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Amherst Advances to Second Round of NCAA Tournament With 4-0 Win Over Farmingdale State

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – November 15, 2008 – Freshman forward Livia Rizzo (Dover, Mass.) scored a goal and added an assist in leading the Amherst College women’s soccer team to a 4-0 victory over Farmingdale State this afternoon in an NCAA Division III First Round match at Springfield College’s Brock-Affleck Field. Amherst will next face the winner of today's match #2, Springfield vs. Union, tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 pm in the Regional Final.

With the win, Amherst improves to 12-2-3, while the Rams’ season comes to a close with a 12-10 final record.

The game, which was delayed for 30 minutes due to a short-lived thunder storm, was played at times in rain with high gusts of wind.

The Lord Jeffs struck first 6:35 into the game to take an early 1-0 advantage. After Rizzo took the ball in from the left side towards the goal line, she slipped a pass across the goalmouth just past Farmingdale State freshman goalie Amanda Maass (Mastic Beach, N.Y.). From there, it was sophomore forward Jackie Hirsch (Wilmette, Ill.) who ran onto the ball and followed with a blast into the empty net. That was the only goal of the first half.

Amherst controlled much of the first half, holding a 16-1 advantage in shots.

With 27:49 remaining in the game, junior midfielder Meg Murphy, playing in her hometown of Springfield, Mass., gave Amherst a 2-0 lead after she buried a free kick from the top of the box. The NESCAC Player of the Year, Murphy made no mistake as she slotted a shot into the lower right hand corner of the net past a diving Maass.

Farmingdale State’s best chance came with 19 minutes remaining in the game after freshman forward Katrina Cerverizzo (Center Moriches, N.Y.) bent a free kick from 25 yards out that Amherst freshman goalkeeper Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, Conn.) made a sliding save on.

On the ensuing save, Amherst took control of the ball and brought it up the left flank. Sophomore forward Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, Me.) flicked a ball to her right in the box, which Rizzo rocketed home for Amherst’s third tally of the contest. That more or less put the game away with 18:35 remaining.

But the Lord Jeffs scored once more in the game's final minute. Junior Cami Farkas (Cambridge, Mass.) did the honors, booting home a shot by senior forward/midfielder Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, Va.) that fell out of the hands of Maass on the doorstep. The time left in the game was 59 seconds.

"Overall, we had a slow start," said Amherst Head Coach Jen Hughes, "but we seemed to collect ourselves after the (lightning) delay. In the second half, we were determined to put them away, and we did just that.

"Our goalkeeper (Allie Horwitz) played a solid game in net, not giving them an inch," added Hughes. "And Meg Murphy was able to do her thing. In that second half, we did a nice job getting numbers into the attack, and were able to finish some of those opportunities."

"We're really proud of the way we finished up. We made it through a lot of adversity to start the season," said Farmingdale Head Coach Chris Roche, noting how five All-Conference players decided to quit early-on. "But we did OK in the end, making it to the NCAA's once again, this time with nine freshman starters. We were doing all right before the delay, but Amherst really came on in the second half.

"Our program is making improvements in baby steps, but that's all I can ask," said Roche.

Amherst outshot Farmingdale, 29-4. The Rams' Maass finished with 10 total saves, while the Lord Jeffs' Horwitz had two.

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John Gibson John Gibson, a native of London, England, enters his 14th season as head women's soccer at Springfield College in the fall of 2013. Gibson has led the Pride to the NCAA Tournament in six of the last eight years and has established the Pride as one of the top programs in the country. His clubs have registered an impressive a 165-75-21 record. Read more.

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