Mammoths Fall to No. 7 Tufts, 3-2 in Senior Day Thriller

Mammoths Fall to No. 7 Tufts, 3-2 in Senior Day Thriller

AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths took the lead three minutes into the second half, however two quick scores by the Jumbos lifted the visitors to victory as the Amherst College field hockey team was edged by No. 7 Tufts University, 3-2 Saturday afternoon in a thriller on Senior Day.

With the loss, Amherst falls to 6-5 on the season and to 2-5 in league play, while Tufts improves to 8-2 overall (5-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 16 when they kick off a four-game road trip to close out the regular season with a 7PM bout at Five College rival Smith.

The Jumbos opened scoring 1:52 into play, with Gillian Roeca finding the back of the net to give the visitors an early edge. With action pushed to the right side following an Amherst clear on a corner, Marguerite Salamone collected the loose ball and hit Roeca in front of frame who quickly turned on her defender and sent a sweep shot over the goal line.

Responding 58 seconds later, Laura Schwartzman potted her fourth score of the fall to even things at one all. Diving to the turf to poke the ball away from Kiera Alventosa '21 racing towards the left post, the Jumbos keeper won the initial race, however the ball popped up into the air and towards Schwartzman who hit it out of midair and into the nylon.

Taking the lead 3:34 into the second half, Anna Agathis '21 capitalized on a dish from Beth Williamson '22 to give the home team a 2-1 edge. Winding up at the top of the arc after a corner insertion pass, Williamson's initial blast was blocked by a Jumbos defender, but the ball landed right back on the stick of Williamson who sent a pass to Agathis on the left post for the one-time score.

Deadlocking the sides once again, Salamone notched an unassisted tally for Tufts in the 40th minute to set the score at 2-2. Refusing to give up on the play following a save by the Mammoths' keeper and defensive stop by Grace Johnson '21 on her first two shots, Salamone third attempt while falling to the turf proved to be successful as it trickled over the line.

Keeping up the Jumbos momentum, Rachel Hamilton recorded what stood as the game-winner just over a minute later as she powered her own rebound into the bottom left corner.

Pulling their keeper with 4:19 remaining in regulation in a bid to net the equalizer late, a Mammoths' green card forced the goalie back into the net and Amherst was unable to put another shot on target as time wound down.

In between the pipes, Emilie Flamme '20 (6-5) registered five saves for Amherst in the loss, while Andie Stallman (8-2) made four stops for Tufts in the winning effort.

A back-and-forth battle filled with momentum runs by both sides, the Jumbos owned a slight advantage in shots (15-8), shots on goal (9-6) and penalty corner opportunities (6-2).

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Today's game marked Senior Day for the Mammoths who will graduate six seniors following the 2019 season, including: forward Heather Brennan, midfielder and captain Laura Schwartzman, defender and captain Olivia Henkoff, defender Elizabeth Sturley, defender Gretchen Zungailia, and goalkeeper Emilie Flamme. As a class, this year's seniors have compiled an overall mark of 37-22 to own a .638 winning percentage with an 18-19 record against NESCAC opponents and a 21-9 ledger at home. During that time, the Mammoths have outscored opponents 161 to 101 and have won three Little Three titles, qualified for three consecutive NESCAC Championship tournaments and compiled the third highest team GPA in all of Division III in 2018!