Margaret Chute '06
Tri-captain Piper Crowell '07 looks to anchor solid women's soccer squad .

Women's Soccer Hopes to Improve on Impressive 2005 Campaign

September 8, 2006

The Amherst College women’s soccer program posted yet another successful campaign in 2005, notching an 8-3-3 (6-2-1 NESCAC) record and earning the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament for the second straight season. The Jeffs managed to put together a pair of unbeaten streaks through the season, going 3-0-1 in their first four contests and 5-0-1 in their final six regular-season match-ups, including four straight victories to close the stretch. All four late-season wins came over NESCAC opponents, including a 3-0 shutout win at Connecticut College and a dramatic 1-0 victory at NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College in the season finale. The Jeffs’ postseason run was stopped short in the NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals as they suffered a penalty kick loss after a 0-0 double overtime tie to visiting Colby College.

Amherst lost seven seniors to graduation, most of who will be missed this season, except for Lyn Wojcik who will join the team on the sideline as an Assistant Coach.  The defensive end will suffer the most, with the loss of key defensive players Margaret Chute, Kaitlin Hill, Lyn Wojcik, Jessica Hootnick and Scout Durwood. Chute was named First-Team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas All-New England, Second-Team New England Women’s Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) All-New England and First-Team All-NESCAC, and Hill, Hootnick, and Durwood were all named Academic All-NESCAC. Chute and Hill were also both named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District. The midfield will also take a hit with the loss of Sarah Coleman and Allyson Heady.  The pair contributed numerous valuable minutes over their respective careers. The group’s spirit, leadership and skill will all be missed on the field this year.

The Jeffs return a wealth of playing experience in 2006, led by senior tri-captains Piper Crowell, Liz Foley and Lesley Pruzansky. Crowell and Foley, both four-year starters, will anchor the defense.  Crowell has started in goal since her first year, amassing 28 wins, 257 saves and 13 shutouts, while relinquishing just 0.75 goals per game in over 4,300 minutes in front of the net. Pruzansky, who stormed onto the offensive scene in 2005 registering a team-high 13 points on three goals and seven assists from the midfield position, will lead the charge on the other end of the field.  For her efforts, Pruzansky took home First-Team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas All-New England, First-Team All-NESCAC and Third-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors for her efforts, as well as earning NESCAC Player of the Week plaudits after tallying a goal and three assists for Amherst in a trio of mid-season conference wins over Connecticut College, Wesleyan and Middlebury.

Joining Crowell and Foley on the defensive end will be junior Lisa Driscoll and sophomores Kate Bentley and Kate Moriarty, while the midfield will be bolstered by senior Jenny Muller, junior Heather Nowak and sophomores Alanna Darling, Mary Marvel and Natalie Ferraiolo. Muller tied for the team lead in goals last season (four), while Nowak, Darling and Ferriaiolo punched home a pair apiece.

Senior Amy Armstrong and sophomore Stephanie Yesnik started almost every game last season at the forward spots, accounting for a combined 19 points on seven goals and five assists. Sophomore Julia Cummings will add a spark in the attack at the forward position.

Amherst welcomes eight new faces to the pitch this season, highlighted by the arrival of Pioneer Valley native Katie Coffey. A junior, Coffey played her first two collegiate seasons at Boston College, where she earned 2004 Soccer Buzz All-Freshman Northeast Region honors and helped the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 for two straight seasons. Joining Coffey in their inaugural season with the Lord Jeffs are seven talented first years. Shannon Smith and Cami Farkas will provide support on the attack, Meg Murphy and Jillian Whiting will bolster the midfield, Kathy Nolan will add depth to the back, and Lili Ferguson and Jenny Greig will backup Crowell in goal.

With depth at every position, third-year head coach Jen Hughes is very excited about the team’s prospects for the 2006 season.

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