AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths got within one with 17:46 remaining, however they were unable to net the equalizer late as the Amherst College field hockey team was edged by top-ranked Middlebury College, 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Gooding Field.
With the loss, Amherst falls to 5-4 on the season and to 1-4 in league action, while Middlebury improves to 9-0 overall (5-0 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Saturday, Oct. 5 when they host Little III rival Wesleyan in a 11AM conference bout.
A closely contested first half saw both sides earn chances inside the circle with the teams combining for 11 shots and 12 penalty corners in the first 30 minutes of play.
Converting on their first corner opportunity of the day, Meg Fearey notched her third goal of the fall of a dish from Grace Murphy. Winding up at the top right of the circle after a pass across the arc, Erin Nicholas's shot was redirected by Murphy to Fearey on the far post for the one-touch score into an open net.
Looking to counter with 6:29 remaining before the break, back-to-back Amherst corners gave the home team a solid scoring chance as Sage Geyer's '22 blast from the left side was tipped on frame by Natalie Hobbs '22, however the Panthers' keeper proved up to the task as she registered the kick save.
Doubling the visitors' advantage with 7:16 on the clock in the third period, Emma Johns tallied a highlight reel goal with a helper from Nicholas. Cutting across the zone following a restart on the right side, Nicholas' shot was deflected high into the air by a Mammoths defender before Johns swatted the ball over the head of the Amherst goalie.
Responding five minutes later, junior Kiera Alventosa potted her second goal in as many days to get the Mammoths back within one entering the final quarter. Recording the assist on the goal, Natalie Hobbs '22 set up the score, weaving through defenders as she sprinted 40 yards downfield and forcing a restart just outside the top of the arc. Quickly restarting, Hobbs's shot on the run from the right side was redirected by Alventosa under the arm of the Middlebury keeper and into the opposite corner.
The Panthers owned the advantage in both shots and penalty corners in the matchup, 19-5 and 14-6, respectively.
In between the pipes, Emilie Flamme '20 (5-4) made nine saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Grace Harlan (9-0) posted one stop for Middlebury in the win.