After winning NESCACs, the women’s soccer team finally began their NCAA tournament run this past weekend.
In the first round, the Mammoths faced the Mariners from Maine Maritime Academy. Amherst was on the front foot from the beginning of the game, eventually paying off with a clean cross into the box from Alyssa Huynh ’25 and an easy finish into the back post by Abby Schwartz ’25E. While the momentum was still on the Mammoths’ side, they only built upon their lead at the 33rd minute. The ball flew around in a chaos of shots and touches in the box and then suddenly found itself at Huynh’s foot for a simple tap-in. Huynh’s aggression did not stop there, however. She attempted a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box with such power that though it was initially saved, the Mariners goalie was unable to retain possession of the ball, and Fiona Bernet ’25 was able to find the ball, slotting it in the back of the net from point-blank range. The 3-0 score at halftime doesn’t do justice to Amherst’s dominance. They lead the shot count 21-2. And in the second half, the aggression only continued with a similar shot count of 23-2. Liza Katz ’25E netted herself a goal through an off-balance finish in the 67th minute, and a beautiful assist that lobbed the ball over the defense so that Carter Hollingsworth ’25 could complete the 5-0 victory.
The second round matchup against Rochester Institute of Technology proved to be just as comfortable for Amherst. Within the first ten minutes, they already had six shots including a goal. Patience Kum’s ’25 neat cross found an unmarked Schwartz for a controlled touch and powerful finish into the top left corner of the goal. At the 21st minute, Bernet, again, found herself with the ball at her feet, after a saved header from Kum, and punched into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. On the defensive side of the ball, goalkeeper Mika Fisher ’25E showcased her prowess with key saves in the 30th minute and a series of crucial stops in the second half. Although the Tigers were able to score in the last two minutes of the game, Huynh had already iced the game in the 71st minute with a header following Bernet’s free kick neatly crossed into the box for a 3-1 win.
The two victories should only reinforce Amherst’s confidence going into the round of 16 against Messiah University this weekend.
The men’s soccer team also faced their first two opponents of the NCAA tournament this past weekend.
Their first game was against SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who were 13-6-1 coming into the tournament. The Mammoths scored first off a counter-attack in the 24th minute. Ioannis Hadjiyiannis ’26 flew down the right wing, and played a perfect through ball to Luka Ohadike ’27 who was making a run of his own to Hadjiyiannis’ left. Ohadike took a touch and struck his foot across the ball, driving right into the top left corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. The Mammoths only built upon their first goal at the start of the second half. Ryan Gomez ’25 found Shawn Rapal ’24E off of a low corner, for a one-time finish at the near post. Though the defense scored an own goal by messing up a clearance, they, overall, followed a really solid game plan, and almost completely shut down the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s attack, ending in a 2-1 final score.
The second game, against Stevens Institute of Technology, was more tense. Though Amherst led the shot count 25-7 and the corner count 12-3, neither team was able to score during regulation. One of those corners came at the 89th minute where Mohammed Nuhu ’27 found Wyatt McCarthy ’24’s cross for a header that almost snuck in under the crossbar, but the Ducks goalie was able to swat it away just in time. Ducks goalie Justin Cross saved 10 of Amherst’s shots on target, and was the only reason the Mammoths couldn’t finish the game in regulation. In overtime, however, both teams had chances, but an Amherst throw-in at the 96th minute proved to be the difference. The throw-in into the box led to a flurry of Mammoth shots that kept hitting defenders until McCarthy was able to pass the ball out of the box to an open Declan Sung ’24E, for a powerful finish into the back of the net.
The team will face Occidental College this Saturday in the tournament’s round of 16.
The men’s basketball team hosted their season opener against Anna Maria College this past Friday. The Mammoths went on an early 18-3 run to start the game, and held onto their lead to end the first half 52-34. Their hot start, illustrated by shooting 31.25 percent from three, and 50 percent from the field, completely collapsed in the second half. They shot 0-12 in the entire second half. Although some easy buckets and an absurd 62-38 rebound differential allowed Amherst to maintain a 20 point lead with eight minutes left in fourth, with the Amcats heating up, the lead suddenly disappeared and the Mammoths were down two points before their final possession. Chris Hammond ’26 was able to find Ryker Vance ’25 for a simple layup to tie the game, but the effort proved to be futile as Anna Maria secured the comeback 82-79 during overtime.
The women’s basketball team also held their season opener against Gordon College on Tuesday. The Mammoths immediately jumped to a 25-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, and held onto that lead the entire game, in their 73-47 victory. Although the shooting percentages and rebounding totals were tied throughout, Amherst was able to win the game in transition, getting way more shots up than Gordon due to their ability to create turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. By the end of the game, the turnover differential was 26-15 leading to 20 points being scored during fast breaks while Gordon scored none. With 20 team assists, it was pretty clear that Amherst played extremely team-oriented fundamental basketball that one must be excited about what’s to come this season.
In the last game of the season, the Mammoths won a riveting Homecoming game against their arch-rivals from Williamstown — their first victory against the Ephs since 2018. From the beginning, three consecutive plays made it clear that Amherst would have a good day. Williams successfully marched 72 yards all the way down to the Amherst 8-yard line, but, on 3rd and 3, Ephs Quarterback Owen McHugh’s pass was intercepted by Christian Moore ’27 and returned 72 yards all the way back to the Williams 20-yard line. Without hesitation, Mike Piazza ’24 found tight end Michael Quartermain ’26 for a quick screen 2 yards off the line of scrimmage, and he was able to get all the way to the end zone for the first score of the game, making 7-0. On the third consecutive play, Williams found themselves in an even deeper hole as defensive back Luke Harmon ’26 was able to poke out the ball from a Williams receiver, only for Moore to recover the fumble and take it all the way to the house. The 14-0 lead quickly disappeared by the third quarter, but Piazza was able to lead a game-winning drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter by finding Carter Jung ’26 for 43-yard gain, and eventually a 2-yard touchdown reception. Although Williams tried to tie the score back up, the defensive effort stepped up, ending the Mammoths season 4-5 but with a massive 21-14 win over Williams.