AMHERST, Mass. – The sixth-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse used an 11-point effort from Quinn Moroney '16 to help spark the Jeffs to a 20-4 victory over Castleton State College in Wednesday afternoon's NCAA Division III First Round game at Pratt Field.
With the win, Amherst (17-2) advances to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship for the second consecutive season. The Jeffs will host Middlebury College (13-5) after the Panthers topped Montclair State University, 17-8 in other first round action on Wednesday. The Jeffs and Middlebury will meet Saturday, May 9 at Pratt Field. A time for that game is yet to be determined.
The 20 goals for Amherst marks the second time this season it's reached that number, having also scored 20 in a victory over Bowdoin College (20-4) on March 7.
Moroney finished with a goal and a collegiate career-high 10 assists en route to his 11 points, while 12 different players scored for the Purple & White. Cody Tranbarger '17 turned away four of the seven shots he faced in 52:08 of action to improve to 17-2 between the pipes.
Amherst jumped out to an early lead as Dylan Park '16 fired in a goal at the 13:37 mark of the first quarter following a pass from Kevin Curry '15. The Jeffs added to their lead scoring five goals between the 5:16 mark and the 2:42 mark of the period to give the Purple & White a 6-0 advantage. Park netted Amherst's second goal on a feed from Moroney, before Rob Butko '16 scorched the net for an unassisted marker. Moroney then found Kane Haffey '16, before Haffey provided a helper for Patrick Routh '15 to set the score at 5-0. Max Keeley '18 contributed the final strike of the stanza after receiving a dish from Moroney.
At the 12:02 mark of the second quarter, Moroney picked up his fourth assist when he found Haffey for his second goal of the game to make it 7-0. Castleton State answered less than two minutes later when Taylor Swarter found the back of the net for an unassisted goal to set the score at 7-1. Moroney then set up Chris Albanese '17 who scored his first of the game to make it 8-1 with 7:32 remaining in the half. Michael Litner '16 then increased the Jeffs' cushion to eight (9-1) when he capitalized on a pass from Charlie Gill '16 to close out the first half.
The Spartans struck just 51 seconds into the third quarter when Zach Davidson netted a goal on an extra-man opportunity. Amherst answered the score when Albanese found the back of the cage following an assist from Moroney. The Jeffs then pushed the score to 11-2 when Haffey struck following a feed from Park with 12:19 to play in the stanza. Nicolas Romeo delivered a marker less than two minutes later after Sam Frackleton provided a helper to pull the Spartans to within eight at 11-3. Moroney then notched his seventh assist when Gill found the back of the net with 4:01 to play. Gill then aided Litner's second goal of the game to make it 13-3 after 45 minutes of action.
Early in the fourth frame, Moroney registered a goal that was set up by Curry to make it 14-3. At the 10:55 mark, Moroney then delivered a sensational behind the head pass to Haffey who fired in his fourth of the game to lift the lead to 15-3. Moroney later issued his ninth helper of the game to Matt Killian '17 who recorded his first goal of the contest. Albanese and Routh added goals with under nine minutes to play in the game with Moroney and Connor Sheehan '18 tabbing assists respectively.
Davidson found the back of the net for the second time in the game with 4:40 on the clock, and in the process, secured his 400th career point to make it 18-4.
With 49 ticks on the clock, Ian Kadish '18 scored following a pass from classmate Jack Cahill, and 10 seconds later, Matt Conway '15 found the back of the net to set the final score at 20-4. Curry added the helper on the play.
Matt Virgilio '15 led Amherst with six ground balls and caused 16 Castleton State turnovers, followed by Butko with five ground ball pickups and three forced turnovers. Kadish and Eric Grein '15 chipped in four ground balls each; while Kadish was 13-for-17 from the faceoff dot, and David White '18 was 4-for-5.
Nicolas Romeo and Ryan Crowningshield scooped four ground balls each to lead Castleton State in defeat, while Peter Latulippe made 13 saves during the first half of action. Sam Polas played the second half between the posts for the Spartans and finished with eight saves.