Amherst tops Misericordia 3-1
Horwitz made five saves to improve to 19-0-0 on the year
AMHERST, Mass. -- Emily Little had a goal and two assists to propel eighth-ranked Amherst to a 3-1 win against Misericordia in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Championship.
Now 19-0-0 on the season and 22-7-3 all-time in NCAA tournament play, Amherst advances to the round of 16 for the 10th time in program history. Having last reached the sectional semifinal in 2008, the Lord Jeffs will face Johns Hopkins on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Misericordia, which captured the program’s first NCAA postseason win with an opening round victory against Farmingdale State, closed out its season with a 14-5-2 overall mark.
Winning an early corner less than five minutes after the opening whistle, Amherst junior Kathryn Nathan floated a nicely placed cross from the right flag to the left side of the box. Tracking down the pass, Sandy Shepherd sent the volley off the crossbar before Sarah Duffy headed the ricochet into the hands of junior goalkeeper Caitlin Sweeney at 5:19.
Continuing to push forward in the 12th minute, Little made a nice move down the left wing, finding open space just outside the 18-yard box. Sending a pass across the face of the goal, the junior defender found Chloe McKenzie, who ripped a one-timer into the upper right corner to put Amherst on the board.
Looking to add to their tally, the Lord Jeffs recorded six more shots over the next 10 minutes of action, but could not break through, with Sweeney making a pair of saves to keep the Cougars within one.
Going on the offensive, first-year Erin McGreal registered Misericordia’s first shot at 23:27 before Sam Helmstetter rifled a hard shot that prompted an Allie Horwitz save. Moving into the attacking third in the 35th minute, Helmstetter again put pressure on the Jeff backline, playing a through ball to the feet of teammate Laura Roney just left of the Amherst box. After taking a pair of quick touches, Roney fired a shot inside the right post, suddenly pulling the Cougars even at 34:15.
Hoping to respond Amherst switched fields, earning a pair of corners with about five minutes remaining in first. Settling a loose ball just above the 18 in the 40th minute Little slid a lead pass to a charging McKenzie on the left side of the box, allowing the sophomore forward to chip in her ninth tally of the season at 39:27 to put the Jeffs back on top heading into the intermission.
Looking to set the tone to start the second, an aggressive Amherst offense recorded seven of the half’s first eight shots. Trying to change the momentum Roney tested Horwitz with a try at 63:31 before Megan Lannigan and Helmstetter each put a shot on goal in the 68th and 71st minute.
Amherst responded by closing out strong, outshooting Misericordia 10-0 in the final 19:32, capping off the scoring at 84:56 when Little headed in a Duffy cross for her fifth tally of the year. Entering the NCAA tournament with three goals, Little has posted seven points on a pair of markers and three helpers in the squad’s two opening round games.
The Lord Jeffs finished with a decisive 30-9 shot advantage and a 10-4 edge in corners. Horwitz made five saves to improve to 19-0-0 on the year, while Sweeney finished with six stops.