GILBERT, Ariz. – Sophomore defenders Beth Williamson and Sophia Kaplan of the Amherst College field hockey team continue to rake in the postseason honors after standout seasons on the Mammoths' back line with the duo each being named to the 2019 Longstreth / National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III All-New England West Region Teams, as recently announced by the organization.
Each making their first appearance on the All-Region squads, 32 total student-athletes were named All-New England West Region, with five forwards, five forward/midfielders, three midfielders, two defenders and a goalkeeper picking up First Team accolades and three forwards, four midfielders, six defenders, and one forward/midfielder, midfielder/defender and goalkeeper claiming Second Team distinction. NESCAC institutions dominated the annual voting process, capturing 24 selections overall.
Garnering a First Team nod, Williamson adds All-Region to her growing list of accolades after previously being named First Team All-NESCAC. One of two defenders to land on the First-Team, the Greenwich, Conn. native has started all 30 games she has suited up for in her first two seasons in the Pioneer Valley, including 14 starts this fall, en route to tying for the team lead in goals in 2019 (6) while dishing out four assists to rank second on the Mammoths in points and 23rd in the NESCAC with 16. Amassing a noteworthy 17.1 shot percentage, Williamson proved key on the Mammoths' penalty corner strategy while also acting as a shutdown defender with one defensive save on her resume this season.
Solidifying her spot as one of the region's most tenacious and respected defenders, Kaplan secures Second Team honors after earning Second Team All-Conference laurels earlier this fall. More than doubling her starts in the backfield compared to 2018, Kaplan's breakout sophomore season saw her become a mainstay on the Mammoths' back line, with the Wilton, Conn. native finishing the year as the lone Amherst defender to start all 15 possible contests. A stay-at-home defender, Kaplan's dependability on the defensive unit stood as a driving force behind the Mammoths holding opponents to a .140 shot percentage and a 1.57 goals against average (24 total goals allowed).
Dropping only one contest to a non-ranked team while fighting through the perennially tough NESCAC schedule, the Mammoths concluded the 2019 season with an 8-7 overall ledger.
Williamson, Kaplan Named Longstreth / NFHCA All-New England West Region