Thirteen days off give Jeffs needed rest to mutilate Lyons, tie up Mules

“Mt. Holyoke was the first game we had in 13 days and we just unleashed,” said junior goalkeeper Piper Crowell.

Amherst applied pressure all game long, as junior midfielder Lesley Pruzansky led the attack from the opening whistle. Her pair of assists helped Amherst open up a 3-0 lead in the first half, before she put the game away with a goal of her own to start the second stanza.

Pruzansky first crossed a pass into the box in the eighth minute, where Jenny Muller ’07 headed it past Mt. Holyoke goalie Tiffany Picard for the opening score. Again, Pruzansky set up a goal with a cross at the 21 minute mark. This time firstyear Alanna Darling was there to head the pass into the back of the net.

The Jeffs went up by a trio of goals with 11 minutes left to play in the half after a terrific individual effort by senior co-captain Sarah Coleman. After stealing a ball deep in the corner, Coleman turned and drilled a shot through the hands of Picard to add to the first-half margin.

Just as Amherst began the game forcefully, they came out firing in the second frame. After launching 14 shots in the first half, the Jeffs needed just 43 seconds to score after the break. Rookie defender Kate Bentley cleared a ball up the right side to Pruzansky who outran the Lyons defense to create a clear shot past Picard.

Though the scoring would end there, Amherst relentlessly attacked for the remainder of the game, outshooting their opponents by an astounding 30-1 margin in the contest. Junior goalkeeper Scout Durwood needed to record only one save for the shutout after replacing Crowell, who wasn’t pestered with a single shot. Picard tallied 15 saves in a valiant effort for Mt. Holyoke.

“It was really great to just go out and score a bunch of goals,” said Crowell. “It was the first time this season that we dominated the entire game.”

On Saturday the Jeffs traveled up to Waterville, Me. to take on conference foe Colby College (5-2-3, 2-2-3 NESCAC). Battling through pouring rain and sloppy field conditions, each team posted 10 shots during regulation, none of them reaching the goal. The game moved through a pair of overtime periods in which each team fired 10 more shots. Despite 26 total attempts on goal and a number of close calls, neither squad managed to find the net, resulting in a 0-0 tie. Pruzansky and forward Natalie Farraiolo ’09 combined for 11 of Amherst’s 14 shots on goal, keeping pressure on Colby keeper Lisa Benson all afternoon.

Benson finished the game with 14 saves while Crowell recorded 12 of her own to record her second-straight shutout and preserving the tie.

“We dominated the first half and should have put it away early, but as the game went on the conditions got worse- not just the rain but also the field was really torn up,” Crowell explained. “By the second half it was really hard to make sharp passes and play possession soccer. Although we tied I think we were all happy with how hard we played. “

Amherst resumes play this afternoon at NESCAC opponent Connecticut College to start what promises to be a pivotal week in the conference standings. The Jeffs host rival Wesleyan University in a Homecoming showdown on Saturday, before making-up an Oct. 8 rain-out versus Middlebury College on Sunday.