AMHERST, Mass. – Colin Minicus '20 netted a game-high seven scores and Evan Wolf '19 added five more for the Mammoths, as the second-seed Amherst College men's lacrosse team broke away from seventh-seeded Bowdoin in the second half to clinch a 24-16 victory in Saturday's NESCAC Quarterfinals matchup at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 14-2 on the season and earns a spot in the NESCAC Semifinals, while Bowdoin finishes the year with an 8-7 overall ledger. Amherst returns to action on Saturday, May 5 when they battle third-seeded Tufts at 3 p.m. at top-seeded Wesleyan.
Jumping out to a 2-0 lead, James Strabley and Daniel Buckman each potted unassisted markers for the Polar Bears to give the visitors and early lead before back-to-back scores by Minicus deadlocked the contest at 2-2.
Each side closed out the opening quarter with a 3-0 run, with Bowdoin taking a 5-3 edge behind player-up goals by Bradley Ingersoll and John Young and a score from Jimmy Young before Amherst closed the gap with markers from Matt Solberg '20, Jack Norton '19 and Max Keeley '18 in the final 3:29 to make it 5-5 after 15 minutes of play.
Tied at 9-9 at the break, both teams netted four scores in the second period. Starting out strong, Jimmy McAfee '20 found Wolf for the tally 2:38 into the stanza to give Amherst its first lead of the day, before Jon Coffey '20 notched an unassisted score and dished an assist to Wolf with 10:49 on the clock to make it 8-5 Mammoths.
Undeterred, the Polar Bears went on a 4-1 run in the final 8:15, with Ingersoll recording Bowdoin's third player-up score of the tilt and Daniel Buckman converting on a pass from Shawn Daly before Minicus drove an unassisted marker over the goal line. Kendall Rogers got the visitors back within one with 1:17 on the clock, while Daly's score following pass from Matthis Wieczorek with 58 seconds remaining before the half set up an exciting final 30 minutes.
The third period was all Amherst after a goal by Bowdoin's Kujala 1:18 into the stanza, with the Mammoths notching 10 of the next 12 scores to take a 19-12 edge.
After Wolf teamed up with Coffey to even things up at 10 all at the 13:12 mark, Minicus and Solberg each beat the Polar Bear netminder with individual effort plays to give the home team a 12-10 cushion.
Striking just under two minutes later, Kujala brought Bowdoin back within one, however six straight scores by the Mammoths' Wolf, Minicus (2), Logan Lair '20, Coffey and Trenton Shore '19 created a comfortable 18-11 lead.
Trading markers in the final 1:12, Bowdoin's Strabley and Amherst's Wolf each sent shot past the opposing goalkeeper to set the score at 19-12 heading into the final quarter.
Evenly matched in the fourth stanza, the Mammoths outscored Bowdoin, 5-4 to claim the 24-16 quarterfinal victory.
Daly (2), Jimmy Young and Ingersoll were the goal scorers for the Polar Bears in the last 15 minutes, while Norton, Minicus, Jackson Herrick '20, Wolf and Jack Cahill '18 potted markers for the Mammoths.
- In between the pipes, Chad Simons '20 (8-1) registered 15 saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while John Young (8-7) made 17 stops for Bowdoin in the loss.
- Amherst owned a 41-32 edge in shots on target and a 41-31 advantage in ground balls.
- Dylan Finazzo '20 finished 26-for-37 at the face off dot to lead the Mammoths 29-for-42 effort and picked up a game-high 14 ground balls.
- The Mammoths went 10-for-11 on clears and 2-for-6 up a player, while the Polar Bears finished 13-for-19 on clear attempts and 4-for-7 up a player.