Jeffs Fall Short at Trinity, Grab No. 7 Seed in NESCAC Championship

Courtesy of Trinity College

HARTFORD, CT – The Amherst College women's lacrosse team gave third-ranked Trinity College a run for its money, but the Lord Jeffs came out on the losing end of a 9-8 result as the Bantams finished the regular season at a perfect 14-0.

Sophomore midfielder Megan Leonhard scored the game-winning goal with 7:37 left in the second half on an assist by senior co-captain Rachel Romanowsky to lead the Bantams in what was the regular-season finale for both teams Friday evening on Sheppard Field.  

Trinity, ranked No. 3 in the nation, finishes with a perfect regular season at 14-0 and 9-0 in the NESCAC, while the 16th-ranked Lord Jeffs close the regular campaign at 9-5 overall and 4-5 in the league with their first loss in three games.  

Trinity, which had already clinched the top seed in the NESCAC Championship for the second year in a row, will host Williams College on Sunday, May 1 at noon in the opening round. Amherst grabbed the No. 7 seed and will travel to take on No. 2 Bowdoin in its league tourney opener.

Amherst opened up a 5-2 lead in the first 20 minutes of play, including two scores by sophomore midfielder Marta Randall (Monkton, MD), but Trinity closed the half with three straight goals to account for a 5-5 tie at the break. 

Randall netted her third goal 4:40 into the second half, but Trinity answered when Romanowsky fed junior midfielder Liz Bruno from behind the net. Bruno caught the ball and finished the play high in one motion to beat Lord Jeff junior goalie Lamia Harik (Rye Brook, NY), tying things back up at 6-6.  

Trinity went ahead, 8-6, on back-to-back scores in traffic by Shea Kusiak and Hadley Duncan, but Amherst first-year Annelies O'Dea (Pittsford, NY) assisted sophomore attacker Hillary Densen (Summit, NJ) on a goal with 14:25 left and scored the game-tying goal 1:09 later. The game remained knotted at 8-8 for the next six minutes, when Romanowsky assisted Leonhard on a nearly identical scoring play as the one to Bruno earlier in the half.  

Trinity junior goalie Gina Dinallo, who had entered the game with the Bantams trailing, 5-2, made a key save on an Amherst free-position shot with 5:50 on the clock. Both defenses forced turnovers in the final 2:30, but Trinity gained possession with 1:12 left and held the ball the rest of the way.

Leonhard finished with three goals and four ground balls, while Kusiak and senior co-captain Alisen Urquhart scored twice apiece for the Bantams. Urquhart also caused three turnovers, while Dinallo and sophomore backstop Olivia Whitney combined for three Trinity saves.

O'Dea totaled two goals, one assist and four ground balls, while Meredith LaRose (Cranford, NJ) notched three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Harik and M.C. McClellan (Denver, Colo.) finished with seven saves between them.

Trinity and The College of New Jersey are the lone undefeated teams remaining in NCAA Division III play.

2011 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship
Sunday, May 1 (All Games Set to Begin at Noon)
No. 8 Williams @ No. 1 Trinity
No. 7 Amherst @ No. 2 Bowdoin
No. 6 Bates @ No. 3 Colby
No. 5 Tufts @ No. 4 Middlebury