AMHERST, Massachusetts -- The Jeffs will continue their quests for Little III titles when they host Wesleyan in football, men's soccer, women's soccer and field hockey starting at 11:00am for Homecoming on Saturday. The Little III is an intense rivalry among Amherst College, Wesleyan University and Williams College, three of the founding members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Both field hockey teams enter their matchup with 8-2 records. While the Cardinals recorded a 1-0 victory over Williams in September, Amherst fell to an Eph goal with just eight seconds on the clock on Sunday. With both teams fighting for at least a piece of Little III, this promises to be a game of aggressive offenses that have scored 63 goals between them. Sophomore lead both attacks as Amherst's Tyra Gettleman (Orono, ME) has eight goals and an assist on her stick while Wesleyan's A.J. Smith (Mahopac, NY) has eight goals and eight assists to her credit. But each must fight through solid defenses, as the teams combined have shut out 13 of 20 opponents faced. Wesleyan's seven so far this season has set a new Cardinal record. Last year when these teams met, the contest took two sudden death periods and two rounds of penalty strokes before Amherst was declared the victor.
Meanwhile, men's soccer will look to overcome recent losses, Wesleyan's a 2-0 blanking by Western Connecticut, and a 2-1 battle for No. 1 in New England between top-ranked Amherst and No. 2 Wheaton. Lord Jeff sophomore Andy Kay (North Easton, MA) leads Amherst with an assist and seven goals, including Amherst's lone score over the Lyons on Wednesday. As they kick off their Little III season, the Jeffs look to snap a six-year winless streak over the Cardinals and claim their first win for the alums since 1990. Amherst currently posts a 7-1-1 record as the fourth-best team in the nation, while Wesleyan stands at 5-3-1 and sixth in the Metro region.
Women's soccer claims a 14-5 edge over Wesleyan in their all-time series as varsity teams since 1978. The Jeffs look to seal their fourth straight Little III title on Saturday after claiming a 1-0 victory in Williamstown over the Ephs on Sunday. Amherst,the second-best team in the Metro region and 10th in the country, is 9-1 before tonight's meeting with Wheaton while Wesleyan stands at 5-5. The Jeffs will use a 1-2 punch of a lethal offense and an impenetrable defense to defend their trivalry crown as Amherst has outscored opponents 24-4 with six shutouts. Junior Katie Hersey (Westford, MA) leads the Jeffs with six goals and a pair of assists, whlie quad-captain Jodie Langs (Oakland, CA) has tallied eight goals and an assist in her senior season. Backstopping the Amherst defense will be All-New England keeper Sarah Fabian (Dover, MA), who posts a .947 save percentage and a 0.38 goals allowed average. Last year, the Jeffs made a come from behind in the final 12 minutes of play in Middletown, Connecticut for a 2-1 win.
Starting at 1:30pm, a battle of the unbeaten football teams kicks off Little III play on Pratt Field as two 4-0 squads look for a fifth win on the gridiron. In the 115-year-old rivalry, Amherst leads the all-time series 53-40-9
Women's tennis will also be in action, but facing Middlebury College at 12:00pm. The Jeffs won Amherst's first Little III crown of the 1997-98 campaign with a 6-3 victory over Williams on Sunday after an 8-0 sweep of Wesleyan. Amherst enters the match with a 6-0 record as the top team in New England, while Middlebury is 1-7 this season.
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