Amherst Hands Johns Hopkins First Loss of 2011 in NCAA Action
Courtesy Messiah Sports Information
GRANTHAM, Pa. – Amherst sophomore forward Sarah Duffy scored a game winning goal in the 56th minute of action as the Lord Jeffs went on to defeat Johns Hopkins 2-0 in the Third Round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships.
With the win, Amherst (20-0-0) advances to the Quarterfinals to face Messiah, which fell in last year's national championship match, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Duffy's goal came after a first half that saw each team have clear opportunities to take an early lead. Johns Hopkins took nine shots to Amherst's five in the first frame, with the score knotted at 0-0 until Duffy's score.
In the 56th minute, Duffy curtailed a ball from the Blue Jays' defense in midfield, 25 yards out from the goal. With the ball bouncing over Hopkins' back row, Duffy found herself with keeper Kristen Redsun between her and the net. A quick strike into the goal gave the Lord Jeffs a 1-0 lead.
"At halftime, we talked about the number of chances we had (in the first half)," said Duffy, who led the Lord Jeffs in both goals (13) and assists (10) this season. "We knew we had to put one of (the opportunities) in the back of the net."
With the tie now broken, Amherst would receive a cushion from freshman midfielder Ariana Twomey. With the ball being cleared from the Blue Jays' box, Twomey would intercept possession just inside the 18 yard line, aligned with the right post. Her clean strike seemed to freeze Redsun, and the rest of the players on the field, as it traveled across the goal line.
"I noticed everyone was frozen when I kicked it," said Twomey, reflecting on her shot that perhaps appeared to be going wide of the goal. "It took a second for the (realization of the) goal to sink in. It was exciting, because it put our team at ease with a 2-0 lead."
The goal was the first of Twomey's collegiate career.
Now down 2-0, Johns Hopkins continued to attack the Lord Jeffs' strong back line; however, they would only manage two shots in the second half. The loss would be Hopkins first of the year (21-1), as they were shut out after scoring 92 goals across their first 21 games of the year.
"We really focused on our defensive execution for this game," said Amherst head coach Jen Hughes, in her eighth season with the Lord Jeffs. "We needed to figure out how to stop their phenomenal offense. We also thought they left themselves vulnerable in the back, so we wanted to be quick in our transition through the midfield to find chances to score. I'm proud of our girls- they played their hearts out."
With the win, Lord Jeffs advance into the Quarterfinal round for the first time since 2008, when they lost to William Smith 1-0.