AMHERST, Mass. – A valiant comeback effort in the second half came up just short as the Connecticut College field hockey team fell to eighth-ranked Amherst by a 2-1 decision on Tuesday evening at Gooding Field.
Amherst (7-2, NESCAC 3-2) scored twice in the first half and never looked back. Shannon Tierney found the back of the cage in the 24th minute, and Kendall Codey doubled the margin when she potted a rebound in the waning seconds of the opening frame.
The Camels came out stronger in the second half. After freshman Andi McGraw (Sheffield, Mass.) made two saves at the beginning of the frame, the visitors earned a penalty corner and unleashed three quick shots that were turned away by Mammoth netminder Emilie Flamme in a span of two minutes.
In the 59th minute, Connecticut College broke through and slashed the deficit in half by capitalizing on a penalty corner. Senior captain Jacqueline Murphy (Danvers, Mass.) rocketed a hard shot from the top of the arc that was kicked back by Flamme. Freshman Casey Freehill (Newton, Mass.) then collected the loose ball and slipped a pass to senior Cheyanne Asplundh (Huntington Valley, Pa.), who finished with a shot to the near post side of the cage. Freehill also tallied her first career point on the play.
The Camels, who had a 4-2 advantage in penalty corners during the second half, remained resilient and made a strong effort to at least tie the score to force overtime, but Amherst was able to hold off the visitors and survive. A penalty corner attempted by Connecticut College was unsuccessful, and the Mammoths were able to slow things down in their offensive third to eventually end the evening with their fourth victory over their last five games.
Flamme turned away six shots to pick up the victory between the pipes for Amherst, while Connecticut College netminder McGraw made nine saves in the setback.
Connecticut College (3-7, NESCAC 1-6), which has already faced six nationally-ranked opponents this season, next hosts Bates in its Play4TheCure game on Saturday, Oct. 7 at noon. The program will be collecting donations and raising money for breast cancer research.