CLINTON, N.Y. – The Mammoths got back into striking distance with 14 minutes remaining in regulation, however two quick scores by the Continentals stifled the comeback effort as the No. 17 Amherst College field hockey team fell to No. 19 Hamilton College, 4-1 Saturday afternoon at Goodfriend Field.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 2-2 on the year and to 0-2 in NESCAC action, while Hamilton improves to 2-2 overall (1-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 17 when they host No. 20 Endicott in a midweek clash under the lights at Gooding Field. First whistle is slated for 7 PM.
Getting on the board early, the Continentals needed just 1:17 to take a 1-0 edge. Executing on the first penalty corner opportunity of the contest, Cat Donahue drove Sarah Pierpont's insertion pass into the bottom right corner with Michaela Giuttari screening the Amherst keeper.
Doubling their advantage in the 16th minute, Maddie Beitler made it 2-0 in favor of the home team with an unassisted effort. After clearing the ball out of the arc and escaping the initial danger of a Hamilton corner, a 20-yard shot from Maura Holden forced a save from Emilie Flamme '20 before the ball popped out of the ensuing scrum and to Beitler on the right post for the score.
Amherst's best chance in the hard-fought opening half that saw the sides each take five shots and the Mammoths own a 4-2 edge in corners came with 16 seconds remaining. Redirecting a ball from the right side, Kiera Alventosa '21 connected with Franny Daniels '21 just below penalty hash who sent a quick shot on target from point blank range, however Maggie Reville came up with the big stop and the Continentals' defense thwarted two subsequent corner attempts to keep the visitors scoreless at intermission.
Breaking through 1:14 into the fourth quarter, sophomore Beth Williamson netted her team-leading third goal of the season to cut the Hamilton lead to 2-1. Setting up at the top of the arc for an Amherst corner, Williamson gathered Laura Schwartzman insertion dish and powered a shot off the stick of a defender and into the bottom right corner.
Responding twice over the next 10 minutes of play to stomp out the Mammoths' comeback effort, Tracey Stafford and Maura Holden found nylon at the 53:44 and 56:44 marks, respectively, to lift the Continentals to the 4-1 win.
In between the pipes, Flamme (2-2) recorded six saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Reville (2-2) racked up six stops for Hamilton in the win.
Sage Geyer '22 and Williamson led the contest with five shot attempts each, while the Mammoths held the advantage in both shots, 17-11, and penalty corners, 14-5, on the day.