NESCAC Playoffs First Round
Amherst 0    Tufts 0    2ot
Amherst advances on penalty kicks, 4-2

At Amherst, MA
Sunday, November 2, 2003

Amherst College (9-3-3) 0 0 0 0 4 = 0
Tufts University (9-5-1) 0 0 0 0 2 = 0

Scoring: None.

Saves: A, Jeanette Crowell (110 min.) 8; T, Meg McCourt (110 min.) 6.

Shots: A, 8; T, 18.

Corner Kicks: A, 4; T, 5.

AMHERST -- After 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtimes of scoreless play, Amherst College sophomore Kaitlin Hill (Andover, MA) curled a game-winning penalty kick just inside the left post to give the second-seeded Jeffs a dramatic victory over visiting seventh-seeded Tufts University in the first-round of the NESCAC Post-season Championship Tournament on Sunday. With the win, Amherst (9-3-3) advances to the conference semifinals hosted by top-seeded Bowdoin College, where they'll take on third-seeded Williams College Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Amherst had several scoring chances in regulation, most of them on shots by its leading scorer, junior forward Ashley Harmeling (North Reading, MA), who entered the game with 14 goals, just two shy of the Jeffs' single-season school record. Harmeling nearly connected on a direct kick 35 minutes into the first half, and was denied again just 44 seconds later by Tufts junior goalie Meg McCourt (Rochester, NY) off a crossing pass from classmate Tracy Montigny (East Granby, CT). Harmeling had another opportunity with a left-footed attempt with 7:51 left in the second overtime, but McCourt, who had a great afternoon with six saves, came up huge with a juggling two-handed save.

With two overtimes complete, the tiebreaker provided high drama. Amherst took the first shot in the best-of-five penalty kick format, and Harmeling aimed high, sailing the ball just north of the crossbar. Tufts junior Jen Baldwin (Medway, MA) was next, and she was stoned by Amherst rookie goalie Jeanette Crowell (San Rafael, CA), who made an acrobatic left-handed stop. Amherst's Sarah Coleman (New Haven, CT) and Tufts' Becca Doigan (West Bloomfield, MI) connected on their ensuing kicks, and senior Alexa Lawson-Remer (La Jolla, CA) gave Amherst a 2-1 lead with a blast into the top right corner of the net. Crowell then made the play of the game, stopping Tufts' senior Abby Herzberg (Sebastopol, CA) with a sprawling right-footed kick save, and Amherst senior Jenny Rossman (Newton, MA) upped the lead to 3-1 with a top-shelf laser past Jumbo rookie netminder Annie Ross (Newton, MA), who replaced McCourt after the second overtime. Tufts junior Sarah Gelb (Hermosa Beach, CA) responded with a shot into the bottom left corner of the net, but Hill sealed the win on the Jeffs' next kick, sending the home crowd and the Amherst bench into a frenzy.

Crowell was a major factor in Amherst's victory, finishing with eight saves as Tufts out-shot the Jeffs 18-8. The shutout was Crowell's fifth of the season and Amherst's fifth straight dating back to a 2-1 win at Colby College on October 11. Tufts dropped to 9-5-1 overall.