch both teams back in action in two weeks, with their season continuing on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Dickinson Pre-National Meet. The race will be held at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania, on the course that will host this year’s NCAA Division III Championship.


Both golf teams took to the links this weekend, with the women traveling to Williamstown for the Williams Invitational and the men making the trek to Brunswick, Maine, for the Bowdoin Invitational. Both teams performed well during their two-day tournaments, with the women placing seventh and the men placing fourth in 22-team fields.

The women’s team will return to action on Sunday, Oct. 1 at the two-day NCAA Fall Preview at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky, while the men have next weekend off before hitting the course at the Skidmore Invitational at Saratoga Spa State Park over the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 7.