Balanced Effort Lifts Amherst Past Hamilton, 15-6

Contact: Matthew Hart

AMHERST, Mass. – Priscilla Tyler '15 tallied three goals and an assist and five players scored twice as the 11th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team raced to a commanding 15-6 NESCAC win over No. 14 Hamilton College on Saturday at Gooding Field.

Improving to 5-2 (2-2 NESCAC), Amherst shut down the Continentals (4-4, 2-3 NESCAC) early and took a 6-1 halftime lead before running away with a strong offensive effort in the second period. Marta Randall '13 netted a pair of goals and assisted another for the hosts, while Caroline Holliday '14, Elizabeth Ludlow '14, Megan Mills '15 and Hilary Densen '13 also scored twice and Alex Philie '14 chipped in a goal and two assists.

Margaret Gabriel '16 tallied the only first-half goal for Hamilton before adding two more strikes in the second. Rachel Friedman '13 was the only other Continental with multiple points as she tallied a goal and two assists.

Amherst jumped out to a lead just over a minute into the contest when Tyler found Mills with a pinpoint pass from behind net for the close-range finish. Holliday staked the hosts to a two-goal advantage six minutes later with a low free-position shot that beat Hamilton goalie Kari Koga '15. Hamilton pulled within one when Lauren Brady '14 assisted Gabriel for a quick shot in traffic just under 10 minutes in, but only 40 seconds later Tyler struck from the right post off an assist from Philie to make it 3-1. 

With even play resulting in no goals for the next 15 minutes, Mills finally broke the scoring drought, beating Koga left on a free-position shot with five minutes to go in the half. Two minutes later, Amherst made it 5-1 when Mia Haughton '16 sent a nice pass over the net to a cutting Tyler for the close-range strike. Randall capped the half when she took a feed from Densen and juked a defender before beating Koga with just 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

Randall picked up where she left off on the other side of the break, striking just under three minutes into the second frame when Koga saved her initial shot but the senior attacker scooped up the ground ball and finished from the right post. Less than a minute later, Randall put herself into the assist column after Haughton collected a ground ball, found the senior, and she fed Densen for the fast break finish. Continuing the flurry, Densen scored again 40 seconds later on a tremendous individual effort, making it 9-1 as she wrapped around the left post and fired a rocket past Koga from mid-range.

Amherst stayed on the offensive and Holliday padded the lead just under 10 minutes into the half as she sliced in from the top of the circle for the unassisted strike. Ludlow's free-position tally made it 11-1 with 18:35 still remaining, but Hamilton got one back shortly after when Friedman knocked down an Amherst pass and scooped up the ground ball before feeding Kathryn Maiorano '14 for the finish from the left post. Tyler responded with an unassisted tally just over a minute later as she curled around from the left side for the strike. Friedman continued the back-and-forth action with a solo score of her own at the 12:50 mark then assisted another Continental goal just 35 seconds later when she found Gabriel at close range. 

Making the most of her playing time, Sarah Spector '15 put Amherst back up by nine with an unassisted tally with under eight to play, but Gabriel answered seconds later to put the count at 13-5. Philie padded the lead as she scored off of her own rebound on the one-up advantage before Katie D'Antonio '14 sent in the final Hamilton tally with 1:41 to play. Ludlow put the exclamation point on the triumph with 13.8 seconds remaining as she scored off a long feed from Philie.

Christy Forest '16 delivered a strong effort in net for Amherst with seven saves, while Koga stopped four for Hamilton. The hosts owned a 25-17 shot advantage and an 18-14 edge in ground balls, with Fiona Dearth '15 and Philie picking up four apiece while Paige Engeldrum '13 tallied four for the Continentals. 

Amherst returns to action on Tuesday, April 2, traveling to Wesleyan for a 6 p.m. contest.