Amherst College Athletics
Amherst College  
Site Map
Search
Amherst College > Athletics > Women's Soccer > Jeffs Down Wheaton, 1-0
   

Jeffs Blank Wheaton, 1-0, in NCAA Semifinals

November 16, 2001

Cathy Poor '02
Senior tri-captain Cathy Poor headed home a free kick in the 73rd minute to lift the Jeffs over Wheaton
DELAWARE, OH - Senior tri-captain Cathy Poor (Harwich Port, MA) headed home a free kick from sophomore midfielder Jenny Rossman (Newton, MA) in the 73rd minute to lift the Amherst College women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Wheaton (IL) College in Friday's NCAA National Semifinals at Ohio Wesleyan University. The Jeffs picked up their 10th consecutive win, advancing to the NCAA Championship game (to be played Saturday at 1 p.m.) for the first time in school history, where they will face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between Willamette University and host Ohio Wesleyan.

From the start of Friday's national semifinal, both teams had good early scoring chances. In the second minute, Amherst junior goalie Brooke Diamond (Longmeadow, MA) pulled in a header off a Wheaton corner kick to nix an early scoring threat, and the Jeffs answered in the ninth minute when a header from Poor deflected off the right post and back out into play. The Thunder, who entered the game on a school record 10-game winning streak, would have the better part of play for most of the first half, sending seven shots on goal in the first 45 minutes. But the Amherst defense, which has allowed just one first half goal in its last 15 games, clamped down with junior Katharine Shipley (Newton, MA), senior tri-captain Margaret Rubin (McLean, VA) and first-year back Mary Sarro-Waite (Far Hills, NJ) combining with Diamond to keep Wheaton off the scoreboard through halftime.

In what would become the theme for the day, what chances the Jeffs had came in transition. In the 20th minute, senior tri-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) had a left-footed blast from the top of the penalty box sail just wide of the Wheaton goal. In the 38th minute, Putnam had another long volley that was picked off by first-year Thunder goalie Brita Nelson. Putnam's two shots and Poor's header would be Amherst's only first-half shots on goal but, thanks to their defense, the Jeffs' offensive struggles wouldn't come back to haunt them.

Both teams had a number of chances in the second half as the game turned into a wide-open affair. In the 51st minute, a long ball from Wheaton's Sarah Kron skidded on Diamond before Poor came streaking across the six to clear. Just over 90 seconds later, first-year Amherst striker Lee-Jay Henry (Springfield, MA) drove past two Thunder defenders and had a one-on-one with Nelson only to miss-hit her last touch right to the Wheaton goalie.

Just before the 70-minute mark, Wheaton threatened again with midfielder Elizabeth Mahon sending a long ball into the Amherst box, which Diamond turned away with a diving save. The follow was deflected by Rossman and cleared. Just over a minute later, Henry once again had the ball on the left wing and the rookie got all the way inside the box where she drew an obstruction call on the Wheaton defense. The resulting indirect kick, the equivalent of a short corner, was placed perfectly by Rossman toward the far post to Poor, who finished with a running header into the left side of the net. The play, which the Jeffs diagrammed at halftime as a corner kick, worked perfectly for Poor, who recorded her school-record 16th goal of the season for a 1-0 Amherst lead at the 72:17-mark.

The Thunder, making their first-ever appearance in the national semifinals, stormed right back but Diamond made a leaping fingertip grab of a cross two minutes later to keep Amherst's lead intact. Wheaton, however, wasn't done there, and the No. 5 team in the final NSCAA Rankings put together a flurry of scoring chances in the game's final ten minutes. The best of those came in the 90th minute when the Thunder won a corner on the left wing. Wheaton played a perfect ball into the box where, after three headers, Sarro-Waite, standing on the goal line, headed the ball away from danger where it was cleared by Rubin. Rubin's clear found Henry alone in the midfield and the first-year held the ball for 20 seconds while running on the Wheaton goal. At the last second, Nelson came out to break up the play, but the clock expired and the Jeffs had their first-ever berth in the national championship game.

Once again, defense was the story for the Jeffs, who have now won eight consecutive elimination playoff games, as Rubin, Sarro-Waite and Shipley combined with Diamond for the Jeffs' second consecutive shutout. Poor, who leads all scorers in the 2001 NCAA Tournament with 14 points, picked up her fifth game-winner of the year and her second of the NCAA Tournament as the Jeffs knocked off their fourth giant in as many games. Amherst, which has eliminated the third, fourth, fifth and 11th-ranked teams in the nation in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, will get either the second or the sixth-ranked team in Saturday's championship game. The Jeffs, who also advanced to the national semifinals in 1996, are making their first appearance in the finals and are the fifth Amherst team ever to play for a national championship.

Wheaton finishes its 2001 season with a record of 19-3, while the Jeffs improved to 16-4-1 entering Saturday's 1 p.m. championship.


Friday, November 16, 2001

 

  1  

  2  

--

  F

Amherst (16-4-1)

  0  

  1  

--

  1

Wheaton (19-3)

  0  

  0  

--

  0

SCORING:
A - Cathy Poor (Jenny Rossman) 72:17

GOALKEEPING:
W - Brita Nelson (90:00, 1 GA, 4 saves); A - Brooke Diamond (90:00, 0 GA, 6 saves)

SHOTS: W - 10; A - 8

CORNERS: A - 3; W - 2