Amherst scored the game's lone goal at the 52:35 mark, as the fourth-seeded Mammoths downed second-seeded Middlebury 1-0 on Sunday in the NESCAC Championship game. Ninth-ranked Middlebury (13-2-3) will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while #20 Amherst (14-3-1) earns the automatic bid.
Amherst had a chance in the 18th minute when Isabel Stern and Middlebury keeper Eva Shaw raced toward a ball at the 18, but Shaw cleared it away. Moments later, Sophia Fikke's shot from 25 yards out on the right side deflected over the end line off the post. Middlebury had a good look with 3:00 remaining in the half, but Ellie Greenberg's shot was denied.
The game-winner came in the 53rd minute from Sarah Sullivan. Middlebury broke up a scoring chance before the ball came to Sullivan at the 18 as Shaw raced back into position. Sullivan fired a hard shot that Shaw got a piece of, but the ball deflected over her head and into the net.
Later in the half, Shaw broke up a pair of scoring chances for the Mammoths, including an opportunity by Alexa Juarez with 30 minutes left. The Panthers looked to tie the game with 13 minutes remaining, but a through ball from Eliza Robinson to Gretchen McGrath was cut off by Amherst keeper Erica Sanders (1 save). Middlebury was unable to get the ball deep in the final minutes, as the Mammoths held on for the win.
Amherst held a 16-3 shots advantage in the game as Shaw made five saves in goal for the Panthers. The Mammoths have handed Middlebury both of its losses this season.