Williams falls 5-3 to rival Amherst

Williams falls 5-3 to rival Amherst

AMHERST, MA – The Williams College field hockey team (3-3; NESCAC 1-2) fell to NESCAC-rival Amherst College (4-2; NESCAC 1-2) 5-3 in an exciting back and forth game. Mary Margaret Stoll and Sara Culhane of Amherst led their team scoring two goals each.


Amherst started the game off strong with maintained possession and pressure, which sparked momentum and offensive chances. Williams was forced to spend much of the half in their defensive end, which resulted in significantly more penalty corners for Amherst. 11:22 into the game, Amherst was able to strike just several minutes after receiving their second penalty corner of the game. Senior, Mary Margaret Stoll got the ball inside the circle and took a shot sending it straight to the back of the net. This goal was Stoll's 4th of the season.


Amherst kept up the pressure for much of the half, but Williams was able to create and capitalize on the few offensive opportunities that they had. 27:56 into the first half, Alex Bennett ran the ball up the field on the left side. Off the fast break, she centered the ball to sophomore, Libby Dolan, who received the pass inside the circle and took a shot directly behind Amherst's goalie, Emily Horwitz.


Minutes later, Amherst responded with another goal to re-take the lead. At 32:05, after Amherst had been controlling the ball in the Williams defensive end, Shannon Tierney got the ball towards the top of the circle. She wound up and drove the ball towards the goal deflecting off an Eph defenseman before finding it's way to the back of the cage.


The end of the half remained exciting as Williams refused to let down. Eph goalie, Margaret Draper made two consecutive saves with less than a minute and a half left in the first half, which allowed Williams to obtain possession and quickly move the ball up field. At the 34:19 mark, Alex Bennett received the ball inside the circle and blasted a shot past Horwitz to tie the game at 2.


With the two late Williams goals in the first half, the Ephs were able to carry that momentum with them into the second. Neither team was able to score for almost fifteen minutes, but then Williams struck again to take the lead for the first time in the game. Off of a penalty corner, Hannah Goodrick inserted the ball to Kit Rosen, who made a quick pass to Meredith Wright. Wright drove the ball through the Amherst defense and connected with the back of the net at 49:51.


Despite this burst of offensive control, Williams' lead did not last long as Amherst responded less than a minute later. At 50:47, Amherst first year Laura Schwartzman carried the ball into the circle and passed it over to senior, Sara Culhane. Culhane collected the ball and sent a shot directly into the goal tying the game at 3.


Both teams battled hard for the next ten minutes, but it would be Amherst who would get on the scoreboard once again. Draper made two back-to-back saves on Elizabeth Turnbull and Kendall Codey's shots, but the defense was unable to clear the rebound. At 61:54, Mary Margaret Stoll picked up the rebound and sent the ball on net, which Draper was unable to stop.


Minutes later, Amherst tallied another goal to secure the lead. Off of a penalty corner, Mary Grace Cronin inserted the ball to teammate, Caroline Fiore, who was standing at the top of the circle. Fiore got the ball and made a quick pass to Culhane, who's shot went past the Williams defense and into the cage. This goal marked Culhane's second of the game.


In this 5-3 loss, the Ephs ended the game with 7 shots on goal and 4 penalty corners compared to Amherst's 16 shots on goal and 11 penalty corners. Margaret Draper made 10 saves and Caroline Taverna had one defensive save for the Ephs and Emily Horwitz made 3 saves and Kendall Codey had one defensive save for Amherst.

"We fought hard and scored 3 impressive goals, but struggled in transition allowing the big hits to get through layers of defense," commented Ephs head coach, Alix Barrale. "We faded in the last 10 minutes and Amherst took advantage and scored two goals to seal the win. Amherst is a powerful and determined opponent, who ultimately outplayed us when it mattered. Every game we are improving, but need to work on our consistency. We have to play with a 100% effort and focus for 70 full minutes."

Williams will travel to Bates tomorrow for a conference game at 1pm.