Women’s soccer rebounded from a sub-par 2002 to win the NESCAC Championship and advance to the NCAA Regional Championship game. The Jeffs’ marvelous late-season run-highlighted by an 11-game unbeaten streak which included a 22-3 scoring edge over opponents and two penalty kick playoff victories-ended in a thrilling 3-2 loss to sixth-ranked Wheaton College in the Regional final.
After a difficult 2-2-1 start to the season that saw Amherst go 0-2-1 in NESCAC play, the Jeffs regrouped with tremendous home victories over nationally-ranked Bowdoin and Middlebury Colleges. The Middlebury victory started Amherst on the 11-game unbeaten streak which didn’t end until the Wheaton loss.
Ashley Harmeling ’05 led the Jeff revival as she broke Amherst’s single-season goals record by three and led the NESCAC with 19 goals. Rookie goalie Piper Crowell anchored the defense, posting five consecutive shutouts and playing tremendously in penalty kick situations.
The Jeffs finished the regular season on a tear and managed to grab the second seed in the NESCAC, where they were immediately challenged by Tufts University and then Williams College. Both games went into penalty kicks where goaltender Crowell saved the day, saving two of four shots against Tufts and three of four against Williams.
Harmeling saved Amherst fans from another nailbiter in the NESCAC Finals, tallying a hat trick to give the Jeffs the NESCAC crown in a 6-0 onslaught over Bates College.
The Jeffs went on to win the first two matches of the NCAA Tournament over Bridgewater State and Endicott Colleges before falling to Wheaton College in a match that saw four lead changes and a game-winner in the 86th minute.
Football finished its 2003 campaign in disappointing fashion, dropping its last three games-including a 14-10 loss at archrival Williams College in the “Biggest Little Game in America”-to finish 4-4 and tied for fifth in the NESCAC.
The Jeffs dropped each of their last three games to Tufts University, Trinity College and Williams by one-score margins, and were hampered by injuries to starting quarterback Marsh Moseley ’05 and star running back Fletcher Ladd ’05E during that stretch.
Coming into an Oct. 25 game at Tufts, the Jeffs were 4-1 and in contention for the NESCAC title. Down 14-7 late in the third quarter, an injured Moseley entered the contest for the first time to lead Amherst to Tufts’ red zone, where Ladd ran the ball in for a five-yard touchdown. Later in the fourth quarter, the Jeffs scored a field goal to go ahead 17-14.
Tufts was not done. In his best imitation of John Elway, Tufts quarterback John Casey brought the Jumbos from their own 20 to the Amherst three-yard line before finally being stifled by the Amherst defense. Forced to kick a field goal, Tufts sent the game into overtime, where the Jumbos scored a quick touchdown that a deflated Amherst squad could not match for the 24-17 victory.
Amherst dropped its next game against the undefeated eventual NESCAC champion Trinity College Bantams, falling 20-14 after taking a 14-6 lead into the half.
In the season-ending Williams game, Amherst fell behind early. Down 14-0 in the first quarter, Amherst battled back admirably to narrow the lead to 14-10. Neither team scored in the second half as Williams bounced back from a high-scoring 45-35 loss to Amherst in 2002.
Senior cornerback Paul Whiting led the Jeff defense with three interceptions and earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors with Ladd, Jason Wagstaff ’05, left guard Shane Morrow ’04 and linebacker Dan McNamara ’04. Whiting and Ladd also received Academic All-America Honors.
Sixth-seeded Wesleyan University upset the third-seeded Jeffs in a penalty kick thriller in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs, ending an excellent 10-3-2 season for the Jeffs.
Amherst took an early lead against Wesleyan on a header from quad-captain midfielder Tim Canon ’04, and held that lead late into the second half. With a little over 10 minutes left, just as it looked like Amherst would be able to hold off Cardinal pressure, Wesleyan tied up the game.
The match went into penalty kicks after neither team was able to score in two 10-minute overtimes. Wesleyan finally prevailed in the ninth round of sudden death penalty kicks.
Despite the loss, Amherst’s season was highlighted by wins over Trinity and Bowdoin Colleges and Tufts University. The Jeffs were regularly in the national rankings, topping out at seventh in the nation in early October. Quad-captain forward Frank Perry ’04 was named First-Team All-NESCAC and Second-Team NSCAA All-America, and Canon and quad-captain defender Mike York ’04 received Second-Team All-NESCAC honors.
Improving on a disappointing 2002 campaign, field hockey went 11-5 (6-3) and advanced to the NESCAC semifinals before bowing out to the nation’s top team, NCAA Tournament finalist Middlebury College.
