Jeffs Battle Colby to 0-0 Double-Overtime Stalemate

AMHERST, MA - The second-seeded Amherst College women's soccer team battled visiting seventh-seeded Colby College to a 0-0 double-overtime stalemate in the first round of NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament action on Sunday afternoon. The Mules advanced to the semifinals on penalty kicks, 4-3.

The first half was marked by a physical battle for possession in the middle of the field with very few legitimate scoring opportunities. Amherst saw the frame's best chance when junior midfielder Lesley Pruzansky (Saratoga, CA) carried a ball up the right side and sent a low cross onto the foot of rookie striker Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, VA), but Colby junior netminder Liza Benson (Orchid, FL) came up with a big save to keep the game scoreless heading into the break.

The Jeffs turned up the heat in the second stanza, outshooting the Mules 7-0, and nearly notched the game-winner when first-year Natalie Ferraiolo (Palo Alto, CA) fired a shot past Benson, but a Colby defender managed to get a foot on the ball at the goal-line and deflect it wide. Benson came up with three of her four saves on the day in the period to keep the count knotted and send the game to overtime.

Neither team mustered a shot in the extra frames and the game ended in a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes of scoreless play, and the teams moved to a penalty kick shootout to determine who would advance to next week's semifinal game at Tufts University. The Jeffs jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the shootout, but Benson posted two clutch saves to breathe new life into the Mules. Sophomore Katie McCabe (Watertown, CT) netted the decisive penalty for Colby, rocketing a right-footed blast into the upper right corner of the net to secure the Mules' semifinal berth.

Amherst junior goalkeeper Piper Crowell (San Rafael, CA) posted four saves on the day, as the Jeffs move to 8-3-3 and await word of a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while the Mules moved to 7-2-5 and advance to meet Tufts next Saturday at 11 a.m.