Women’s Soccer Advances to NESCAC Semifinal
The women’s soccer team took down Connecticut College this past weekend in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC tournament, propelling them into the semifinals against Tufts.
Saturday, Oct. 29, was a big day at Amherst College. Not only was it the college’s Homecoming, but it was also the day of the quarterfinals of the 2022 NESCAC women’s soccer tournament, hosted on Hitchcock Field by our very own Mammoths. To set the scene: Crowds of students, past and present alike, flocked to the field to watch the No. 1-seeded Mammoths defend their stomping grounds against the (objectively less threatening) No. 8 seed Connecticut College Camels.
The game’s tension was palpable right from kickoff, as national-No. 8 Amherst kept the pressure high with multiple early possessions leading to corner kicks. While Fiona Bernet ’25 and Abby Schwartz ’24 were able to get their heads on those services into the box, they were unable to convert. Undeterred, the Purple and White continued to badger the Camels’ keeper with rapid-fire shots from Schwartz, Patience Kum ’25, and Brooke Ingemi ’26, but none were able to find the net. Meanwhile, the Amherst defense kept their guard up, only allowing one threat on their cage in the first half — a shot that the Camels sent wide of the goal.
The Mammoths found their breakthrough in the 35th minute: Schwartz beat her defender to the endline and found Sarah Sullivan ’23, who managed to send a one-touch finish past the Conn. keeper for Amherst’s first goal of the game. But as per usual, the high-achieving Mammoths were not satisfied with just a 1-0 lead — they made sure to keep the pressure high through the end of the first half, but were unable to convert on any other chances.
Amherst returned to the field for the second half with their spirits high and their energy higher. Ella Johnson ’26 and Charlotte Huang ’25 challenged the Conn. keeper with shots to start the half, setting the tone for what was to come. Shortly after, (Managing Sports Editor) Liza Katz ’24 brought the score to 2-0, winning a tackle against the Camels’ keeper before sending the ball into the open goal as the opening notes of the Mammoths’ classic celebratory goal song began again. The two teams battled back and forth for a few minutes, but another Amherst goal could not be prevented. In the 68th minute, Alyssa Huynh ’25 sent a corner kick into the box that dangerously bounced around before making its way to Huang. After a quick turn, she sent it flying past the keeper into the top left corner for her first career goal.
To the Camels’ credit, they tried their very best to stay in the game, with a shot on goal that Mika Fisher ’24 stopped easily. Try as they might, however, they were no match for the Mammoths, who took their eighth win in a row when the final whistle blew.
As the number one seed, the team will now host the rest of the tournament this coming weekend, with the Tufts Jumbos facing the Mammoths on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the NESCAC semifinals. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. If they win on Saturday, the Mammoths will face the winner of the other semifinal game, either Trinity or Wesleyan, in the Championship game on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12 p.m. As always, roll Hitchcock Field to support.