Photo Courtesy of Steve McLaughlin
AMHERST, Mass. – An explosive opening period that saw the Mammoths outscore the Cardinals 5-1 proved to be the difference maker in a battle of Little III rivals, as the No. 2 Amherst College men's lacrosse team led from start to finish in a 14-9 victory over reigning national champions and No. 6 Wesleyan University Wednesday evening at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 10-0 on the season and to 5-0 in league play, while Wesleyan suffers its second loss of the spring and falls to 7-2 overall (3-2 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field this Saturday, April 6 when they travel to archrival and No. 13 Williams College for a 1 p.m. clash with the Little III title on the line.
Hot out of the gate, the Mammoths needed only 3:05 to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Opening scoring at the 13:26 mark, Jon Coffey '20 corralled a dish from Evan Wolf '19 and sent a laser from 10 yards out into the top right corner, before Wolf assisted on a score from Andrew Ford '19 less than a minute later.
His second of three goals on the day, Coffey added to the Amherst lead with 11:55 on the clock, picking up a ground ball after a stop from Cardinal keeper Otto Bohan and sending an uncontested, point-blank shot into the nylon.
Ronan Jacoby halted the Mammoths 3-0 run at the 9:18 mark, potting what stood as the visitor's lone goal of the first quarter off an assist from Scott Irwin.
Capitalizing on a Luke Mallette '20 forced turnover 1:14 later, Coffey found Wolf on the fast break to extend Amherst's lead to 4-1.
A tightly contest second period saw Wesleyan own a one-goal edge to push the score to 7-4 in favor of the Mammoths at the half.
Up a man, Jacoby tallied his second the game 15 seconds into the period, before Jimmy McAfee '20 countered with a goal into the bottom left corner at the 12:17 mark.
Closing the gap to 6-3, back-to-back Cardinals' goals by Jacoby and Colin Uyeki got the visitors back within striking distance.
Norton was once again the final goal scorer of the stanza, potting a dagger off an assist from Colin Minicus '20 with 8:07 on the clock. The final eight minutes was highlighted by strong defensive play as intermission rolled around with Amherst holding a three-goal edge.
The teams combined for seven goals in the third quarter, with Jacoby (2) and Uyeki netting scores for Wesleyan and Coffey, Ethan Kazmierski '21, Wolf and Grant Chryssicas '21 finding nylon for the Mammoths to set the score at 11-7 entering the final 15 minutes of regulation.
First to strike in the fourth stanza, Jacoby potted his game-leading sixth goal at the 13:07 mark to get the Cardinals back within three, however that was as close as the visitors got to evening the battle as the Mammoths responded with goals from Wolf and Kazmierski in a 49 second span.
What stood as Wesleyan's final goal of the night came with 5:57 on the clock as Irwin sent a pass from Uyeki past the Amherst keeper to make it 13-9.
With Zander Kotsen sidelined following a pushing penalty, Wolf tallied the Mammoths' final dagger, driving an assist from Dylan Peabody '21 into the netting to cap off Amherst's 14-9 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Chad Simons '20 (10-0) made 13 saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while Bohan (7-2) totaled nine stops for Wesleyan in the loss.
- Thirteen players contributed to Amherst's 14 scores, with seven different Mammoths tallying a goal. Wolf led the Amherst offense with four goals and two helpers, while Coffey added three goals and an assist. Reid Shilling '21 led the team with six ground balls and James Crovatto '21 led all players with five caused turnovers. At the X, Dylan Finazzo '20 went 5-for-10, while Juan Gonzalez '22 finished 9-for-16.
- Jacoby led the Cardinals' attack with six goals, while Uyeki led the team with six ground balls and Colin Malarchuk caused a team-high four turnovers. Ben Shapiro was 6-for-11 on face offs.
- The Mammoths owned the advantage in shots (50-37), ground balls (45-35) and face offs (14-26) and went a perfect 1-for-1 up a man, while the Cardinals finished 1-for-3 on man-up opportunities.