Connecticut College 1, #14 Amherst College 0 Camels Clinch Home Field for First Round of NESCAC Playoffs

Connecticut College 1, #14 Amherst College 0 Camels Clinch Home Field for First Round of NESCAC Playoffs

NEW LONDON, Conn.—Annie Higgins (West Hartford, Conn.) scored in the 53rd minute of play to lead the  Connecticut College women's soccer team to a 1-0 NESCAC victory against 14th ranked Amherst College in a game played in heavy wind and rain on Freeman Field in New London Wednesday.

The Camels, ranked #6 in New England improved their record to 11-2 with a 6-2 mark in conference play. With the triumph, they have locked up home field advantage for the first round of the 2014 NESCAC Championship. The 11th win is the highest total for the program since former Head Coach Ken Kline's squad reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 1998.

The Lord Jeffs fell to 11-3 with a 7-2 record in the NESCAC.

First year forward Livi Block (New York, N.Y.) recorded two shots in the triumph and is ecstatic to be 11-2 in her rookie season on the pitch.

"It's really exciting to get this win," Block said. "Coming in as a freshman and beating the number one team in the NESCAC is a really amazing experience and I'm looking forward to what's next for us."

Head Coach Norm Riker was pleased with his team's ability to overcome the challenging weather conditions and remain focused on the task of knocking off one of the top teams in the country.

"It's just a great win for the program to beat a class talented team like Amherst who was at the top of the table," Riker asserted.  "We're really excited right now. It was a really difficult day to play and we found a way to get the game-winner and I'm really proud of the women."

After a scoreless first half of action, the Camels finally broke through in the 53rd minute. Michelle Medina (Hartford, Conn.) delivered a through ball ahead to Annie Higgins near the 18 yard line. Higgins was able to dribble in and deposit a low shot into the left corner of the netting to put the Camels on top.

In the first stanza, the Camels pressured the Lord Jeffs in the 26th minute. Annie Higgins ripped a shot off from 10 yards out at the near post side that was saved by Amherst College net-minder Holly Burwick (New Canaan, Conn.). Amanda Proulx (Smithfield, R.I.) collected the rebound and blasted another shot from 20 yards out that was saved by Burwick to keep the game scoreless.

Later on with 5:45 remaining in the first, Proulx unloaded with a long shot that caromed off the left post. But Amherst collected the rebound and mounted a counter-attack on the Camels. Hannah Guzzi (Southborough, Mass.), the Lord Jeffs' leading scorer, penetrated the Connecticut College defense and was in position to score. But Connecticut College's Caroline Kelleher (Holden, Mass.) was able to recover for the Camels and won a 50/50 battle with Guzzi to protect the Camels' goal.

Burwick finished with 10 saves for the Lord Jeffs. Bryanna Montalvo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) posted her eighth shutout of the season for the hosts, turning aside five shots in the victory.

Connecticut College enjoyed a 16-to-9 advantage in shots.

Both teams will be facing Trinity in their next conference game. The Camels visit the Capital City this Saturday for an 11:00 a.m. match against the Bantams. The Lord Jeffs will host Trinity Tuesday night for a 7:00 p.m. game in Western Massachusetts.