#11 Amherst Uses Overtime to Hold Off Field Hockey

#11 Amherst Uses Overtime to Hold Off Field Hockey

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Sept. 28, 2011) – For the second year in a row, the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team came up just short in its bid to upset nationally ranked Amherst College. After falling behind 3-1, the Lyons staged a dramatic comeback in the final minutes of regulation before eventually falling 4-3 in overtime. Junior forward Katie McMahon scored 8:26 into the extra session to seal things for the Lord Jeffs. They entered the contest ranked 11th in the latest NFHCA Division III National Poll.

Jess Fajardo Forwards Shara Robertson, Stephanie Slysz and Jess Fajardo recorded goals for Mount Holyoke, which saw its three-match winning streak come to an end.

After a scoreless first half, the teams erupted for six goals in a wild second period. The first five came off of penalty corner sets.

Amherst grabbed a 1-0 advantage at the 37:34 mark, when sophomore midfielder Alex Phillie took a short cross from McMahon and snapped a shot past senior goalkeeper Katie Gibson while falling to her knees.

Robertson evened things up with her team-leading 10th goal of the year five minutes later. The senior got the play started with an injection from the corner that made its way to first year midfielder Kirsten Kilburn at the top of the circle. Kilburn's shot attempt deflected to Fajardo, who found Robertson all alone on the left post.

The Lord Jeffs regained the lead at the 45:42 mark, when senior midfielder Carly Dudzik blasted a shot past Gibson from the top of the circle directly off an injection from McMahon.

They extended their cushion to 3-1 on a goal by sophomore forward Krista Zsitvay in the 52nd minute. Phillie was credited with the assist on the play after her pass found Zsitvay in the middle of the circle.

Refusing to go away, Mount Holyoke exploded for two goals over a span of 3:39 to tie things up.

The first came from Slysz, who took a long cross from first year midfielder Aurora Rougeau and slotted a shot past first year goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum from the left side.

Fajardo then knotted things at the 67:30 mark, when she redirected a Rougeau pass around Tannenbam. Her eighth goal of the season sent the contest to overtime.

Amherst controlled the majority of the extra session before McMahon's clinching goal in the 79th minute. After gaining possession on the right side, the junior dribbled around a Mount Holyoke defender and slid a shot past Gibson.

The Lord Jeffs finished advantages in both shots (33-9) and corners (21-5). Tannenbaum collected two saves for the guests. At the other end, Gibson turned away 12 shots. Senior defender Tricia Chase chipped in with a pair of defensive saves for the Lyons.      

Both squads are slated to resume their conference schedules on Saturday. Mount Holyoke (5-2, 2-0 NEWMAC) will travel to Wheaton College for a NEWMAC showdown beginning at 1:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Amherst (5-1, 3-1 NESCAC) will entertain NESCAC rival Tufts University at noon.