Women's Soccer Defeated by Amherst in NESCAC Semifinals, 3-0

SOMERVILLE - Top seed Tufts Women's Soccer fell to fourth-seeded Amherst College on Saturday 3-0 in a back-and-forth conference semi-final match-up at Kraft Field. The visiting Mammoths will play for the NESCAC Championship on Sunday.

Junior Liz Reed finished leading the team with four shots in the contest.

Amherst (13-3-1) came out of the gates fast, controlling the ball deep in Tufts' end and generating four shots in just the first five minutes. An early shot by freshman Isabel Stern hit the post. The Mammoths were also awarded two early corner kick opportunities, but the Jumbos (12-3-2) denied any scoring chance. 

Tufts was being tested early in the defensive end, and in the 20th minute of the first half Stern managed to get Amherst on the scoreboard first on a breakaway attempt after receiving a through ball from teammate Ruby Hastie. Freshman goalkeeper Hayley Bernstein was forced to come out of the net to play the one-on-one breakaway, but Stern fired the ball into the bottom right corner giving the Mammoths a 1-0 advantage in the 21st minute.

The Jumbos looked to even the score before halftime as they began an aggressive counter-attack offensively. In the 23rd minute, Tufts earned a corner kick opportunity on a Mammoth defensive foul. Junior Liz Reed drove the ball towards the net looking to connect with one of her teammates for a scoring opportunity. After a battle for possession, the ball found its way to sophomore Lily Sykes who fired a shot on the net that was saved by Mammoth senior goalkeeper Erica Sanders.

In the 33rd mimute, the Mammoths were able to find the back of the net again to give them a 2-0 advantage. Sophomore Jordan Bailey was able to get her head on the ball during a corner kick opportunity for her first goal of the season.

Amherst outshot the Jumbos 15-5 in the first half and had an 8-5 advantage on corners in heavy offensive action.

Fourteen minutes into the new half, Tufts senior co-captain Izzy Moore produced a scoring chance to try and get the Jumbos within one. As Moore received a pass just outside of the goal area she found a lane towards the net, running past several Amherst defenders. Moore was able to find enough space to fire a shot on net, but it was blocked by a Mammoth defender.

In the 67th minute, Amherst upped its margin to 3-0 as senior Sloan Askins scored on a one-on-one with Bernstein after receiving a through-pass from junior Natalie Landau.

Tufts would generate several more scoring chances, but could not convert them into points. The Mammoths out-shot the Jumbos 20-10 on the game while producing nine corners to Tufts' six.

Berstein recorded six saves for Tufts in the semifinal match-up. Sanders ended the contest with four saves for Amherst. 

The Mammoths will play in the NESCAC championship tomorrow against the Middlebury, a 2-0 winner over Williams in today's other conference semifinal at Kraft Field. Tufts will wait to see if an at-large NCAA berth awaits them. The field will be announced on Monday.