No. 4 Amherst Advances to NESCAC Semifinals With Win Over No. 5 Bates

No. 4 Amherst Advances to NESCAC Semifinals With Win Over No. 5 Bates

AMHERST, Mass. – Eclipsing the 20-goal mark for the ninth time this season, the Mammoths picked up their second win over the Bobcats in seven days as the fourth-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team powered past fifth-ranked Bates, 23-9 Saturday afternoon in a NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals clash at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium. 

With the win, Amherst improves to 14-2 on the season, while Bates falls to 10-5 overall. Amherst returns to action next Saturday, May 4 when they battle third-seeded Williams on the campus of top-seeded Tufts. 

First on the board, Andrew Small gave the visitors their first and only lead of the day 1:15 into the matchup, driving a dish from Matt Chlastawa into the back of the net.

Responding with a 3-0 run, Chase Yager '22 found James Crovatto '21 all alone in front for Amherst's first score of the day at the 12:15 mark before Colin Minicus '20 and Evan Wolf '19 each potted unassisted markers to put the home team on top, 3-1.

A Chlastawa unassisted goal with 9:19 on the clock got the Bobcats back within one, while a Brendan Mullally man-up score drew the sides into a 3-3 tie.  

Closing out the first quarter with back-to-back goals, Matt Solberg '20 juked around two defenders before finding nylon at the 3:39 mark before taking advantage of a Bobcats' unnecessary roughness call with 1:05 to go before the horn.

Pulling away in the second quarter, the Mammoths outscored Bates, 8-2, to own a comfortable 13-5 lead at the half.

Otis Klingbeil got the Bobcats back within one with a man-up goal 16 seconds into the second, before Amherst exploded for six unanswered markers in a five-minute span to push the score to 11-4. 

Crovatto sparked the Amherst run at the 13:19 mark, as Wolf found the sophomore behind the defense for the goal before adding a score himself off a dish from Minicus 1:19 later.

Jon Coffey '20, Solberg (man-up), Brogan Mahon '19 and Wolf closed out the run, before a Chlastawa score with 8:20 on the clock halted Amherst's uninterrupted streak.

Tallying two more scores before intermission, Wolf teamed up with Minius for the third time in the period to make it 12-5 before Jack Norton '19 notched the Mammoths third man-up goal of the day.

The third stanza saw Amherst extend its lead by three, with Solberg, Minicus, Jack Wolff '19, Jimmy McAfee '20 and Wolf potting daggers for the Mammoths and Chlastawa and Klingbeil logging goals for Bates to set the score at 15-7 after 45 minutes of action.

In an identical scoring quarter to the third, Amherst and Bates traded two scores each to open the fourth, before the Mammoths closed out the stanza and game with three straight goals to clinch the dominant 23-9 victory.

Luke Mallette '20 converted on a feed from Andrew Ford '19 and Solberg netted an unassisted strike inside the first three minutes, before Klingbeil and Jack Scribner each found the back of the net for the Bobcats.

Holding the visitors scoreless through the final 11:32, Coffey, Wolff and Juan Gonzalez '22 each powered a shot into the nylon to cap off the win. Gonzalez's score off the face off win marked the first-year's first-ever collegiate goal.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In between the pipes, Gib Versfeld '21 (1-1) racked up 20 saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while Rob Strain (7-3) made 19 stops for bates in the loss.
  • The Mammoths owned the advantage in face offs (27-35), shots (58-44), ground balls (61-34) and went 3-for-5 on man-up opportunities, while the Bobcats finished 2-for-6 on man-up chances.
  • Dylan Finazzo '20 (12-for-15) and Gonzalez (15-for-20) were dominant on face offs for Amherst and each corralled a game-high eight ground balls, while Solberg and Wolf each netted a contest-leading five scores. Tamer Sullivan '21 led all players with three caused turnovers.
  • Eli Cooper went 8-for-29 at the face off dot, while Cooper and Stephen Bull each posted team-leading six ground ball pickups. Chlastawa's six points behind three goals and three helpers were a team-high, while a trio of Bates players caused two turnovers apiece.