Field Hockey Falls To Amherst

September 18, 2011

Middlebury dropped its first game of the season as they fell 3-1 at Amherst on Sunday afternoon. Katie McMahon netted a pair of second-half goals to propel the Jeffs to the win over the seventh-ranked Panthers on Gooding Field.

Having earned just their third victory over the Panthers in the last decade, Amherst improved to 3-0 in 2011 with a pair of wins over ranked opponents, while the Panthers fell to 2-1 on the season.

Looking to set the tone early, Amherst outshot Middlebury 4-1 over the game’s first nine minutes. McMahon nearly put the Lord Jeffs on the board at 8:43, but the Panthers’ Elinore O’Brien made a defensive save at the goal line to keep things scoreless.

Amherst would break through moments later however, when Alex Philie linked up with Carly Dudzik who fired a shot from the top of the circle following a penalty corner into the left side of the goal.

Dudzik and Madeline Tank almost put Amherst on top by two just shy of the 14th minute, putting consecutive shots on net, but Middlebury senior goalkeeper Becca Shaw turned away both tries to keep the Panthers within one.

Hoping to build some momentum, the Panthers went on the offensive, switching fields and registering three quick shots in search of the equalizer. In the 21st minute, Panther midfielder Catherine Fowler fired a shot that got blocked down near the front of the Amherst goal. With the ball loose, an alert Elinore O’Brien turned and got a stick on it, sliding it into the right side of the Lord Jeff goal to knot things up at one heading into the intermission.

Middlebury’s Lauren Greer registered the game’s first shot coming out of the break, finding some space following a penalty corner, but Amherst Rachel Tannenbaum came up big, kicking away the attempt.

The Lord Jeffs responded by regaining possession and pushing the tempo, winning six penalty corners over the next 15 minutes of action, with Dudizk registering three shots on goal over that span.

Coming out of another penalty corner just short of the 61st minute, Philie got a shot blocked in front of the Middlebury goal. Krista Zsitvay tracked down the loose ball, finding an open McMahon who put away Amherst’s go-ahead score. Just 3:32 later, McMahon again found herself in the right place at the right time, getting a stick on a loose ball in front of the Panthers’ net before tucking in the game’s third tally.

Amherst, which held a 21-8 advantage in penalty corners and a 22-10 edge in shots, did not allow a Middlebury shot over the final 27:59 en route to the victory. Shaw finished with nine saves, while Tannenbaum made five stops to earn her third collegiate victory.