Amherst Holds Off Tufts, 14-12
Hosts Look to Defend ECAC Crown Against Bowdoin, Sunday at 1pm

AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Heather Kestner (Wilmington, DE) posted five goals and an assist to lead Amherst College (11-3) to a 14-12 victory over Tufts University (8-6-1). The top seed advances to the ECAC Championship game against second-ranked Bowdoin (9-4), who defeated Connecticut College (9-6) 11-9 in the second semifinal game at Pratt Field. Amherst will look to defend its ECAC title at 1:00pm on Sunday.

Amherst took a 3-0 lead just 2:29 after the opening whistle behind a pair of goals by senior tri-captain Heidi Cline (Andover, MA). Tufts notched its first goal after calling a time out as rookie Meghan Holtzman (Suffem, NY) placed a shot into the upper right corner of the cage. The teams entered halftime with the hosts leading, 6-3.

Cline jump-started Amherst in the second with her third goal 33 seconds into the half to give Amherst a 7-3 lead. Tufts rattled off three goals in a 1:07 span behind a pair by senior co-captain Kate Mathey (North Wales, PA) to cut the deficit to 8-6 with 22:54 left in the game.

After calling a time out, Amherst mounted a 6-1 run that gave the defending champions their biggest lead of the game, 14-7, with 8:38 remaining. Kestner posted four of her goals in this span as the senior took 12 of Amherst's 31 shots on net.

The Jumbos responded with a late-game surge that pulled Tufts within two at the final buzzer. Rookie Jen Gregorian (Wayland, MA) kicked off the rally with the first of five unanswered Jumbo goals with 7:24 to play. Her second goal closed out Tufts scoring as Amherst shut down the Jumbos in the final three minutes of the game.

Rookie Hedda Silkoff (Easton, CT) stopped 10 Amherst shots while Jess Thaxton (Wayland, MA) and Sarah Evans (Columbus, OH) combined for 10 for the hosts.


ECAC Semfinals at Amherst, Massachusetts
Tufts (8-6-1)		3	9 -- 12
Amherst (11-3)		6	8 -- 14

Tufts			G	A	P	Amherst			G	A	P
Robin Zimmerly		4	0	4	Heather Kestner		5	1	6
Jen Gregorian		2	0	2	Heidi Cline		3	2	5
Kate Mathey		2	0	2	Alie Stechenberg	2	0	2
Katie Richardson	2	0	2	Irene Permut		1	0	1
Meghan Holtzman		1	0	1	Katherine Poulin	1	0	1
Christina Hornby	1	0	1	Kristin Osborn		1	0	1
Jen Martin		0	1	1	Jen Corso		1	0	1
Totals			12	1	13	Erika Johnson		0	1	1
						Totals			14	4	18

Total Shots: A 31, T 29.

Goalkeeping		Min	Saves	Goals Allowed
A  Jess Thaxton		55:33	7	11
A  Sarah Evans		4:27	3	1
T  Hedda Silkoff	60:00	10	14
# # # 5/9/98