Nathan helps Amherst to a blistering start
Kathryn Nathan often makes things look easy on the soccer field.
A junior forward at Amherst College, Nathan has played at a high level since her youth soccer days and has developed what Lord Jeffs coach Jen Hughes calls a “phenomenal technical ability.’’
On Sunday, Nathan scored on her only shot of the game to lift unbeaten Amherst to a 2-1 victory at Bowdoin, driving home a penalty kick 1:38 into double overtime.
Yet, getting Nathan to Amherst was no easy task. Hughes lost sleep while the highly recruited Pembroke High senior took her time deciding on her college choice.
Nathan first visited Amherst during the fall of her senior year. She was accepted in March, but it was close to the May deadline before Nathan finalized her commitment.
“Kathryn was definitely one of the more talented players that we were looking at that year,’’ Hughes said. “I had to sweat it out with her because she waited until the last minute. I was pretty pumped when she made her decision.’’
“Amherst was one of my top three choices but I was also interested in attending a big school in the city,’’ said Nathan, who also considered Northeastern and Boston University.
“Most students at Amherst go early decision, but I was very indecisive. As it turned out there is just something special about Amherst.’’
Ranked eighth in Division 3, the Lord Jeffs (11-0-0, 8-0-0 NESCAC) are off to their best start in school history after wins over Colby and Bowdoin. The 5-foot-4 Nathan has played a big part in the success, collecting four goals - including three game-winners - and seven assists.
Nathan has been a model of consistency since her arrival at Amherst, starting all 46 games since arriving as a freshman. She scored five goals as a freshman and matched that output as a sophomore.
“She’s definitely an impact player for us,’’ said Hughes. “She has steadily improved over the course of her three years here and is having another fantastic year.’’
Hughes says Nathan is the engine of the Lord Jeffs’ offense, which leads the New England Small College Athletic Conference in goals per game (2.1).
“Her technical ability combined with her craftiness and game sense sets her apart,’’ said Hughes. “She’s our playmaker in the middle of the field for us, and we’ve given her the freedom to move around anywhere she sees an opportunity to exploit. We’ve given her the creativity to be active off the ball, and she always seems to be in right place at the right time.’’
Quane on fire
Owen Quane had quite a week for the men’s soccer team at Salem State. The senior midfielder from Weymouth netted a pair of game-winning goals in a 2-0 week for the Vikings. Quane converted a penalty kick in overtime to give Salem a 1-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston, and also scored the deciding goal in a 2-0 win over MCLA. Quane (three goals, six assists) is second on the team in scoring for Salem State (8-6, 3-2 MASCAC).
Brook lifts Colby
Freshman goaltender Emily Brook is proving to be a workhorse in net for the Colby College women’s soccer team. The Duxbury High School graduate made seven saves to record her sixth shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over Hamilton on Sunday. Brook had a season-high 12 saves last week in a scoreless tie against Bowdoin. She has played every minute in goal for the Mules (6-5-1, 2-5-1 NESCAC) and is second in the NESCAC in shutouts and saves (72).
Stonehill trio thrills
Pembroke’s Renee Trudeau picked an opportune time to score her first collegiate goal for the Stonehill women’s soccer team. The freshman forward finished a pass from Brockton’s Kate Wegener to hand the Skyhawks a 2-1 victory over New Haven in double overtime. Stonehill (8-4-2, 6-3-2 Northeast-10) has been receiving great play from Jaemie Fasanello, who earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Northeast-10 Conference after holding opposing strikers scoreless in a pair of victories last week. An East Bridgewater resident who prepped at Notre Dame Academy, Fasanello has played in every minute and leads a defense that has surrendered only seven goals in 14 games.
Mulkern on target
Francis Mulkern has developed into the top scoring threat for the Merrimack College men’s soccer team. After scoring just one goal in his freshman season, the sophomore from Scituate scored his team-high seventh goal of the season in Merrimack’s 3-0 win over Assumption on Saturday. The striker posted his first career hat trick when he accounted for all his club’s scoring in a 3-2 win over New Haven.
John R. Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.