AMHERST, Mass. – The Purple & White found the back of the net four times in the first half and three times in the second, as the No. 10 Amherst College field hockey team defeated non-conference opponent Smith College, 7-2 Wednesday evening at Gooding Field.
With the win, Amherst improves to 10-3 on the season, while Smith falls to 8-7 overall. Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 22 when they travel to Little III rival Wesleyan for a 12 p.m. conference tilt, while the Pioneers take on Springfield College at home on Oct. 22 beginning at 12 p.m.
Converting on Amherst's second shot of the game, senior Sara Culhane made it a 1-0 contest 6:58 into the matchup. Taking advantage of a scrum in front of the goal following a shot by Mary Margaret Stoll '18, Culhane found the ball and made a move around a defender before driving a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Culhane nearly gave the Purple & White a two-goal edge just under a minute later as she got behind the Smith defense and collected a pass inside the top of the circle. Racing towards net with a breakaway opportunity, Pioneer goalkeeper Cameo Tietje proved up to the task, as she met Culhane near the penalty stroke hash and smothered the shot attempt.
Tietje made another clutch save with 11:53 remaining in the first half to keep the Pioneer deficit at one, stopping a penalty stroke attempt by Caroline Fiore '18.
Undeterred, Amherst doubled their lead at the 24:35 mark as first-year Heather Brennan tallied her third goal of the season. Gaining positioning in the center of the circle, Brennan tipped a shot attempt by Culhane over the goal line.
Culhane and Brennan teamed up again seven minutes later to extend the Purple & White's lead to three as Culhane gathered a pass five yards out and quickly turned and put a shot on net that beat Tietje low left side.
Recording her third goal of the first half with 2:10 remaining, Culhane netted her third hat trick of the season, one timing a pass from Stoll into the nylon.
Making the most of their sole shot on goal of the opening half, Smith made it a 4-1 contest with 54.1 seconds on the clock. Corralling a corner insertion pass from Julia Hamilton at the top left of the circle, Bayleigh Bogan tucked a low, hard shot just inside the near post.
Four goals were scored in a back-and-forth second half that saw 19 shots taken between the sides.
Finding the ball in a scrum in front of the goal, Caroline Fiore '18 made it a 5-1 game with 17:12 on the clock as she ripped a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
Brennan tallied her second goal of the game in the 59th minute, corralling a short pass from Culhane on the right side of the goal and sending a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
Smith struck back less than a minute later as Mariah Ollive gathered a corner insertion pass and ripped a shot towards goal. Positioned on the left side of the net, Julia Hamilton tipped the attempt over the goal line.
Shannon Tierney '19 netted the game's final goal and her second of the season with 2:39 remaining to help Amherst secure the 7-2 victory.
- Emily Horwitz '17 (7-2) registered two saves in the winning effort in between the pipes for Amherst, while Cameo Tietje (8-7) made 18 saves in the loss.
- Amherst owned a 33-6 advantage in shot differential, including a 19-1 edge in the first half, and a 10-6 advantage in penalty corner opportunities.
- Culhane led all players in the outing with ten shots, including nine shots on goal, while Fiore and Cronin each had four shots in the matchup.
- Bogan led Smith with two shots, while four other Pioneers took a shot each.