Abbey Kays '25 Leads Way in 3-1 Victory Over Hamilton

Behind a stellar performance from midfielder Abbey Kays ’25, the field hockey team extended its perfect streak to begin the season with a 3-1 win over Hamilton College on Sept. 19.

The field hockey team continued its perfect start to the season at home against Hamilton College on Sept. 19. In a breakout game, midfielder Abbey Kays ’25 scored or assisted all three goals in a 3-1 Mammoth victory.

The win against the Continentals was Amherst’s fourth straight to begin the season. The Mammoths — ranked 15th in the nation in the most recent coaches poll — are now 2-0 in conference play, having previously beaten No. 7 Bowdoin.

The final score line perhaps understates the Mammoths’ dominance on the field. They outshot Hamilton 17-4, forcing Continentals goalkeeper Maggie Reville to make 10 saves in the losing effort.

Amherst controlled the early minutes of the game, with the team’s first breakthrough coming less than four minutes into the contest. Kays completed a one-touch pass to Muffie Mazambani ’24 near the penalty dot, whose low shot found the back of the net to put the team up 1-0.

Ten minutes later, Kays logged her second assist of the day, carrying the ball to the right side and firing a shot toward the net. Natalie Hobbs ’23 redirected the shot, beating the goalkeeper and doubling the Mammoths’ advantage.

Hamilton found an opening in the second quarter, but a kick save by goalkeeper Kaitlin Broda ’23 — one of two saves on the day — ensured that Amherst carried their 2-0 lead into halftime.

Five minutes into the second half, a tipped Hamilton shot found the back of the net. The Mammoths’ lead was back down to one.

However, Amherst’s precarious situation didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Kays carried the ball from the left side to the top of the circle, and buried a shot in the bottom left corner of the net.

The Mammoths held comfortably to their two-goal cushion for the rest of the contest, denying the Continentals a single shot in the fourth quarter.

Kays, who has started the first four games of the season as a first year, contributing 17 shots, two goals and two assists, says she pays little attention to statistics.

“I’m not a big stats person,” said Kays. “Even when you get a goal or an assist, it feels like it wasn’t just you. It’s a team effort.”

Kays attributes the team’s success to a welcoming culture that has brought together a large contingent of first years and the upperclassmen veterans — both on and off the field.

“After our first scrimmage, the team very clearly had a connection,” said Kays. “We could tell it was a special team this year.”

Head Coach Carol Knerr attributes her team’s success to a mix of upperclassmen experience, first year talent and overall confidence. These traits, she said, “have allowed us to set the tone early in each game we have played.”

The Mammoths will look to stay perfect at home against MIT today, Sept. 22, and away at Connecticut College on Saturday, Sept. 25 — their third NESCAC matchup of the season.