The field hockey team began last week with a decisive 8-0 win against Clark University on Sept. 28, constituting coach Carol Knerr’s 200th win of her career. Knerr, ranking as the 27th winningest active coach in Division III, is in her 20th season and 21st year with the Mammoths.
It didn’t take the team long to find their groove in this Tuesday game. After only three minutes of game play, first year Kat Mason ’25 scored the first goal for the Mammoths on a penalty stroke. Doubling the score only 29 seconds later was Natalie Hobbs ’23, assisted by Muffie Mazambani ’24 as she sprinted down the left sideline and found Hobbs on the far right post. Mazambani would have a goal and two more assists by the end of the game.
Forward Jackie D'Alleva ’23 would finish off the game with her second goal of the match, capping off the 8-0 shutout for the Mammoths.
“We were all really excited to finally be able to play on the new field, and to be able to have such a good win on it for our first game was even more thrilling. To be a part of [coach] Carrol’s 200th win was also amazing to be a part of,” said Paige DiBiase ’25.
However, even coming off an impressive start to their season — they were ranked sixth in the nation — the Mammoths suffered a tough two-loss weekend against Williams and Middlebury.
Losing 3-2 on Saturday to number nine ranked Williams, Amherst field hockey dropped their first game of the season in a tightly contested game.
The Mammoths went down two goals early in the second period, but that did not stop the offense, who came out aggressively after halftime. Abbey Kays ’25 scored her third goal of the season on a rebound, which pulled the score to 2-1, but Williams would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a goal at the end of the third period.
This score held until Sam Maynard ’25 gave Amherst hope, scoring her eighth goal of the season with 1:09 left in play. Despite the final push in the fourth period and outshooting their opponent 16-14, the Mammoths fell short 3-2 to the Ephs.
On Sunday, the Mammoths faced top-ranked Middlebury for a final challenging game of the weekend.
After going down 1-0 in the first four minutes and ending the first period down 2-0, Amherst kept Middlebury scoreless in the second period with three saves by goalie Kaitlin Broda ’23.
Looking to get on the board early, Amherst worked the ball around the circle before Kays lofted a shot from the right side towards the far post, but a Middlebury defender was there to clear the ball away.
In the fourth period, the Mammoths ended the shutout with a goal off a penalty stroke from Mason, which would prove to be the only goal for Amherst during the match, despite finishing with an impressive 11 shots.
When asked about the games this weekend, Maynard said, “This weekend was definitely a tough one for us, but I’m really proud of how our team fought until the end in both games. Every single person on the team had their heart in the game despite what the scoreboard displayed. We always aim to play like it’s a 0-0 game and I think we successfully displayed this mentality this weekend.”.
The Mammoths look to improve their record with another double-header next weekend, taking on Wesleyan University on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 11:00 a.m. in Middletown, Conn. and Bates College at home on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 12:00 p.m.