Photo Gallery (courtesy of Williams)
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The second-seeded Amherst College women's soccer team earned a 2-1 comeback victory over fourth-seeded Trinity College to earn the program's fourth NESCAC championship, and first since the 2011 season Sunday afternoon at Cole Field on the campus of top-seeded Williams College.
With the win, Amherst (15-2-1) garners the NESCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship and awaits its first round opponent which will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show Monday, Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. Click here to watch live. Trinity (11-4-3) finishes as the NESCAC runner-up, and awaits its tournament fate with a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Championship.
In the early stages of the contest, both teams combined for eight shots, as Amherst's Ashlyn Heller '17 fired an attempt just wide of the net, before Emily Hester '17 tested Trinity keeper Julia Pintino with a header that was saved to highlight the stretch for the Purple & White.
Trinity responded with pressure of its own as Andi Nicholson ripped a shot toward the far post that sailed just wide of the net. The Bantams regained possession through Nicholson who sent a pass to Laura Nee inside the 18-yard box. She then took a defender one-on-one, and fired a quick shot into the bottom left corner to give the Bantams a 1-0 edge at the 10:52 mark.
Looking to net an equalizer, Amherst tabbed eight more shots in the half, but couldn't level the score as Trinity's backline held strong to keep the Bantams' advantage at 1-0 at intermission.
Amherst finally broke through in the 52nd minute of play when Rubii Tamen '19 received a pass inside the 18-yard box from Hayley Roy '20, turned on the inside of the defender, and fired a shot eight-yards out into the back of the nylon for the equalizer.
With the score knotted at 1-1, Trinity looked for the go-ahead score as Nicholson corraled a long throw-in from Nicole Stauffer and ripped an effort toward goal, but her attempt drifted high and wide keeping the game even at 1-1 with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Two minutes later, the Purple & White had an opportunity to tally their second goal when Roy got her head on a set piece offering but was denied by a diving Pitino who was able to deflect the ball off target and keep the game tied at 1-1.
With just five minutes of action remaining, Sloan Askins '20 intercepted a pass in Trinity's defensive third of the field and sent the ball up the right wing where Hannah Guzzi '18 beat two defenders and sent a perfectly placed ball inside the 18-yard box. Emily Hester '17 was on the receiving end of Guzzi's feed and she deposited the ball into the back of the net for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
- Amherst held a 19-12 advantage in shots, while the Bantams held a 7-2 differential in corner kicks.
- Chelsea Cutler (14-2-1) registered three saves for the Purple & White, while Pitino (10-4-2) totaled five saves for the Bantams.
- Hester led all players in shots with six, including three attempts on frame while, Alison Neveu '18, Eden Charles '19, Roy and Tamen each added a shot on target.
- Taylor Kirchgessner and Nicholson led Trinity's offense in shots with four each. Nee added two shots with both attempts on goal.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst advanced to the NESCAC title game for the first since the 2011 season after falling the quarterfinal round in each of the last three seasons.
- The Purple & White have now won four NESCAC crowns, having also won the title in 2001, 2003 and most recently in 2011 before Saturday's victory over Trinity.
- Amherst is making its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament, and 16th overall since 1994, and currently owns a 26-10-5 overall mark in national postseason play
- The Purple & White have advanced to the national quarterfinals seven times (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2011); have secured two trips to the national semifinals (1996, 2001); and earned a spot in the national championship game in 2001.