On Saturday, Oct. 1, Amherst field hockey confidently took on their biggest rival, the Williams Ephs, in a contentious game on Williamson Field in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The Mammoths started off strong: Their persistent attacks resulted in an offensive penalty corner in the first four minutes of the game, and a second one halfway through the first quarter. But while the Mammoths consistently held the ball in the Ephs’ half of the field, they were continuously shut out by Williams’ defense as they struggled to convert their advantage in shots into goals.
By the start of the second quarter, both teams were fighting to gain control of the pace of the game. This changed halfway through the quarter, however, when Muffie Mazambani ’24 took advantage of a breakaway against the lone Williams goalie, whose defense was nowhere to be found. The chance yielded a penalty stroke to the Mammoths, which Beth Williamson ’23E converted into the team’s first goal. The Mammoths concluded their phenomenal first half with a beautiful play: A defensive clearance by Kate Smith ’25 found its way to Mazambani in the offensive third, whose powerful shot put Amherst up 2-0 at the end of the half.
The halftime talk seemed to have lit some fire under Williams, who relentlessly attacked to start the third quarter and managed to notch a goal halfway through. But the Mammoths were undeterred. “When they scored the goal, we had to remind ourselves to stay alert, especially now that they had come back with some extra momentum in the second half,” said Mazambani. “The team is good at communicating, so we managed to figure out who to mark.”
And it seems that is exactly what the Mammoths did, as they gained control of the game once again in the fourth quarter, halting the Ephs’ comeback with a sneaky reverse shot scored by Paige DiBiase ’25 to put away their 3-1 win.
“I can’t even put into words how amazing this win felt,” said Williamson. “We haven’t beat Williams since my freshman year, and finally beating them has probably been the most exciting part of the season so far. Our team brought insane energy to the game, and I think it really raises the bar for what this team can do this season.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Mammoths returned home to Hill Field to take on NESCAC foe Connecticut College in their second contest of the week. It didn’t take long for the Mammoths to open the scoring, with Kat Mason ’25 scoring her ninth goal of the season off of a stellar individual effort after only five minutes had elapsed. Mazambani doubled the Mammoth lead 10 minutes later. Abbey Kays ’25 fed Mazambani the ball at the top of the circle and the Mammoths’ leading scorer did the rest, cutting the ball back to beat two Camel defenders before rifling a shot into the top left corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead.
The margin would remain the same into the fourth quarter, as neither team could find the back of the net with very few shots being fired at all. Kays finally broke the dry spell with five and a half minutes to go, winning the ball from a Camels defender and taking it to the goal herself, putting a low roller past Connecticut’s keeper for the final goal of the game. The 3-0 win cemented a 2-0 week for the Mammoths going into an important week of NESCAC competition.
The Mammoths, now No. 7 in the nation, will look to continue their win streak as they take on Wesleyan University in a home conference match on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m., before facing Bowdoin on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 12 p.m. on Hill Field.