Jeffs Bow to TCNJ in NCAA Semifinals

May 18, 2002 

GLASSBORO, NJ – After downing the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in last year's NCAA Final Four, the Amherst College women's lacrosse team returned to action and fell to the Lions, 10-7, in Saturday afternoon's 2002 NCAA national semifinal game at Rowan University Stadium in Glassboro, New Jersey. Junior attacker Laura Schifter (Washington, D.C.) paced the Jeffs with a goal and a pair of assists. Junior midfielder Mary Kate Allen (Springfield, MA) and classmate attacker Erin Beaumont (Summit, NJ) also chipped in with two goals each. 

The Lions drew first blood just 24 seconds into the contest when sophomore middie Carin Heller (Springfield, PA) came around from behind the net and ripped a shot over junior goaltender Brooke Diamond's (Longmeadow, MA) shoulder. Amherst answered 11:36 into the opening half when junior attacker Abby Ouimet (Hatfield, MA) connected with Allen who fired a shot through sophomore netminder Gemma Gannone's (Easthampton, NJ) legs. After the ensuing draw, TCNJ junior midfielder Tara Prindible (Cinnaminison, NJ) notched the first of two goals on the afternoon, shooting a free position shot past Diamond. Shortly thereafter, Beaumont countered with a free position goal of her own to even the score at 2-2 midway through the first half. 

The Jeffs then took the lead 20:15 into the game when Schifter was credited with a goal after Gannone misplayed the ball. The Lions struck back less than a minute later when junior attacker Liz O' Connor (Ridgewood, NJ) whipped a right-handed shot into the back of the cage. Amherst took the lead back 23:53 into the period when sophomore midfielder Liz Martin (Baltimore, MD) took a feed from Schifter and ripped a rocket that deflected off the left post and found its way into the net. Prindible then hit a cutting Heller, who buried a shot into the bottom of the net, knotting the score at 4-4. Amherst grabbed the lead once again when Ouimet and Allen hooked up for the second time, giving the Jeffs a 5-4 advantage at the break. 

TCNJ opened the scoring less than two minutes into the second half when O'Connor launched a free position shot through Diamond's legs. Diamond fired a nifty clearing pass to senior co-captain defender Cara Coscarelli (W. Hartford, CT), who was able to advance the ball to an attacker behind the net. Moments later, Schifter threaded a gorgeous feed to Beaumont who was able to tickle the twine, putting the Jeffs ahead 6-5. The Lions responded by bringing reserve goaltender Jen Munday (Mountain Lakes, NJ) into the game, and countered to even the score at 6-6 when sophomore middie Katie Wagenblast (Toms River, NJ) dodged a defender and fired a laser into the top right corner. 

After Allen weaved through a pair of Lion defenders to clear the ball, sophomore attacker Allison Aldrich (Cornwall, VT) took the ball at the top of the zone and dodged right to left, bouncing a shot through Munday's legs, giving Amherst a 7-6 advantage midway into the final stanza. That was the last goal the Jeffs would net, however, as TCNJ went on to tally four unanswered goals on its way to the victory. 

With the score tied at 7-7, Prindible notched her second goal of the day off a free position shot. The Lions than tallied yet another strike to go ahead 9-7 with 4:04 remaining. Possession changed back-and-forth over the next minute and a half until Diamond went to clear the ball and was stripped from behind by Heller, who scooped up the ground ball and went in uncontested to hit the open net and round the scoring out at 10-7. 

TCNJ then won its 15th face-off of the contest – while the Jeffs won just four – and was able to move the ball around the perimeter and run the clock down to zero. Diamond was once again stellar in the cage for Amherst, finishing with nine saves, while Gannone and Munday combined to stop seven Jeff shots. Amherst head coach Christine Paradis said after the game "We didn't control the ball as much as we needed to, and when we did maintain possession, we forced the ball at times." 

With the loss, Amherst's season comes to an end at 14-3, while TCNJ improves to 17-0 and will move on to face the winner of the Middlebury/Mary Washington contest in the championship game on Sunday.