Field hockey remains undefeated after upsetting Bowdoin

Amherst defeated Springfield by a decisive score of 3-0. Goalkeeper K.C. Cosentino ’05 was not particularly busy for the majority of the game as the Jeffs’ stellar defense held their opponents to a measly two shots the entire game. Cosentino, unsurprisingly, saved both shots with her usual skilled coverage of the net and posted her third shutout of the season for the Jeffs.

Amherst was on the offense from the get-go against Springfield. Amherst’s midfielders and defenders constantly shut down the opposing attack and fed the ball upfield, creating some nice opportunities for the offense. Amherst’s goals were inevitable. The Jeffs had 18 shots and visiting goalkeeper Linsey Pardue had eight saves in what was to be a failed effort. It appeared, however, that both teams might go scoreless in the first half of the game, as the Jeffs just couldn’t quite knock the ball into the back of the net. But with only 51 seconds remaining in the first half, Katherine Skrivan ’06 managed to bury the ball in the back of the net to put the Jeffs up 1-0,

Going into the second half, Amherst was looking for insurance goals. Co-captain Christine Ryan ’04 and Lauren Sozio ’04 provided the Jeffs the relief they needed by chipping in a goal apiece in the second half to secure the 3-0 victory.

Amherst not only had eighteen shots, but eight corners to Springfield’s two. Essentially, the Jeffs dominated the game, leaving Springfield with a record of 4-3, and giving Amherst momentum for Saturday’s matchup against Bowdoin, a team that was also undefeated going into Saturday’s contest.

“We knew Bowdoin was a strong team which plays very similar to us, and we wanted to keep improving on our transition defense after Springfield,” said Ryan.

The game didn’t start out quite as the Jeffs had hoped it would; the Polar Bears jumped out to an early lead when forward Marissa O’Neil netted an unassisted goal with 14:52 remaining in the first half. “The feel of the Bowdoin game was very calm,” said Ryan. “Even though they scored first on us, our team stayed very composed and we kept up the pressure. I felt confident that we would be able to even the score against them.” And score they did.

Amherst tied up the score with 11:30 left in the second half off a well-placed shot from the top of the circle off a penalty corner by Skrivan, her second goal of both the week and season. At the end of regulation, the game was tied, but the momentum was certainly in Amherst’s favor.

Cosentino registered an amazing save in overtime to keep her team alive before midfielder Rachel Carr-Harris ’07, off a corner from Ryan, buried the game winner on her first career goal with 2:06 left in the first overtime period, securing the win for Amherst and preserving their undefeated record. “It was a great feeling to be able to come back from behind and beat them in overtime,” said Ryan.

Amherst had 11 shots and 13 corners compared to Bowdoin’s seven shots and seven corners, as both goalies, Cosentino for the Jeffs and Gillian McDonald for the Polar Bears, made some amazing saves.

This afternoon, Amherst travels to Hadley to take on Mount Holyoke College, a team that, in the words of Ryan, “has always been a strong team that plays very aggressively.” A win will earn Amherst Pioneer Valley champion status and will also provide positive momentum going into Saturday’s match against Middlebury College. Middlebury and Amherst are currently undefeated and tied for first in the NESCAC.