AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Five Amherst teams will prepare to do battle against Middlebury College, who harbors some of the toughest teams in New England. Along with field hockey, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and football will square off with the Panthers, who have the hopes of snapping Amherst win streaks.
A Battle of the Unbeatens will kick off at 12:30pm on Hitchcock Field when the 7-0 Lord Jeffs meet the 5-0 Panthers in field hockey. Amherst has jumped out to its best start in the 23-year history of the program with seven straight wins and is on pace to break the season goal-scoring record of 35, set in both the 1984 and 1985 seasons. Powered behind 25 tallies in seven games, the Jeffs have registered one more win than their six-game streak last year that the Panthers snapped with a 3-0 victory in Middlebury, Vermont.
Leading the Jeffs offensively is sophomore Tyra Gettleman (Orono, ME) with eight goals and one assist. Stepping up in recent games are junior Sandy Accordino (Closter, NJ) and Longmeadow native Alie Stechenberg, both of whom have tallied three goals in the last three games. Backstopping the defense is keeper Jes Rich (Stillwater, NY) and senior tri-captain Jen Shea from Hatfield, Massachusetts.
On the adjacent field will be a showdown between Amherst and Middlebury men's soccer, two of the top-three teams in New England. Like field hockey, Amherst men's soccer is enjoying their finest start ever where their 4-0-1 record has vaulted the Jeffs into the No. 1 spot in the region and No. 7 in the nation, the highest rankings bestowed by the NSCAA upon the Amherst men. The Jeffs will face the 3-1 Panthers, No. 3 in New England, No. 19 in the country, who are pumped from a 2-0 showing last week including a 2-1 overtime victory over Williams.
Sophomore Andy Kay (North Easton, MA) leads the Jeffs with six goals and an assist for 13 points. Tim Christian from Agawam continues to be a threat offensively with three goals so far in his senior campaign, while the co-captain will also aim to control the game in the air. The Jeffs will have to contend with NESCAC Player of the Week Scott Wiercinski in the Panther goal who has allowed just three goals all season.
Women's soccer also meets the Panthers at 12:30pm. Amherst enters the game with a 6-1 record after winning its last five straight while Middlebury brings a 3-2 record into the match. The Jeffs are currently enjoying their re-entry into the national top-25 at the No. 15 spot, while they rose to third in the Metro region with a 3-1 victory over Bowdoin last Saturday. Middlebury stands at No. 6 in the New England and is coming off an 8-0 drubbing of Massachusetts College, formerly North Adams State College.
The Lord Jeff defense has allowed only four goals all season with Tri-Captain Sarah Fabian (Dover, MA) in goal and the senior trio of Ellie Hickerson (Davenport, IA), Laura Kochansky (Newton, MA) and All-American swimmer Kerry Weeks (Longmeadow, MA) at back. Junior forward Katie Hersey (Westford, MA) leads the team with a handful of goals and a pair of assists while senior forward Beth Leonard from Longmeadow continues to haunt opposing netminders with her powerful shots on goal.
Away from Hitchcock Field, women's volleyball (10-5) hosts the Fourth Annual Amherst Invitational, beginning at 10:00am in LeFrak Gymnasium. Other participating teams are Westfield State College (5-3), Middlebury (11-1) and Connecticut College (4-7). And, down the street on Pratt Field, Amherst and Middlebury will vie for football prominance in the NESCAC as the two 2-0 teams go head-to-head at 1:30pm.
Saturday, October 4, 1997 at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts 10:00am Amherst Invitational: Volleyball v. Connecticut College (Middlebury v. Westfield State) 12:30pm Field Hockey v. Middlebury Men's Soccer v. Middlebury Women's Soccer v. Middlebury 1:00pm Amherst Invitational: Volleyball v. Middlebury (Conn College v. Westfield State) 1:30pm Football v. Middlebury