MEDFORD, Mass. – Dominating the first half to own a 10 goal lead, the seventh-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team staved off a furious comeback effort by the Jumbos to hand No. 3 Tufts University its first loss of the season, 20-16 in an upset victory Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.
With the win, Amherst climbs to 11-2 on the year and to 7-1 in league action, while Tufts falls to 10-1 overall (6-1 NESCAC). Returning home for the final two games of the regular season, the Mammoths next hit the field on Saturday, April 21 when they host Bates on Senior Day beginning at 1 p.m.
The first 10 minutes featured back and forth play, with Colin Minicus '20 and Evan Wolf '19 potting the game's first two markers before Danny Murphy got the Jumbos on the board with an assist from Andrew Seiter.
Teaming up for back-to-back goals, Wolf dished consecutive helpers to Jon Coffey '20 to make it 4-1, before a Seiter score at the 5:36 mark cut the home team's deficit to two.
The final 20 minutes of the first half was all Amherst, with the Mammoths netting 11 of the next 14 goals to take a 15-5 lead at intermission.
Closing out the first half on a 3-0 run, Minicus dished out three straight assists, finding Wolf for his second and third goals of the first period and Jordan Sanford '18 at the 3:53 mark to push the score to 7-2 in favor of the visitors.
Nick Shanks and Seiter sandwiched an unassisted goal by Matt Solberg '20 to open the second quarter before Amherst broke open the game with seven unanswered scores.
Andrew Ford '19 kicked off the run at the 7:41 mark behind an individual effort play, while Jack Norton '19 capitalized on a Tufts illegal body check penalty and Solberg potted his second goal of the day to set the score at 11-4. Brett Inglesby '18, Wolf (2) and Coffey posted the next four Amherst scores, with Max Keeley '18, Minicus and Ford earning the assists.
Logging a player-up score four seconds before halftime, Matt Treiber's marker sparked a Jumbos comeback effort that featured a 6-1 run in the third stanza.
Striking twice in a four-minute span, Frank Hattler notched unassisted goals to bring Tufts within eight, before Shanks (2), Ben Connelly and Seiter each beat the Amherst netminder to get the Jumbos back in striking distance, 15-11.
Jackson Herrick '20 closed out scoring in the third, ripping a shot into the nylon to give the Mammoths a 16-11 lead with 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
Tufts had the first three scores of the fourth quarter, with Matt Treiber potting two player-up goals and Shanks adding another to close the gap to 16-14, however the Amherst offense came alive in the clutch, emerging for a four-goal run to restore a comfortable 20-14 margin behind three markers from Solberg and a Herrick score.
The final two goals of the contest belonged to Connelly and Treiber of Tufts, however the 15 score first half by the Mammoths ultimately proved too much to overcome as Amherst held on for the 20-16 upset victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Chad Simons '21 (5-1) made 14 saves for the Mammoths in the winning effort, while Mason Pollack (7-1) registered 16 stops for Tufts in the loss.
- At the face off dot, the Mammoths went 24-for-39 behind a 23-for-36 effort by Dylan Finazzo '20.
- Reid Shilling '21 and Ford each forced two turnovers, while Finazzo led the contest in ground balls with 14.
- Amherst owned a 36-30 edge in shots on target and a 43-34 advantage in ground balls.
- The Mammoths went 20-for-25 on clears and a perfect 1-for-1 up a player, while Tufts finished 21-for-24 on clears and 3-for-4 up a player.