MEDFORD, Mass. – Tied at 8-8 with 12:59 to play, the Mammoths were unable to stave off a fourth quarter run by the Ephs as the fourth-seeded Amherst College men's lacrosse team fell to third-seeded Williams College, 11-8 in the NESCAC Semifinals Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 14-3 on the season, while Williams improves to 15-2 and advances to the NESCAC Finals. Amherst will now await word on a NCAA Championship at-large bid when selections are announced on May 5 at 9 PM.
A low scoring first half saw only nine goals scored between the sides, with Williams outscoring Amherst 5-1 in the first quarter before the Mammoths shut out the Ephs and added three scores to the board in the second stanza to set the score at 5-4 at intermission.
First to strike, Williams opened scoring at the 7:47 mark, with Kevin Stump sending a dish from Cory Lund five-hole.
Responding 49 seconds later and tallying what stood as the Mammoths' lone goal in the first 15 minutes of action, PJ Clementi '22 corralled a feed from Evan Wolf '19, rolled off his defender and snuck a shot just inside the near left post.
Putting together a 4-0 run in the final 3:52 before the horn, Stump sent a quick one-timer past the Amherst keeper before Brendan Hoffman netted back-to-back man-up goals and added an unassisted tally with eight seconds on the clock to push the score to 5-1 at the end of the first period.
Shutting out the Ephs in the second, Matt Solberg '20 sparked a 3-0 run by Amherst. Taking advantage of a great pick by James Crovatto '21, Solberg found the back of the net at the 5:08 mark as he drove down the right side and powered a shot into the bottom left corner.
A forced turnover by Colin Minicus '20 set up a Wolf score at the 4:25 mark, as Wolf picked up the loose ball 15 yards out and sent a laser under the crossbar.
Potting his second goal in four minutes, Wolf didn't let the rebound from a shot by Ethan Kazmierski '20 hit the ground before sneaking a follow-up attempt past the keeper to set the score at 5-4 at the break.
A back-and-forth third quarter saw three draws and two lead changes between the sides, with Amherst holding an 8-7 lead entering the final 15 minutes of play.
Trading goals through the first seven minutes, Jimmy McAfee '20 and Jackson Herrick '20 logged markers for the Mammoths, while Jake Haase and Stump found nylon for the Ephs to give Williams a 7-6 edge.
The third closed out with back-to-back Amherst scores, as Jack Patton '21 sent a crank shot over the goal line off a feed from Minicus at the 5:17 mark before Minicus tallied a score of his own on a low-to-high shot with 10 seconds on the clock.
Edging the Mammoths in the final stretch, Hoffman, John Hincks, Haase and Lund each potted goals in the fourth period while Williams held Amherst scoreless to clinch the 11-8 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Gib Versfeld '21 (1-2) racked up 18 saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Harry Gahagan (15-2) made 20 stops for Williams in the win.
- With two scores, Wolf was the Mammoths lone multi-goal getter on the day. Dylan Finazzo '20 and Wolf led the contest with six and five ground ball pickups, while a trio of Mammoths posted a game-high two caused turnovers. Finazzo finished 12-for-20 at the X to lead all players in face off wins.
- The Mammoths owned the edge in face offs (12-23) and shots (48-44) and finished 0-for-2 on man-up chances, while the Ephs held the advantage in ground balls (36-34) and went 3-for-11 on man-up opportunities.