The women’s soccer team took the arduous journey to Maine this past weekend for a pair of NESCAC showdowns against Bates and Colby. The Mammoths proved to be the superior mammals in both contests, defeating both the Bobcats and the Mules by identical 2-0 scores.
First on the schedule was the game against Bates, which was played on Saturday, Sept. 24, in Lewiston, Maine. The Mammoths set the tone for the weekend right from the opening kickoff against the Bobcats, controlling the pace of play and generating numerous scoring chances. Abby Schwartz ’24 put the Mammoths on the scoreboard first just 10 minutes in, capitalizing on a scrum in front of goal after a Mammoth corner kick and a shot from captain Alexa Juarez ’23E. The goal was her sixth of the year, which leads the Mammoths. Juarez doubled the Mammoths’ tally just 10 minutes later, weaving through traffic and rifling a shot from 22 yards out for her first goal of the season, extending the lead to 2-0. Throughout the game, the Mammoths constantly applied their trademark high-pressure defense to limit the Bobcats’ opportunities. In a game where 30-plus mile per hour winds dictated the flow of play, Amherst did not allow a single shot on goal for the entirety of the first half — the Mammoths finished with a lopsided 21 total shots (five on target) compared to only four total shots (two on target) for the Bobcats. This dominant defensive performance sealed the Mammoths’ second shutout in as many games.
The Mammoths then traveled even further north to Waterville to take on the Colby Mules on Sunday, Sept. 25. In what was essentially a repeat performance from the previous day, the Mammoths once again applied stifling pressure right from kickoff, jumping out in front with two early goals in the first half. Patience Kum ’25, who led the NESCAC in goals last season, scored her first of the season in the 20th minute. With much of the flair she employed while tearing up the NESCAC last year, Kum took a clinical first touch to beat one defender, then put the ball through the legs of the second, before finally burying the ball in the back of the net. Not to be outdone, Fiona Bernet ’25 followed her classmate up with her first goal of the season just 11 minutes later for a 2-0 Mammoth lead. After stepping up from her defensive center midfield position and deflecting a Mules’ pass straight into the air, Bernet beat not one, not two, but three Mules to a loose ball headed inside the 18-yard box by (Managing Sports Editor) Liza Katz ’24. Bernet converted the one-on-one opportunity against the Mules’ keeper with a beautiful one-touch finish, bagging the first goal of her collegiate career.
A much slower second half ensued, to be expected given it was the final half of both teams’ NESCAC doubleheader weekend. The last 45 minutes were characterized by a lack of chances for both sides, but the Mammoths saw out their two-goal victory and returned to Amherst with two important conference wins. Just like the day prior, they dominated in the shot department once again, outshooting the Mules 19 (14 on target) to six (five on target).
The win marks the Mammoths’ third consecutive shutout victory and brings their record to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the NESCAC. Up next for the Mammoths is a trip to Williamstown, Massachusetts, for their always-anticipated rivalry game against Williams on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.