AMHERST, Mass. – The seventh-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team rallied late in the second half, but fell short in its comeback attempt against No. 15 Hamilton College Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field, 7-6.
With the loss, the Jeffs drop to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in the NESCAC. The Continentals improved to 5-1 on the year and 3-1 in league play.
Rachel Passarelli '16 scored a game-high four goals to lead Amherst, while Meghan Mills '15 and Claire Cagnassola '17 tallied one each and Mia Haughton '16 added an assist. Mills also recorded a team-high three caused turnovers, while Priscilla Tyler '16 and Katie Paolano '16 registered two each. Mills also recorded a team-high three draw controls, and Tyler, Paolano, Christy Forrest '16 and Hanna Krueger '17 grabbed two ground balls each. Forrest played all 60 minutes between the posts and stopped eight shots.
Five different players scored for Hamilton as Morgan Fletcher and Nora Klemmer scored two each to lead the way. Margaret Gabriel, Caroline McCarthy and Ashleigh Stephan each added a goal, as Gabriel and Emily Randall registered one assist each. Fletcher and Stephan led the team with four ground balls each, while Fletcher also led the team with three caused turnovers. Hanna Rubin recorded three saves in net for the Continentals.
Hamilton got on the board first Saturday when Morgan Fletcher found the back of the net just 2:23 into play. However, the Jeffs responded with back-to-back goals from Rachel Passarelli '16 and Meghan Mills '15 at the 22:21 and 17:35 marks, respectively.
The Continentals seized a player advantage opportunity later in the half as Caroline McCarthy evened the score at 2-2 with 11:36 to play before the break. Once again, the Jeffs retaliated and scored consecutive markers to take a two-goal lead. Passarelli registered her second of the game at the 10:46 mark, before Haughton found Cagnassola for the team's fourth score at the 9:09 mark.
In the closing minutes, Fletcher cut the deficit to one with 4:49 to play in the half but both defenses held strong the rest of the way as Amherst held a 4-3 lead at the break.
Hamilton came out strong to start the second half and scored three unanswered goals to take a 6-4 lead with 15:33 to play. Gabriel scored just 2:21 into the half, while both teams were held scoreless over the next 10 minutes. At the 17:19 mark, the Continentals once again made the best of its player advantage opportunity as Stephan found the back of the net off an assist from Gabriel. Just under two minutes later, Hamilton scored again when Randall found Klemmer for the goal.
Trailing by two, Amherst answered with back-to-back goals to tie the game at 6-6. Passarelli scored both, unassisted, at the 9:41 and 5:16 marks, respectively. However, Klemmer netted the game-winner at the 2:31 mark to give Hamilton the win.
The visitors held a 15-9 advantage in shots on goal and an 18-13 edge in ground balls, while Amherst controlled the draw controls, 11-5.
The Jeffs return to the field Saturday, March 28 and will head to Middlebury, Vt. to face the ninth-ranked Panthers at 2:30 p.m.