AMHERST, Mass. – No. 21 Amherst women's soccer is the first team this year to take points from the top-ranked defending national champions, Williams College, after a thrilling match that led into double overtime which saw the Mammoths accepting their first tie of the calendar year in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play on Saturday afternoon.
Today's game was the first Pride Match of the academic year for Amherst which is done in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches' Second Annual Play with Pride Week, an initiative developed in 2017 by United Soccer Coaches LGBT Coaches and Allies Member Group. Both teams wore rainbow shoelaces in today's matchup to show their support for athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations.
Williams women's soccer came into today's matchup undefeated through their first five games. "I was proud of our effort today. We had a plan and we executed. I thought we displayed great composure on the ball and did well both offensively to create opportunities and defensively to minimize their opportunities. This is a tremendous group of women, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish going forward." said Hughes after halting the Ephs winning streak.
The beginning of the game opened up strongly for the Mammoths as a corner kick from Natalie Landau '21 met the head of Jordan Bailey '22 which sailed just wide in the first three minutes of the game. A few minutes later, Hayley Roy '20 had a shot on net that was saved by Williams goalkeeper.
One of the best opportunities for the Ephs in the first half came from a remarkable scissor kick by Sophomore Victoria Laino that struck the crossbar and fell out of play.
Both sides battled over the course of regulation, eventually matching each other in total shots (12) after 90 minutes. The Mammoths distanced themselves in that category during both overtimes as they went on to finish with a total of 18, compared to the Ephs 14.
Amherst' Antonia Tammaro '21 finished with four saves on the day, where William's Olivia Barnhill finished with 11, making that her most saves in a game this season.
The Ephs edged the Mammoths in corner kicks as they finished with seven, Amherst finished with five.
After today's game, Amherst now moves to 4-1-1 (1-1-1 in NESCAC) on the season, Williams is now 5-0-1 (3-0-1 in NESCAC).
The Mammoths return to action tomorrow as they host New England College in a non-conference suit at Hitchcock Field at 2:00 PM. Williams College also returns to play tomorrow as they travel to take on Bates College at 12:00 PM in conference-play.
Coach Hughes: "I want to give a special thanks to all of our alums who supported us today. We had alums at the game and so many more here in spirit, who shared their thoughts through notes and videos. We played the game for them, and we hope we made them proud."