This weekend was a busy one for the women’s soccer team, facing off against Hamilton College in their NESCAC home opener on Saturday, Sept. 18, followed by Keene State College on Sunday, Sept. 19.
Saturday’s game was well-matched: the Mammoths and Continentals started the second half scoreless. This would change when Hamilton sophomore Olivia Morrow broke the draw with a goal in the 78th minute of the game, but the Mammoths refused to let the score deter them. They continued to fight through the second half, dominating possession and keeping Hamilton on the defensive, taking eleven shots. Seniors Ruby Hastie ’22 and Kim Zhou ’22 and first-years Patience Kum ’25 and Carter Hollingsworth ’25 kept the Hamilton defense on their toes with multiple dangerous crosses and driven shots, but it was ultimately Alexa Juarez ’23E whose penalty kick with five minutes to go put Amherst back in the running. Despite their unrelenting fight, the Mammoths conceded a goal to the Continentals’ Riley Mutton during overtime, allowing Hamilton to take home the win. Goalkeeper Mika Fisher ’24 played an incredible game, despite the final score, finishing the game with four saves and moving her record to 3-1 on the season.
The match proved to be a tough loss for Amherst women’s soccer, who have historically dominated when playing Hamilton. However, instead of letting this defeat ruin their momentum, the team took to the field on Sunday with a renewed energy and determination that more than paid off. Right from the starting whistle, the Mammoths took control of the game, working well together as a team to create dangerous scoring opportunities for their midfielders and forwards.
Hastie led the charge for the Mammoths, tucking a right-footed shot inside the far post in the 19th minute, after an assist from Juarez. Amherst then scored two more goals in quick succession, the first by Natalie Landau ’22, then by Abby Schwartz ’24 in the twenty-second and twenty-third minutes, respectively. Landau impressively found the back of the net three more times in the second half over the course of only six minutes, with Kum scoring shortly after. Ally Deegan ’24’s 89th-minute goal marked her first collegiate score, and sealed the team’s dominating 8-0 win. However the Mammoth’s defense was also not to be ignored, with Fisher and the back line working together flawlessly to maintain a shutout against the Owls. Despite a long battle against the Continentals on Saturday, Amherst women’s soccer showed up with an energy and determination that will carry them through the rest of the season.
With nine first-years joining the team this year and almost two years without games, the Mammoths are sure to still be finding their groove, but they are already off to a great start. The team heads into the week with an impressive 4-1 record, and will face off against Connecticut College in New London on Saturday, Sept. 25.