Amherst started the season on a six-game winning streak, highlighted by wins over NESCAC foes Tufts University and Bates and Bowdoin Colleges. The 2-1 win over Bowdoin was one of the high points of the season; led by the goalkeeping of K.C. Cosentino ’05, Amherst came back from a 1-0 deficit to send the game into overtime, and managed to pull it out in the extra period. First-year Rachel Carr-Harris scored the game-winner, deflecting a pass from co-captain Christine Ryan ’04 into the goal to upset the fifth-ranked and then-undefeated Polar Bears.
Amherst faced fifth-seeded Colby College in the first round of the playoffs, and battled the White Mules to a standstill for most of the contest. The Jeffs’ defense was stifling, as Cosentino only had to make one save in the whole game. With the scoreboard flashing zeroes and just over seven minutes remaining, junior Erin Leydon scored her fifth goal of the season to give Amherst the victory and a date with Middlebury, which ended in a 3-0 loss.
Senior co-captains Ryan and Molly Jacobs were named First-Team All-NESCAC, and both were placed on several All-American teams.
First-year outside hitter and NESCAC Rookie of the Year Kristin Quinn joined volleyball’s formidable trio of co-captain middle hitter Lauren Wong ’04, co-captain outside hitter Jess Allen ’04 and setter Annie Hoeksma ’05 to lead the Jeffs to a 25-8 record and a number-four seed in the NESCAC playoffs.
Amherst posted winning streaks of six, seven and 10 games and a 7-3 NESCAC mark before rallying from a two-set deficit to oust fifth-seeded Tufts University in the first round of the playoffs. Coming off their spirited victory over Tufts, the Jeffs fell in three games to an unstoppable Williams squad which had defeated them twice during the regular season.
During the regular season, the Jeffs won the Western New England College (WNEC) Invitational and dominated the Amherst and Wesleyan Invitationals. In fact, the Jeffs were 23-3 on the season and ranked fifth in New England before hitting a late-season slump, dropping four straight and three to NESCAC rivals before righting themselves for the playoffs.
Hoeksma and Wong took home First-Team All-NESCAC honors. Quinn led Amherst with 327 kills on the way to her Rookie of the Year accolades and a spot on the New England Women’s Volleyball Association’s (NEWVA) All-New England Second-Team. Wong received Honorable Mention All-New England.
The men had a strong fall season highlighted by second-place finishes at the NESCAC Championship Tournament and the Western New England College (WNEC) Invitational. First-year Sean Jules and junior Mike Valentine finished third and fifth, respectively, and earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors to lead Amherst to second place at NESCACs. Jules also led Amherst at WNEC, finishing third overall, followed by junior captain Justin Sharaf, who came in eighth. The low round of the fall came from David Litt ’06, who shot 73-80-153 in the first tournament of the season.
The women compiled a solid fall season highlighted by a win at the Wellesley Invitational Oct. 4-5. The Jeffs shot 672 over two days, an astounding 46 strokes ahead of the runner-up host team. Senior Kathryn Kuchefski finished first overall (78-77-155), Emily Foran ’05 placed fourth (86-84-170) and captain Meg Sullivan ’05 (88-84-172) took fifth to lead the Jeffs.
The women’s team completed a strong fall season from start to end, beginning the year with three wins and ending with a second-place finish at the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament. Kristen Raverta ’06 led Amherst at New Englands, winning her singles flight and teaming with senior captain Wallis Molchen to win at flight-three doubles.
The Jeffs went 5-1 in dual matches, losing only to Williams College in a tight 4-5 match. The individual highlight of the season came from junior Rachel Holt, who was the runner-up in the Omni ITA New England Championship Tournament.
The men’s team had a short but successful fall, going 2-1 in dual matches and winning the ECAC North Championships. The Jeffs swept five of six singles flights at ECACs and won one doubles flight, led by straight-set victories at first, third and fifth singles by sophomore trio Josh Rilla, Danny Babkes and Jon Godsall.
In addition, Rilla advanced to the semifinals at the Omni ITA New England Men’s Tennis Championships.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams completed their best season in recent memory as the men qualified for the NCAA Div. III National Championships for the first time ever and the women placed fifth nationally at the same meet.
Both teams won the season-opening Amherst Invitational, with Matt Katz ’05 and co-captains Mike Page ’05 and John Stanton-Geddes ’04 finishing one-two-three for the men.
The women were led by the trio of Aly Venti ’04, Carter Hamill ’05 and Shauneen Garrahan ’07. Venti and Garrahan won a pair of meets apiece. Garrahan was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year and Outstanding Performer at the NESCAC Championships after finishing first. Hamill saved her best performance for Nationals, where she finished fourth overall. Garrahan came in 10th in her first NCAA Championship.