Love-Nichols pulled the Jumbos within a goal late in the
AMHERST – The 15th-ranked Amherst College women's soccer team played host to visiting NESCAC rival Tufts University this afternoon at Hitchcock Field. Amherst scored the first two goals of the game and held off a late charge from the Jumbos en route to a 2-1 victory.
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-0-1 on the year, and 2-0-1 in conference play. The loss drops the Jumbos to 1-1-1 overall, and 1-1-0 in the NESCAC. Today's result extends Amherst's winning streak against Tufts to three games, after having gone winless against the Jumbos from 2005-07.
In the 11th minute, Amherst junior forward Livia Rizzo (Dover, MA) had the first scoring chance for either team. Off a long free kick from classmate Jill Kochanek (Pittsburgh, PA), Rizzo put a header towards the far post but her bid cruised harmlessly wide.
Four minutes later, senior tri-captain Jackie Hirsch (Wilmette, IL) released rookie Kate Sisk (Sudbury, MA) into the Tufts box for a break. Sisk's second touch gave her a tough angle and her near post shot was denied by Tufts goalie Phoebe Hanley (Mamaroneck, NY).
With just 1:08 to play in the first half, Amherst caught a break as the assistant referee alerted the head official of a handball in the box by the Jumbos. On the resulting penalty kick, Kathryn Nathan (Pembroke, MA) slotted a confident finish into the lower left corner to put the Jeffs up 1-0.
With just over 23 minutes to play in the second half Tufts forward Jamie Love-Nichols (Cortez, CO) beat Amherst goalie Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) with a shot to her left. The ball bounced hard off the left post, and back into Love-Nichols' path behind Horwitz. The Jumbo striker hit a second shot with her first touch, but the rebound effort caromed off the cross bar and out of danger.
Amherst's lead was stretched to two goals with 17 minutes to play off a tally by Hirsch. After Hannah Cooper's (Bethesda, MD) shot bounced under Tufts goalie Kristin Wright (Austin, TX), Hirsch pounced on the rebound to bang home the ball into an empty net.
The Jumbos grabbed one score back on an impressive individual effort from Love-Nichols in the 73rd minute. After weaving through the Amherst defense, Love-Nichols beat Horwitz with a bouncing shot to the lower left corner off her left foot, cutting the Amherst lead to 2-1.
Horwitz finished the game with five saves, including four in the second half. Hanley and Wright made two saves apiece in the loss.
Tufts is at Wheaton College on Wednesday (Sept. 22) in its next start (4:30 pm). The Lord Jeffs return to action on Wednesday evening at Springfield College for a 7 pm game under the lights. The road game against the Pride will be Amherst's final night game of the season.
Game release courtesy of Amherst College