AMHERST, Mass. – The No. 14 Amherst women's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after they marked a 3-0 win over Lesley University in the first round of competition on Saturday night at Gooding Field.
Three different Mammoths contributed to the scoring on the night as they surpassed the Lynx after the start-time was moved from 11:00 AM on Hitchcock Field to 5:00 PM on Gooding Field due to unfavorable weather.
The Purple & White came out firing after the opening whistle, led by Alexa Juarez '22 who's header in the first thirty seconds put the Lynx goalkeeper on her toes. Brittley Gaan ultimately made the easy save to keep the Mammoths off the board. NESCAC Player of the Year Rubii Tamen '19 backed up Juarez's opportunity with a well struck ball that flew just over the crossbar in the third minute.
Amherst was able to break through early as Caleigh Plaut '19 notched her fifth goal of the season, beating the keeper off of a pass from Tamen in the seventh minute of the game to put the Mammoths up 1-0. The Purple & White never looked back from there as they accrued two more unanswered goals to propel themselves into the next round of action.
First-year Ruby Hastie '22 concluded the first half scoring for the Purple & White as Claire Nam '21 pushed up the right side, crossing it into the box for Hastie who snuck it by the keeper in the bottom left corner of the net, marking her second career goal for Amherst.
The final score of the match came off of a quick turn by Juarez at midfield to separate herself from her defender. She looked up and placed a perfect leading pass to Natalie Landau who split the gap between two defenders, and was able to pocket the ball into the bottom left corner of the net with composure.
The best opportunity for the Lynx came just after halftime as a high arching shot by Claire Hounslow took a tricky bounce, forcing Amherst goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro '21 to retreat to the goal line and reach out to grab it before it settled in the back of the net.
The Mammoth backline maintained their dominant presence as they thwarted Lesley's attack and held them to only two shots over the course of the entire match. Today's shutout win marked the 14th on the year for the Purple & White.
Tammaro finished the day saving both shots that she faced, improving her season record to 10-1-2. Gaan marked nine saves on the night, ending her junior season with a record of 10-2.
With the win, Amherst moves to 14-2-2 this season while the Lynx finished their 2018 campaign with a record of 16-5. The Mammoths advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they are set to take on No. 21 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) tomorrow night at 7:00 PM on Gooding Field.
In October 2018, Amherst proudly recognized Ted W. Beneski '78, P'08 and Laurie M. Beneski P'08 for their extraordinary generosity and commitment to the College by naming the men's and women's soccer program in their honor. The College's naming of the Beneski Soccer Program celebrates the Beneskis' love for Amherst athletics and their longstanding investment in helping Amherst students excel as learners, as players and teammates, and as citizens.