No. 4 Field Hockey Wins Again, Clinches Little Three Title
The field hockey team picked up two important NESCAC wins over Wesleyan and Bowdoin this past weekend, securing the Little Three Championship for the first time since 2018 along the way.
Amherst field hockey faced — and defeated — both Wesleyan and No. 17 Bowdoin by scores of 3-1 in two important NESCAC contests over Fall Break. In the process, they clinched this year’s Little Three Championship by beating both rival Williams (last weekend) and now the Cardinals.
In the first game of their all-important home double-header, the Mammoths took on the Cardinals on Saturday, Oct. 8, with the Little Three Championship on the line. And while it took the home side a few minutes to get going offensively, they took the lead just over six minutes into the second quarter. Justine Liguori ’26 sent a pinpoint pass across the circle to senior forward Jackie D’Alleva ’23, whose shot found the back of the net to put the Mammoths in front. However, that lead would not last long — the Wesleyan attack found their opening just before halftime, netting to tie the game at one apiece with very little time remaining in the half for an Amherst response.
But the Mammoths found a way — scoring their second goal of the day just 15 seconds later, courtesy of Muffie Mazambani ’24. The play started with a brilliant individual effort from Gwen Allen ’23 and was assisted by Sam Maynard ’25.
Then, after a third quarter with no score changes and very few attacking opportunities for either team, Maynard iced the game for the Mammoths. Her fourth-quarter tally (her third of the season) widened the lead to two goals and all but shut the door on the Cardinals. And, sure enough, when the final whistle blew, Amherst left Hill Field victorious, with the Little Three title in their possession for the first time since 2018.
But their winning ways did not stop there. The Mammoths returned to the field on Sunday, Oct. 9, for their Senior Day game. Although it was their second contest in 24 hours, they did not let that quick turnaround deter them from honoring their seniors with a 3-1 win. Mazambani scored the first goal of the game for the Mammoths in the second quarter off an assist from Kat Mason ’25. Allen started the play with a pass into the circle that was intercepted by a Polar Bear defender; however, her clearing pass was intercepted back by Mason, who delivered a pass from the right side to Mazambani in front of the goal for a one-time finish. It was Mazambani’s team-leading 10th of the season, and marked the fourth straight game in which the junior has scored. Bowdoin tied the game just before halftime, leaving it a 1-1 deadlock heading into the fourth quarter. But this is when the Mammoths’ seniors (fittingly) took over. Beth Williamson ’23E converted a penalty stroke to make it 2-1, and just two minutes later, classmate Natalie Hobbs ’23E took the ball into the circle and spun around a defender before sending a low strike toward the goal, which Maynard in turn put home to seal the win.
“Winning on Senior Day was huge for our team, as it was a great way to thank [them] for all of the hard work they’ve put into the program during their time here,” goalie Sara Nidus ’24 said of the win on Sunday. “They created a shift in the team culture and emphasized [the] competitiveness and commitment to the team that has helped us [achieve] all of our recent success and created an incredibly welcoming and supportive environment for everyone entering the ACFH family.”
The team will look to extend their seven-game win streak on Thursday, Oct. 13, against local rival Springfield College. The game, the team’s Mental Health Awareness game, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Hill Field.