AMHERST, Mass. – Rachel Passarelli '16 and Coco Kusiak '17 each scored four goals to help lead the fifth-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team to a 14-6 win over Bates College Saturday in its 2015 season-opener at Gooding Field.
The Purple & White open the campaign with a 1-0 overall record and 1-0 conference mark, while handing the Bobcats their first loss of the year (1-1, 0-1 NESCAC).
The home team jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the 27:11 mark following goals from Passarelli and Mia Houghton '16, respectively, before a score by Emma Brinkman shortly after cut the deficit to one. Brinkman was assisted by Emma Noto on the play.
Less than three minutes later, Sarah Spector '15 found Claire Cagnassola '17 for the first of her game-high three assists as Amherst went back up by two. The Jeffs were quick to find the back of the net again when Spector connected with Passarelli at the 22:33 mark to put the Purple & White ahead, 4-1.
Later in the half, with 11:34 remaining before the break, Kusiak scored her first of the game unassisted to cap off a 6-0 run for Amherst as it took an 8-1 lead. However, back-to-back goals by Sydney Cowls and Moriah Greenstein just 39 seconds apart cut the deficit to five. Both teams added another score in the closing minutes of the half as the Purple & White took a 9-4 lead at halftime.
Amherst scored the first four goals of the second half to put the game out of reach. Kusiak scored her second and third of the game within 20 seconds of each other with just over 14 minutes to play in regulation as the Purple & White took a commanding 13-4 lead.
The Bobcats retaliated minutes later with goals from Emma Getsinger and Annie Duke, respectively, to cut the deficit to seven, but Kusiak tacked on her fourth goal at the 4:02 mark to give the Jeffs a 14-6 lead. Neither team would score the rest of the way as Amherst cruised to the win.
Six different Bobcats scored as Kaileigh Maguire, Emma Brinkman, Cowles, Duke, Getsinger and Greenstein all factored into the scoring, with Noto and Suzannah Smith adding assists.
Amherst held a decisive 29-12 advantage in shots, 16-6 edge in draw controls, and forced 14 turnovers. The Bobcats, however, held a 13-10 edge in ground balls. Christy Forrest '16 picked up the win between the net with three saves, and Jill Conway played all 60 minutes between the posts for Bates. She recorded 10 saves in the losing effort.
The Purple & White return to the field Wednesday, March 4 and will head to Babson for a non-conference game beginning at 6:15 p.m.