Amherst’s Caitie Parker ’06 scored first; but for the first fifteen minutes, possession alternated regularly and kept the game at 2-2. After several one-on-ones and a few high shots at the keeper, Amherst changed their attack to quick feeds and shooting low. With an assist into traffic from Alyssa Briody ’07, Parker broke the tie and sparked Amherst’s attack to speed ahead of Williams 8-3 by the end of the first half.
Dominating the draws was Liz Wise ’07, who ensured Amherst possession and time to run various new plays. “Our settled offense allowed a few girls to step up,” said senior attacker Cate Smith.
Amherst pummeled in five goals before halftime with quick cuts and shots at the keeper’s feet.
After halftime, Amherst’s momentum persisted, reaching a comfortable 12-3 lead over an irritated Williams. Although the team knew they could settle the ball and burn up time on the clock, they instead kept trying to hammer in goals. A few impatient shots led to turnovers and enabled the Ephs to answer back with five goals.
Head Coach Christine Paradis called a timeout before Williams neared double-digits and ordered a long stall to eat away time. Amherst’s attack slowed the game down considerably by passing around the perimeter, dodging defenders, penetrating and then quickly retreating. This method guaranteed that the Jeffs would maintain the lead and aggravate Eph defenders enough to begin fouling.
Amherst succeeded in taking off six minutes in one possession. With a minute left, Ashley Harmeling ’05 scored the final goal of the game, an unassisted shot hard at the goalie’s feet, making the final score 13-8.
Much to the frustration of Williams, which is used to a faster-paced style of play, Amherst’s composed offense succeeded in slowing the game down and feeding the ball to swift cutters. “Parker took advantage of some great feeds, caught Williams off guard and had a hell of a game,” noted Smith. Harmeling and Parker each had five goals, with three assists coming from Briody and one each from Scotty Hanley ’06 and Lauren Dudley ’07.
Last Wednesday, Amherst finiished with a less than comfortable lead over Springfield College, posting a 14-11 non-conference victory. Senior attacker Harmeling led the team with five goals and an assist. Four of these, along with one each from sophomore forwards Lauren Dudley, Dana Kuper and Alyssa Briody came in the opening stanza. At intermission the Jeffs held an edge of 9-4.
The Pride fought back in the second half, but never came within less than three goals of the Jeffs, thanks to senior co-captain goalie Liv D’Ambrosio, who had nine saves. The defense performed well in response to Springfield’s fast breaks, with Wise forcing seven turnovers with well-placed checks.
Keeping Springfield at bay for the conclusion of the game were Harmeling and Hanley, scoring three unassisted goals in the last 13 minutes to secure a 14-11 win.
Although Amherst lost a significant group of seniors last year, the sophomore class is doing very well trying to fill their cleats. The midfield is doing a great job on transition and every player seems to be ready and willing to step up, make a cut and score a goal.
Starting this week, Amherst will start facing some of its tougher NESCAC foes. The Jeffs’ season record remains unscathed as they head into a matchup with the Trinity College Bantams at home this Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Trinity is the only other undefeated team in the NESCAC and currently shares the number-one rank with Amherst and Middlebury