Jeffs Held to One First-Half Goal in 12-7 Loss at Bates

Courtesy of Bates College

LEWISTON, ME – The 18th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team closed a 6-1 deficit down to 8-7 with 2:35 to go in regulation, but Bates College finished the game with four unanswered goals for a 12-7 NESCAC victory Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Jenna Dannis scored four goals and added two assists, including two goals and one assist in the final 1:42, to lead the Bobcats (3-4, 2-2 NESCAC) to their first win over a ranked opponent this season. Joan O'Neill added four goals and one assist, and Briana Gross contributed two goals and two assists. 

Jenn Brallier, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week, also contributed a pair of goals along with a game-high six draw controls. Mara Krueger made eight saves, including four key stops early on that allowed Bates to hold Amherst scoreless for the first 23:51 of the opening half. Bates dominated draw controls by a 16-4 margin in the game.

Marta Randall '13 (Monkton, MD), who entered the game leading Amherst  (4-3, 1-3) with 19 goals, was held scoreless for the first 51 minutes of the game, but she finished with a team-high two goals. MC McClellan '14 (Denver, CO) played the final 39:11 in net for Amherst and made four saves against eight goals allowed. Lamia Harik '12 (Rye Brook, NY) started and allowed four goals while stopping one shot.

Bates led wire to wire, beginning with Gross's unassisted tally less than six minutes in, which answered a pair of long Amherst possessions that went scoreless. After Dannis scored two straight, O'Neill slung a shot past Harik while falling over to make it 4-0 with 9:11 to go in the first period. Hillary Densen '13 (Summit, NJ) got Amherst on the board three minutes later, bringing the score to 4-1 before the break.

O'Neill assisted Brallier's 17th goal of the year to open the scoring in the second half, and the junior attacker added her second goal of the game with 24:51 to go, putting Bates on top 6-1. Amherst answered with a 4-0 run that started with free-position scores by Natalie Dugan '13 (Washington, DC), Alex Philie '14 (East Sandwich, MA) and Caroline Holliday '14 (Newark, DE). 

After an eight-minute scoreless drought for both teams, Randall came through with her first goal of the game. Using a brilliant spin move to get past two Bates defenders, Randall finished from close range to close Amherst's gap to 6-5 with 8:51 left in the game.

O'Neill was awarded a free-position shot soon after Bates controlled the ensuing draw, and she stuck it in the net to end Amherst's run and give Bates some breathing room at 7-5 with 8:16 to go. With 6:58 left in the game Gross made a nice catch and scored in traffic for an 8-5 advantage.

After Krueger saved a free-position shot by Randall, the Jeffs retained control and got a goal by Kelley Trapp '11 (Monterey, CA) on an assist by Meredith LaRose '12 (Cranford, NJ) with 4:10 left. Amherst then closed the gap down to 8-7 with 2:35 to go, when Randall converted a free-position shot.

Rather than killing the clock, Bates won each draw control down the stretch and scored on four straight shots. Dannis found the back of the net with 0.8 seconds left on the clock for the final margin of 12-7. First-year SooHee Yoon had a stellar defensive game for the Bobcats with four ground balls, four draw controls and two caused turnovers. Philie led Amherst with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

The Lord Jeffs will return to action Thursday, Apr. 7, when they travel to take on Wheaton College at 5 p.m.