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Amherst pulls out win over persistent women's soccer team

Annie Burns '12 had another double-digit saves game, recording a season-high 13. (File photo)

AMHERST, Mass. -- Sarah Duffy broke a scoreless tie in the 69th minute as Amherst earned a hard-fought 2-0 decision over the Bates women's soccer team in the Lord Jeffs' home opener on Hitchcock Field.

Looking to get the Jeffs off to a quick start, Duffy found Amanda Brisco in the fourth minute with a cross into the middle of the box, but she pushed the game's first scoring chance just over the bar. The Lord Jeffs again threatened in the 20th minute, drawing a foul in the attacking third. Jill Kochanek tracked down the ensuing free-kick, heading it toward the Bates net, but the shot rattled off the post to keep things scoreless.

A persistent Amherst offense continued to stay aggressive for the remainder of the frame, registering six more shots, but the Bates backline held steady, anchored by senior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.), who made four first-half saves.

Stier got a header across the face of the goal in the 62nd minute, but a diving Burns recovered to make a big save.

Minutes later Jess Wall played a nice through-ball from the midfield ahead to a racing Dufffy on the right side who ripped a low tracer toward net but Burns proved up to the challenge, turning away the shot.

Amherst broke through at 68:29 on Duffy's fifth goal of the season. Brisco sent a low cross into the box, finding a charging Duffy, who volleyed past Burns into the left side of the Bobcat net.

Buoyed by their first score, the Lord Jeffs struck again in the 83rd minute, with Kochanek heading a Nathan corner-kick into the right side of the goal for the game's second tally.

Hoping to keep pace with the clock winding down, the Bobcats senior captain Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.) very nearly pulled Bates back within one, heading a ball toward the left post, but Amherst's Allie Horwitz made a sprawling stop to preserve the Jeffs' two-goal margin and seal the victory.

With Amherst holding a 34-12 edge in shots, Burns finished with 13 saves, while Horwitz made four stops.

The Bobcats (0-2-1, 0-2-1 NESCAC) wrap up a busy week with another NESCAC game, at Trinity on Sunday at 1 p.m. (Live Stats Link)

STATS: Amherst 2, Bates 0