No. 16 Mammoths Drop Overtime Nail-Biter to No. 3 Tufts, 3-2

No. 16 Mammoths Drop Overtime Nail-Biter to No. 3 Tufts, 3-2

MEDFORD, Mass. – Never trailing until the Jumbos' game-winner, the Mammoths suffered a heartbreaker at Ounjian Field despite making the most of their two shots on net, as the No. 16 Amherst College field hockey team was edged by No. 3 Tufts University, 3-2 Saturday afternoon in overtime.

With the setback, Amherst falls to 4-3 on the season and to 1-3 in conference play, while Tufts improves to 7-0 overall (4-0 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 2 when they travel to Connecticut College for a 6:30 p.m. conference bout. 

Putting the pressure on early, the Mammoths jumped out to a 1-0 lead 12:24 into the battle as senior Kendall Codey blasted a shot past the Tufts' keeper following a penalty corner to tally her fifth goal of the season.

Returning the favor just before the break, Rachel Hamilton capitalized on a corner opportunity for her third score of the fall – finding nylon with 38 seconds on the clock to deadlock the contest at one all heading into intermission. Sophie Schoeni was credited with the assist.

After a quiet start to the second half saw back-and-forth play between the sides, Franny Daniels '21 put the visitors back out ahead, 2-1 in the 46th minute. Setting up the scoring play, Laura Schwartzman '20 stole the ball from a defender 30 yards out from net and sent a dish to Natalie Hobbs '22 in the middle of the field who hit Daniels with a pass on the right side.

Cutting back on a Jumbo near the end-line to gain space, Daniels sent a highlight reel reverse shot into the far left corner.

This time the Mammoths lead didn't last for long as Gigi Tutoni registered the equalizer less than five minutes later. Positioning herself in front of the Amherst keeper, Tutoni reached above her head and batted down a shot that had been deflected high into the air over the goal line.

Pushing the game to overtime after 20 minutes of scoreless action, Tufts clinched the win at the 71:51 mark. Racing towards frame on a 2-v-1, Katie Savage '19 was able to handle the initial shot by the Jumbos' Hamilton, however the rebound found its way right to Tutoni who buried the game-winner past the diving Mammoth keeper.

In between the pipes, Savage (4-3) recorded seven saves in the losing effort for Amherst, while Emily Polinski (7-0) went without a stop for Tufts in the win. 

Tufts owned a 26-2 edge in shot attempts and 8-1 advantage in penalty corners, while each side was awarded two green cards and a yellow card in the competitive and physical matchup.