WELLINGTON, FL – The eighth-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team closed out its spring break slate in Wellington, Fla. with a crushing 18-6 defeat of non-conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University on Friday morning. Juniors Alyssa Briody (Hopewell, NJ) and Lauren Dudley (Baltimore, MD) and rookie Mary Noonan (West Roxbury, MA) all recorded hatricks, while senior Margaret Chute (Pawtucket, RI) was spectacular on both ends of the field, scooping up four ground balls, forcing a pair of turnovers and tallying two goals. The Jeffs move to 2-0 on the season, while ECSU remains winless at 0-5.
Amherst controlled the game from its start, allowing Noonan to net two of her three within the first three minutes of play. The first came off a pretty feed from junior Liz Wise (Scarsdale, NY), and the second was a quick flick-back after gathering her own rebounded shot. The Warrior defense regrouped and was able to force a nine-minute Amherst scoring drought, but couldn't get the ball in its own offensive end. Chute and senior co-captain Laura Brown (Bethesda, MD) were instrumental in keeping control in the hands of the Amherst attack, grabbing countless ground balls and interceptions in the midfield. Dudley notched her first score at 17:41, confidently taking on an ECSU defender and burying a waist-level shot, and Briody, Noonan and sophomore Maddie Hoeg (Shoreham, NY) converted free-position shots to get Amherst out to a 6-0 lead 11 minutes in.
The stalwart Amherst defense only allowed ECSU to set up their settled offense twice in the first frame, but junior midfielder Jenna Faiola was able to get one shot past sophomore goaltender Kathleen Boucher (Washington, DC), who made her first career start, before the break. Wise posted her first goal of the season, catching a feed from first-year Amy Craig (Denver, CO) with time to fake and drop in a low bullet at 3:28. Chute and juniors Rachel Lewis (Denver, CO) and Dana Kuper (Denver, CO) also scored in the first stanza, as Amherst sailed into halftime with a 10-1 edge.
Briody wasted no time adding to the Amherst advantage in the second half, feeding Dudley just 32 seconds in and then netting a pair of her own, off a long pass from Noonan and an eight-meter shot, on the two ensuing possessions. The Warriors responded with two straight goals of their own, as Faiola converted a pass from senior Kara Mastroianni and rookie Sara Barrett nailed a free-position shot, to cut the lead to 13-3, but they couldn't compete with Amherst's midfield monopoly. The Jeffs were 6-6 on clears and snatched 17 draw controls, including five from Noonan and four from Lewis, to ECSU's eight. Senior tri-captain Scotty Hanley (Sparks, MD) fired a low-angle left-handed rocket at 16:45, and Dudley and senior tri-captain Caitie Parker (Bethesda, MD) added scores before the 13-minute mark to put the game away early. Rookie Louise Stevenson (Dallas, TX) netted her first career goal and Briody and junior Caroline Shannon (Hanover, NH) each recorded an assist.
Boucher totaled three stops, a pair of ground balls and an interception, while ECSU counterpart senior Erin Calkins posted 12 saves.
Amherst returns to action on Thursday, March 30, when they host non-conference foe Springfield College.