NEW BRUNSWICK, Maine – Clutch in the face of pressure, the Mammoths netted the two final scores of the contest and Gib Versfeld '21 and Evan Wolf '19 came up with a big save and forced turnover, respectively, with under 1:40 remaining in regulation as the No. 11 Amherst College men's lacrosse team battled past Bowdoin, 16-15 Saturday afternoon at Whittier Field.
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-0 on the season and to 2-0 in conference play, while Bowdoin falls to 0-2 on the year (0-2 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Friday, March 16 when they face off against Denison in Ownings Mills, Md. in the Stevenson Mustang Classic beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a quick lead, with Kendall Rogers finding nylon 51 seconds into the first quarter to give Bowdoin a 1-0 edge.
Amherst responded with three unanswered scores, as Jon Coffey '20 opened up scoring for the Mammoths at the 13:11 mark on a dish from Brett Inglesby '18, before Coffey assisted on a score by Wolf. Colin Minicus '20 netted his first of six goals with 7:18 on the clock to round out the Amherst run and give the visitors a 3-1 lead midway through the first stanza.
Jimmy Young and Brett Kujala each registered a goal for the Polar Bears in a minute span to set the score at 3-3 before the sides traded markers in the final 4:22 behind two goals from Minicus and scores by James Strable and Tim Bulens to make it 5-5 at the end of one.
The lone quarter that saw a side own an advantage in goals scored, the second period proved crucial for the Mammoths as Amherst outscored Bowdoin, 4-3. Putting the Mammoths back on top, 6-5, Minicus beat the Polar Bear netminder at the 12:50 mark before Matthew Crowell countered with a score of his own.
The next two goals belonged to Amherst as Coffey and Trenton Shore '19 each potted scores to give the Mammoths a two point cushion. Bulens cut the Bowdoin deficit to one at the 2:07 mark, before goals by Amherst's Coffey and the Polar Bears' Brett Kujala in the final 58 seconds made it 9-8 at the half.
Both teams tallied three markers in the third quarter, with Inglesby, Minicus and Matt Solberg '20 sending shots over the goal line for Amherst and Crowell (2) and Sam Langan logging scores for the Polar Bears.
In the fourth, Jordan Sanford '18, Minicus and Jimmy McAfee '20 notched goals for Amherst in response to Bowdoin scores by Kujala (2), Daniel Buckman and Bulen to deadlock the matchup at 15-15 with 6:30 remaining in regulation.
Striking at the 4:08 mark, Solberg's fifth tally of the spring proved to be the game-winner, giving the Mammoths a 16-15 edge with time winding down.
Holding their ground with under two minutes to play, Versfeld stonewalled a shot by Buckman at the 1:42 mark before Wolf thwarted a Polar Bear clearing attempt and forced a turnover with 1:29 on the clock to record the final dagger for the Mammoths.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In goal, Cameron Mitchell '21 made six stops for the Mammoths in the first 45 minutes of action, while Versfeld (2-0) earned the win, registering one stop in the final 15 minutes in relief. John Young (0-2) racked up 12 saves for Bowdoin in the losing effort.
- Minicus led the Mammoths' offense with a game-high six scores. Dylan Finazzo '20 picked up six ground balls, while Sanford forced three turn overs.
- At the face off dot, Finazzo went 16-for-32, while Sam Carlin finished 18-for-34.
- Amherst went 2-for-4 on player up opportunities and 15-for-19 on clear attempts, while Bowdoin finished 4-for-6 up a player and 16-for-20 on clear opportunities.