SPORTS

Fall Sports Preview

By Connor Haugh '21 and Henry Newton '21 || Issue 149-1

Cutler Coleman '20 will continue to lead the men's soccer team on defense this fall. (Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios)

We’re in the business of making bold predictions. Our aim is not to incite, but rather to enable, you, the passing observer, with the ability to accurately talk about an Amherst sports team.


Perhaps it is just to a casual acquaintance or to your uncle who played football in college and always asks you about Amherst’s team.


Men’s Soccer
Head coach Justin Serpone’s team is always a physical force of nature in the NESCAC. His philosophy emphasizes discipline and defensive stability in favor of possession and set pieces. It is a system designed for the brutality of the NESCAC and favors itself to tournament play.


Consequently, Amherst at its best can turn a game they are outgunned in into at least a 50-50 chance of victory.


Despite losing talismans like Luke Nguyen ’19, Fikayo Ajayi ’19 and keeper Michael Stone ’21 in the offseason, the squad will surely make a run in the NESCAC tournament, as well as the NCAA tournament.


Predicted Results: 5-2-3 in the regular season in NESCAC play. This is good enough for a fourth place finish with an excellent run into the tournament, and at least a NESCAC semifinal berth.


Women’s Soccer
The Mammoths have just one question mark on a seasoned roster this fall. They return standout goalie Antonia Tammaro ’21, their three starting center-halves, a stable of mobile wing-backs and their midfield engine room. The question remains, however, where head coach Su DelGuercio will find attacking talent worthy to replace all-american, NESCAC leading scorer and human goal machine Rubii Tamen ’19. Some combination of Navva Sedigh ’21 and Alexa Juarez ’22 seems like the obvious answer, but only time will tell if Amherst can replicate its excellent 15-3-2 record this season.


***Predicted Results: *** Their closest NESCAC rivals, Tufts and Williams, have depreciated in strength after the loss of several core seniors, the conference seems ripe for the Mammoths to succeed. Expect this team to make an 8-0-2 splash in the league this season and grace another NESCAC Final with their presence.


Field Hockey
Since 2015, Amherst has not finished in the top four of the NESCAC. The squad has struggled against powerhouses like Tufts, Middlebury and Hamilton in recent seasons, and they will need to improve their conference record above .500 in order to compete.


A strong recruiting class, however, might change those odds for head coach Carol Knerr’s 19th season with Amherst. Expect Franny Daniels ’21 to improve on her 14-goal run last season and senior Emilie Flamme to step into the limelight to take over netminder responsibilities. The loss of star attacker Kendall Codey ’19, however, will force Amherst into a pinch for goals.


Predicted results: 6-4 in the NESCAC and undefeated in non-conference play will get them a berth in the NESCAC tournament.


Volleyball
After a program high 22-5 record last year, the Firedogs look to the 2019 fall season with relish. Head coach Sue Everden returns all but two of her regular rotation of players, defensive specialist Hayes Honea ’19 and outside hitter Lauren Reppert ’19. They will look to enact revenge on Bowdoin, who stole the NESCAC title and a conference win from them last season, as well as a rematch with powerhouse Wellesley College in the Hall of Fame Tournament the Firedogs host every year.


***Predicted Results: *** We have high hopes for this team. Returning a vast majority of its squad, Amherst will light up the NESCAC again, going 9-1 and facing off against Bowdoin in the finals. We won’t, however, predict the result of that game.


Football
The NESCAC has recently been dominated by two squads: Trinity and Amherst, both of which contended for the conference championship last year in what was again a near-miss for the Mammoths, seeing them finish just behind the Bantams for the second year in a row. Both teams finished at 8-1, but the Bantams victory over the Mammoths saw them secure the conference title.


Amherst again looks to be in contention for post-season honors, as the Mammoths return starting quarterback Ollie Eberth ’20, and many of their other starters. One notable absence: all-american lineman Andrew Yamin ’19, whose disruptive defensive play will surely be missed.


***Predicted results: *** The maturation of the offensive line will mean Amherst has a better chance against Wesleyan, Williams and Trinity. Football, however, is a game too rife with contingencies to predict games like those with such slim margins for error. Expect them to stomp the other six teams though.


Men’s Cross Country:
This is a do-or-die season for Amherst in terms of continuing program success. The team lost several of its aces, seniors Cosmo Brossy, Tucker Meijer, and Kirstian Sogaard. They will, therefore, have difficulty defending their Little Three and NESCAC Championships, as well as repeating their sixth-place finish at the NCAA finals. Head coach Cassie Funke-Harris, however, now in her sophomore season, will certainly hope to coax excellent runners like Clark Ricciardelli ’20E to new heights.


Predicted Results: A respectable fourth-place finish at the NESCAC Championships, as they have lost too much talent.


Women’s Cross Country
With only one senior healthy throughout last season, the team has several bright spots to look forward to. Olivia Polischeck ’21, Sarah Gayer ’21 and Kristin Ratliff ’20 all return as crucial members of the scoring five, and a batch of new recruits, after just Julia Dobson ’22 competed last year, will surely propel the squad to success in the fall. The Mammoths, however, face a difficult challenge in the season to come.


Predicted Results: The Mammoths will beat Wesleyan at the Little Threes and will cap off the season with a fourth-place finish at the NESCAC Championship.


The Short Seasons
These teams play in both the fall and spring, with more value placed on the spring season.


Women’s Golf
Isabelle Ouyang ’21, India Gaume ’22 and Morgan Yurosek ’20 will lead the charge for the ever-improving Amherst squad this season.


Men’s Golf
After a shaky start which saw them fail to qualify for the NESCAC Tournament for the first time in years, Amherst will look to make a push to beat out their opponents in fall play.


Women’s Tennis
One can only hope that the younger Mammoths have as great of a start as Jackie Buzkin ’22 did last fall, when she won the singles bracket of the inaugural England Individual Tennis Tournament.


**Men’s Tennis **
Traditionally, younger players prove themselves in the fall tournaments for the Mammoths, and as Amherst finished sixth overall in DIII last spring, the newcomers will be hard pressed to break into the ladder.
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