Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Behind junior Alex Philie's hat trick, the 11th-ranked Amherst women's lacrosse team picked up its third straight victory with an 8-3 triumph over Springfield College on Gooding Field.
Up 4-2 with under four minutes to go in the first half, Amherst tacked on a pair of goals before the intermission, holding the Pride to just one second half tally and scoreless over the final 27:48.
Meghan Mills '15 had two goals and an assist for the Jeffs, while Marta Randall '13 added a pair of markers. Hillary Densen '13 chipped in a goal and an assist as Amherst finished with a 17-15 shot advantage.
Connie Nielsen '16, Meghan Flanagan '13 and Jennifer McDonough '15 accounted for the three Springfield scores, with Michelle Dorsey '15 and Kelly Gallo '14 each dishing out a helper.
Getting the Jeffs off to a fast start, Densen linked up with Mills just 58 seconds after the opening draw, finding her charging teammate who snuck a quick shot inside the near post. Pulling the Pride even at 24:18, Nielsen caught a Dorsey pass just above the crease before wrapping a shot around first-year goalkeeper Christy Forrest.
Drawing a foul inside of the 19-minute mark, Randall converted a free-position attempt to put Amherst back on top before Philie dodged a defender and found space in front, bouncing a low shot past Anne Versprille '14 to make it 3-1. Randall made good on another free-position at 14:07 to extend the cushion to three, but Flanagan returned the favor with a FPG in the latter stages of the first half.
Closing the frame out strong, Mills curled into the alley before rifling a hard shot into the upper right corner at 3:47. Looking for more, Amherst tacked on a sixth score with just over 12 seconds left as Mills found Philie in front for her second of the evening.
Cutting into the lead early in the second half, Gallo found a cutting McDonough, who slipped a shot inside the right post. Wasting little time responding, Philie converted a free-position just 1:01 later. With neither team able to gain traction offensively over the next 25-plus minutes, Densen wrapped up the scoring with just 1:43 on the clock by converting Amherst's fourth free-position of the night.
Finishing the game 14-for-17 on clear attempts, Amherst went 4-for-6 on free-position tries, while holding a slim 14-13 edge in ground balls. Forrest, who finished with nine saves, led the Purple & Whte with four ground balls and two caused turnovers, while Versprille made four stops to go along with three ground balls.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Mar. 30 against Hamilton at 12 p.m. on Gooding Field.