SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Matt Solberg '20 and Evan Wolf '19 led the Mammoths offense with four markers each as a strong third quarter pushed the No. 5 Amherst College men's lacrosse team past Western New England, 16-11 Tuesday evening in a non-conference bout at Golden Bear Stadium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 2-0 on the season, while Western New England falls to 2-1 overall. Amherst returns to the field this Saturday, March 9 when they host Bowdoin College in their home opener at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium. Opening face off in set for 1 p.m.
Jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Wolf potted the first two scores of the matchup with assists from James Crovatto '21 and Jack Hutchinson '21 before thee quick scores by the Golden Bear's Matt Greer, Jared Ward and John Shahpazian gave the home team its first lead of the day with 4:55 on the clock.
Pulling things even, Colin Minicus '20 beat the WNE netminder with an unassisted score at the 2:42 mark, before Nick Gamba countered one minute later to give the home team a 4-3 edge at the end of the first quarter.
Holding the Golden Bears to one goal in the second stanza while adding three markers to the board, Amherst owned a 6-5 edge at the half. Minicus and Ward traded scores to open the stanza before the Mammoths closed out the half with a man-up score by Solberg and a goal by Wolf.
Breaking the contest open in the third, Amherst outscored WNE, 6-2 to set the score at 12-7 entering the final 15 minutes of regulation.
Trading scores to open the stanza, goals by the Mammoths' Solberg (2) and Minicus and the Golden Bears' Greet and Jared Newall pushed the score to 9-7 before a score by Chase Yager '22 sparked a 3-0 Amherst run that featured markers by Ethan Kazmierski '21 and Solberg.
An evenly played fourth quarter saw both sides tally four scores, with Mike Bannon kicking off scoring 46 seconds into the period to bring WNE within four.
The Mammoths countered with back-to-back goals by Wolf and Grant Chryssicas '21, before the Golden Bears registered three unanswered scores by Greer, Murphy Hartmann and John Shahpazian to get back within three with 5:16 remaining.
That was as close as WNE's comeback effort got to evening the score with time winding down, as Kazmierski and Dylan Peabody '21 logged what stood as the final two markers of the battle with 3:34 and 1:27 on the clock to lift Amherst to the 16-11 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Chad Simons '20 (2-0) made five saves in 30 minutes in the winning effort for Amherst, while Gib Versfeld '21 added six stops in the second half in relief. Sean McCusker (2-1) took the loss for WNE, racking up 15 saves.
- Chryssicas finished 9-for-15 to lead the Mammoths at the face off dot and picked up a team-high seven ground balls, while Minicus and Reid Shilling '21 forced a game-high two turnovers each.
- Hunter Cocks corralled a game-leading 12 ground balls for the Golden Bears while going 17-for-29 at the face off X.
- Amherst owned a 52-29 advantage in shot attempts, 32-29 edge in ground balls and finished 1-for-3 on man-up opportunities, while WNE went 0-for-8 up a player.