|Sophomore Kristin Wright made three saves in goal for the Jumbos
AMHERST - The Amherst College Lord Jeffs scored a goal in each half and gave the Tufts University Jumbos their first loss, 2-0, in NESCAC women's soccer action on Saturday afternoon at Hitchcock Field.
With the win, the 18th-ranked Lord Jeffs matched the best start in school history at 7-0-0 (5-0-0 NESCAC), while Tufts falls to 3-1-2 (2-1-1).
Hoping to get off to a fast start, an aggressive Tufts side won a pair of corners in the first five minutes of action, but the Amherst defense rose to the challenge, clearing both set pieces without allowing a shot on goal.
Amherst tried to generate some offense of their own in the 23rd minute when2 junior Kathryn Nathan (Pembroke, MA) played it forward to sohomore Chloe McKenzie '14 (Upper Marlboro, MD) on the left side. Tufts sophomore goalkeeper Kristin Wright (Austin, TX) responded by coming off her line, charging toward the top of the 18 and sliding to cover up the through-ball, smothering Amherst's early chance.
Continuing to push forward, Amherst generated another scoring opportunity when junior Emily Little (Sherborn, MA) tracked down a cross to the right side of the box. Moving toward goal, she tried to lift the ball over a diving Wright, who got a hand on the initial shot. An alert McKenzie corralled the rebound, heading it toward the Jumbo net, but a Tufts defender cleared it off the goal line to keep it scoreless.
Still searching for the game's first tally, a persistent Amherst attack created another chance in the 33rd minute, when a falling sophomore Sarah Duffy (Fairfield, CT) fired a shot that rattled off the Tufts crossbar. With a minute left in the half and the Lord Jeffs again going on the offensive, Tufts committed a critical error with a handball in the box. Presented with an opportunity to put Amherst ahead, Nathan calmly buried the ensuing penalty kick to stake Amherst to a 1-0 lead entering the intermission.
Trying to set the tone coming out of the break, the Jumbos won an early free-kick that led to senior Lauren O'Connor's (Dudley, MA) shot that prompted a save by Amherst senior keeper Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT). Making a run down the left side, Jumbo senior Laney Siegner (Chevy Chase, MD) sent a well placed cross toward the back post, finding sophomore Maeve Stewart (Palo Alto, CA). Tracking down the pass, Stewart pushed it toward the Amherst net, but a closing Horwitz made the stop to preserve the Lord Jeff lead. Less than a minute later, Tufts again served Stewart in the box, but she couldn't control her first touch, with Horwitz coming forward to stifle the Jumbos' threat.
Hoping to put Tufts away, Amherst moved into the attacking third with under eight minutes left on the clock. Playing on the far side, first year Mel Stier (Deerfield, MA) found sophomore Kate Sisk (Sudbury, MA) on the left side of the box. Turning toward goal, the sophomore midfielder slotted her second marker in as many games into the right corner while falling to the turf, sealing the Amherst win.
Horwitz finished with a pair of saves, while Wright and junior Phoebe Hanley (Mamaroneck, NY), who started the second half, each made three stops for the Jumbos in net.
The Jumbos were out-shot by the Lord Jeffs, 17-5.
Tufts is back in action on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm at home against Trinity.
Match release courtesy of Amherst College