NEW LONDON, Conn. – In a back-and-forth battle, a five goal fourth quarter by the Cardinals proved too much to overcome as the No. 7 Amherst College men's lacrosse team was edged by Little III rival and fourth-ranked Wesleyan, 12-11 Wednesday evening at Citrin Field.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 8-2 on the season and to 4-1 in league play, while Wesleyan improves to 8-1 overall (5-0 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Saturday, April 7 when they host archrival Williams beginning at 1 p.m.
In a three goal first quarter, the Cardinals were first on the board as Ronan Jacoby netted an unassisted tally 1:25 into the matchup.
Responding two-fold, Zach Schwartz '18 capitalized on a Wesleyan penalty at the 8:48 mark, potting a dish from Dylan Peabody '21 before Peabody assisted on a score by Evan Wolf '19 at the 7:09 mark to give the Mammoths an early 2-1 lead.
Matt Solberg '20 extended Amherst's lead to 3-1 on an assist from Jimmy McAfee '20 with 13:31 on the clock in the second period, however the Cardinals went on to score three straight goals behind markers from Christian Barker and Jacoby (2) to take a one-goal edge.
The sides closed out the first half with a score each in the final minute before the horn, as Jack Norton '19 drove Colin Minicus's '20 pass into the nylon at the 37 second mark and Ryan Lynch posted an unassisted score six seconds later to give the home team a 5-4 lead at intermission.
Taking an 8-7 lead with 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the Mammoths doubled up Wesleyan, 4-2 in the third stanza to own a one-goal edge.
Logging four unanswered markers to open the third period, Wolf and Trenton Shore '19 scored back-to-back player up goals, before Wolf recorded his third score for the game with 7:51 on the clock to give Amherst a 7-5 cushion.
Peabody made it 8-5 with an assist from Minicus at the 6:51 mark, but the Cardinals finished the third with unassisted goals by Cole Turpin and Zander Kotsen in the final 3:46 to cut the Mammoths' advantage to one entering the final quarter.
In a thrilling fourth, Christian Barker deadlocked the bout at 8-8 at the 10:13 mark to set up an exciting final stretch for the two top-10 teams.
The Mammoths rebuilt a two-goal lead with unassisted scores by Norton and McAfee in a 15 second span, however the Cardinals answered the two quick markers with three consecutive goals to take their first lead since the opening stanza.
Harry Stanton beat the Amherst netminder on a dish from Scott Irwin at the 8:45 mark, while Collin Hitterand and Carter Hawthorne soon followed with goals of their own to give the Cardinals an 11-10 lead with 5:25 to play.
Battling back, Minicus found Norton for the marker with three minutes remaining in regulation, however a Wesleyan goal by Hawthorne at the 2:24 mark stood as the difference maker as the home team held on for the 12-11 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Chad Simons '21 (2-1) made 12 saves in the losing effort for Amherst, while Otto Bohan (6-0) registered 19 stops in the win for Wesleyan.
- Dylan Finazzo '20 went 19-for-26 on face offs to lead the Mammoths and posted a game-high 14 ground balls, while Reid Shilling led Amherst with two forced turnovers.
- Amherst owned a 31-24 edge in shots on target and a 44-35 advantage in ground balls.
- The Mammoths went a perfect 13-for-13 on clears and 3-for-6 up a player, while the Cardinals finished 20-for-22 on clear attempts and 1-for-5 on player-up opportunities.