WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Today's game between No. 8 Williams and No. 25 Amherst was just as exciting as people anticipated. Going into today, the two rivals were 14-14-7 against each other since 1978. Amherst now has the upper hand in that time span after leaving Cole Field with the 1-0 win. In what turned into a very physical game, scoring opportunities and attempts were many for both teams, but only Amherst freshman Amanda Brisco was able to find the back of the net.
The first half saw multiple opportunities for both teams. Early on, Amherst's Jackie Hirsch had a good look at the goal off of a free kick, but Williams goalie Julia Schreiber came up with the big save. It was one of her five saves on the day. A short while later – at the ten-minute mark – Brisco had a breakaway that looked like it might result in the game's first goal until Williams defender Chelsea Davies took the ball away. The Jeffs had five other looks at the goal in the half. The Ephs brought pressure offensively as well.
With 12 shots in the first 45 minutes, Williams had many chances that looked like they might be good. Perhaps their best opportunity of the half came with just over 20 minutes to play when Sachi Siegelman booted a ball into the box off a free kick. With Williams unable to get a head on it, Amherst goalie Allie Horwitz quickly scooped up the ball and cleared it out. Brett Eisenhart led the attack in the first half with five shots. She went on to finish with seven shots on the day.
Williams coach Michelyne Pinard said that the first 12 shots were not just shots but "goal-scoring opportunities. [We] could've put away the game in the first 15-20 minutes which is essential against teams like [Amherst]. It would've been a different 90 minutes."
Going into halftime, the Jeffs had eight fouls to the Ephs' four. The second half would prove just as physical.Both teams entered the half with the same offensive mindset they showed in the first. Determined to score, the shot opportunities were once again many: Amherst had six shots in the second half and Williams had 11. Right at the start, Williams forward Bridget Gallagher took the ball up the right side and crossed it, only to have Horwitz come up with the ball.
Following Gallagher's fiery start, both teams had many opportunities, but no one was able to finish until Amherst's big break with 26:18 left to play. Kathryn Nathan passed the ball to Emily Little, who then crossed the ball from the left side of the net. Brisco headed the ball into the right corner for the only goal of the game.
Williams' best look at evening the score came with just over seven minutes to play. Brett Eisenhart, Annelise Snyder, and Sara Wild set up for a free kick. Eisenhart and Snyder both faked, and Wild booted the ball at the net. The shot, however, was high. It looked like the Ephs might have a last-second miracle when – with about 12 seconds to play – they forced a corner. Brisco came up with another big play, though, when she stopped the Ephs from getting the ball into the box by blocking it with her body. Amherst ran on the field in celebration once the final seconds had dwindled.