Women’s soccer faced two strong NESCAC opponents this weekend, coming out on top against rival Williams before tying Middlebury.
The Mammoths hosted the Ephs on Saturday, Oct. 2., winning a double overtime thriller by a score of 1-0. The game, a nail-biter from start to finish, was the team’s first win against Williams in six years.
Amherst dominated the entire match, but stellar play from Eph senior goalie Chelsea Taylor kept Mammoth scoring in regulation. In the game, Taylor recorded a NESCAC conference and season-high 17 saves, with Williams also recording one team save. The Mammoths more than tripled the amount of shots taken by Williams, taking 28 shots (19 on goal) to the Ephs nine (five on goal). However, despite many offensive opportunities on both ends, the game remained scoreless through the first 100 minutes.
Ralph played a ball over the top of Williams defense, and Kum beat her defender to the ball, fired a shot to the bottom right of the net, and scored to end the intense battle.
“We were right on the cusp of scoring at times and could just not find the back of the net,” forward Alexa Juarez ’23E said. “But, we kept calm, continued to play our game, fought super hard, and finally, we were able to get the result we wanted.”
After the goal, the crowd, which consisted of over a hundred students watching from the hill of Hitchcock Field, erupted. As the fans started to celebrate, the entire team sprinted uphill, resulting in a mosh pit of exhilarated athletes and fans.
Defender Charlotte Huang ’25 spoke about the win and the celebration, “It was [so] fun playing in the Amherst-Williams rivalry game. [...] We all worked so hard for each other throughout the game, and winning in overtime was one of the best feelings ever: it might have been one of my favorite moments in college so far.”
Jack Trent ’23, a fan who ended up in the center of the celebration, said that he couldn’t have scripted a better finish against the Mammoths’ bitter rivals. “The environment was one of the most exciting sports environments I've ever been a part of, [it was an] amazing experience to be a fan there,” recalled Trent.
However, the team didn’t have time to rest on their historic victory. The Mammoths headed to Vermont within hours of the win to face the Panthers, where the results were not exactly what the team had envisioned.
“Even though we tied,” Juarez said, “that result felt a little disappointing because we definitely had the most chances to win and we just played so hard throughout the entire game.”
Both teams had solid chances at goal, but were unsuccessful in finding the back of the net. Most notably, the Mammoths had two one-on-one chances at goal in the last six minutes of regulation that came mere inches from winning them the game. Middlebury also had some solid chances throughout the entirety of the game, notably during the second half when a shot hit the crossbar. The two overtimes were also uneventful, as the coveted golden goal did not come for either team. The Panthers took 17 shots in the game, while the Mammoths took 11 shots. However, the Mammoths led in corner kicks, 6-2.
Though this weekends’ results were mixed, the team is excited for the rest of the season.
“This team is super special and I really think we have a chance to win NESCACs again and even the National Championship,” Juarez said. “Comparing the team now to previous years, I can tell that we have a championship-caliber team and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season shakes up.”
The Mammoths will head to Wesleyan University on Saturday, Oct. 9, where they look to defeat the currently undefeated Cardinals. Then, on Sunday, Oct. 10, the Mammoths will host Bates to try to clinch another victory.