Jeffs Use Tough Defense to Get by Springfield, 6-4

AMHERST, MA – The 18th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team fell into a quick 3-0 hole but fought back with six consecutive goals, hanging on for a 6-4 win over Springfield College Tuesday evening at Gooding Field.

Junior Meredith LaRose (Cranford, NJ) and sophomore Marta Randall (Monkton, MD) each scored a pair of goals, while Julia Viani '12 (Concord, NH) tallied three assists to lead the Jeffs (4-2). Meghan Flanagan scored twice and Meaghan Dobson recorded three assists for the Pride, who fall to 4-2 on the season.

Springfield held a 3-0 lead after 11 minutes thanks to a goal from Jackie Moscardelli and back-to-back scores from Flanagan, with Dobson providing assists on the first two goals. The Pride seemed poised to pick up their first-ever win over Amherst, but they would be held scoreless for a remarkable 41 minutes and 23 seconds after the initial three-goal burst. 

The Jeffs bounced back with four scores in a span of 6:37, taking their first lead of the game with 12:31 to play in the opening half. After senior co-captain Kelley Trapp (Monterrey, CA) put Amherst on the board, Randall beat Springfield goalie Anne Versprille with a high shot into the top corner to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Viani then found classmate Meredith LaRose (Cranford, NJ) with a pass through traffic, and the junior defender buried a hard shot into the back of the net. Randall added her second goal of the day off a feed from Trapp, and the Jeffs carried a 4-3 advantage into halftime.

Amherst doubled its lead five minutes into the second frame when LaRose scored her second of the day, once again off an impressive Viani entry pass. Viani then found sophomore Hillary Densen (Summit, NJ), whose fourth goal of the season extended the Amherst lead to 6-3 with 14:05 to go.

Springfield made it interesting by cutting the deficit to two on a goal from Kelly Gallo with eight minutes remaining, but Amherst stayed strong defensively and held on for the 6-4 win.

Amherst goalie Lamia Harik '12 (Rye Brook, NY) totaled four saves to improve to 2-0 on the year. LaRose made her presence known on both ends of the field, causing four turnovers to go along with her two goals. Versprille finished the game with three saves for Springfield, which held a 15-13 advantage in shots.

Amherst will head to Lewiston, Maine on Saturday for a key NESCAC matchup against Bates College. Springfield will look to rebound Thursday night when it hosts Plymouth State at 6 p.m.