MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Amherst College women's lacrosse team picked a good time to put an end to its losing streak, as the Lord Jeffs rolled past Wesleyan University in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Tournament, 13-5. The sixth-seed Jeffs move to 9-6 on the season and will take on fourth-seed Colby College Saturday, May 5 in the semifinals. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. at Middlebury College.
Wesleyan and Amherst had posted identical 5-4 records in conference play and despite a 10-5 victory over Wesleyan on opening day back in March, Amherst was relegated to the sixth seed while Wesleyan eared the number-three seed as Wesleyan controlled the tie-breaker in a four-way deadlock with Bowdoin and Colby also involved.
But the Jeffs, ranked ninth in the country, ignored the lack of home-field advantage and kept Wesleyan winless in NESCAC tournament play at 0-5 with Amherst accounting for three of those losses. Top goal-getter sophomore Amy Craig (Denver, CO) and junior Maddie Hoeg (Shoreham, NY) each tallied four times to pace the Lord Jeff attack. Craig raised her goal-scoring figure to 49 while Hoeg upped hers to 19. Craig also had an assist for a five-point day while Noonan posted two goals along with three assists for five points.
Top point-getter senior Alyssa Briody (Hopewell, NJ) chipped in with three assists, giving her 40 on the year to go along with 19 goals. Sophomore Mary Noonan (West Roxbury, MA) and Craig both scored twice during the decisive run which carried into the 21:33 mark of the second half as Amherst opened up the 8-2 lead. Wesleyan, ranked 10th nationally, received a pair of goals from first-year Elena Parasco and three assists from senior Cortney Tetrault, who finished as Wesleyan's top scorer this year with 15 goals and 31 assists for 46 points.
The Cardinals got as close as 10-5 midway through the second period but Amherst netted the final three goals to win going away.
Amherst, which has a rich tradition of post-season play including six NCAA appearances in the last eight years, five of them leading to the semifinals with a national title in 2003, will move on to the NESCAC semifinals at Middlebury where it will face Colby, while the host takes on Williams College. Colby downed Amherst 11-6 Saturday in the regular-season finale in Amherst.