Amherst Rallies for 11-7 Win Over Bates in NESCAC Play

By Ryan Conti '11

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men's lacrosse team faced off against the Bobcats from Bates College today at Gooding Field in a crucial NESAC match-up.  With an 11-7 win, Amherst remains undefeated at home (3-0), bouncing back from a tough mid-week loss to Skidmore. 

Bates opened the game with a quick goal by Rory Cosgrove less than a minute after the opening whistle. Amherst responded with a goal of their own six minutes later, when Brett Miller (Wantagh, NY) found Tom McDonnell (Manhasset, NY) on the crease for the equalizer. 

With junior Matt Kellman (Wilton, CT) winning six straight face-offs, the Lord Jeffs were able to tally five unanswered goals without allowing Bates to have a meaningful possession. The last goal of Amherst's streak came with 29 seconds on the clock  in the first quarter, when Matt Rawson (Bethesda, MD) beat his man and found a cutting Rob Denious (Bloomfield Hills, MI) in front of the crease. Denious finished with a beautiful behind the back goal to bring the Amherst faithful to their feet.

The second quarter saw Amherst give up another quick goal this time 1:29 seconds in. After giving up another goal minutes later, Amherst responded as Miller found Tim Thornton (Garden City, NY) ten yards out for a crank shot past the Bates goalie. With Amherst senior quad-captain Matt Pietroforte (Brooklyn, NY), protecting the net, Amherst refused to five up another first-half tally. Pietroforte finished the half with nine saves, and Amherst up 7-3 

The third quarter started just like the two before it with Bates scoring early. The goal came just 1:25 in this time. However, unlike the first two quarters, Bates continued the scoring with three more unanswered goals to tie the game 7-7. 

Luke Arnold (Lincoln, MA) broke the deadlock by picking up a ground ball and sniping the upper corner with an underhand bomb. With seven minutes left Amherst started to pull away as Arnold stole a clearing pass from the goalie, and found McDonnell on the crease for an empty net score. Arnold and Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD) each added one more goal to bring the final score to 11-7 Amherst. 

Miller led the Lord Jeffs with three assists, while Arnold added a goal and an assist for three points. Pietroforte finished the game with 14 saves in net. Bates College was lead by David Barrett and Sam Geller each with two goals, while goalie Adam Scharff finished with 9 saves in the loss. 

With the win Amherst is now 4-3 (2-2 in NESCAC play) and will face a very good Middlebury team at home this Tuesday in a pivotal NESCAC match-up.