Strong Second Half Propels Purple & White Past Montclair State, 10-3

Strong Second Half Propels Purple & White Past Montclair State, 10-3

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Holding a 3-2 edge at intermission, No. 7 Amherst College exploded for seven goals in the second half as the Purple & White posted a 10-3 victory over Montclair State University on Monday afternoon at Sprague Field in Montclair, N.J. in the first of the team's two spring trip games.

With the win, Amherst improves to 4-1 on the season, while Montclair State moves to 2-2 overall.

Montclair State got off to a fast start in the first half as Vanessa Rey scored less than three minutes into the contest on a feed from Jenna Bussiere to give the Red Hawks an early 1-0 lead. Amherst answered with a trio of goals as senior tri-captain Meghan Mills found the back of the net on a free position shot at the 25:19 mark of the first period to even the game at 1-1. Rachel Passarelli '16 then put the Purple & White ahead, 2-1 when she took a pass from Mia Haughton '16 and netted her first goal of the game with 9:41 to play in the stanza. Passarelli then dished the ball to Mills who delivered her second score of the game to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors at the 4:54 mark.

With just over two minutes to play in the frame, Tierney Conlon pulled Montclair State back to within one (3-2) when she scored an unassisted goal to make it 3-2 in favor of the visitors at intermission.

In the second half, Amherst turned up its intensity as Mills found the back of the net for a third time following a pass from Coco Kusiak '17 at the 27:16 mark to give the Purple & White a 4-2 lead. Kusiak then netted a goal of her own with 26:35 to play to make it 5-2. Sarah Spector '15 assisted on the goal.

A goal by Conlon less than a minute later momentarily halted the Amherst run and cut the Red Hawks' deficit to 5-3, but the Purple & White continued to apply pressure in the attacking third and at the 23:45 mark, Claire Cagnassola '17 scored on a pass from Devin O'Connor '16 to start a stretch of five unanswered markers by the visitors. Kusiak added her second tally with 22:29 to play, and Passarelli capitalized on a setup pass from Cagnassola at the 18:41 mark to make 8-3. Haughton then converted a free position attempt with 15:01 to play, and Priscilla Tyler '15 capped the scoring with a goal with 11:20 on the clock to seal the 10-3 win.

Amherst held a 21-10 shot differential, and owned a 27-15 advantage in groundball pickups. Christy Forrest '16 (4-1) made three saves between the posts for Amherst, while Montclair State goalie Alexandra Tepper made eight stops for the Red Hawks in the losing effort.

Mills led all players with six groundballs, while Katie Paolano '16 and Cagnassola added three each for the Purple & White.

Meredith King collected five groundballs, while Brittany Dilger and Francesca Verrone notched two each.

Amherst returns to spring trip action on Wednesday, March 18 when it travels to Haverford College for a 4:30 p.m. non-league matchup.