WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – A dominant performance in the first half lifted the Mammoths to victory, as the No. 6 Amherst College women's lacrosse team claimed the Little III title with a 14-8 win over archrival Williams Saturday afternoon at Farley-Lamb Field.
With the win, Amherst improves to 9-1 on the season and to 5-1 in league play, while Williams falls to 4-6 overall (1-5 NESCAC). Amherst returns home on Tuesday, April 10 when they host Connecticut College in 6 p.m. conference bout under the lights.
First on the board, Claire Dunbar '21 capitalized on an Ephs yellow card at the 26:00 mark to give the visitors and early lead, however Williams brought the matchup back to a deadlock four minutes later as Emma Tenbarge converted on a free position shot.
Responding in a big way, Amherst hit its stride at the 22:01 mark, as Julia Crerend '18 powered a free position attempt into the nylon to kick off a 6-0 run. Down a player, the Mammoth drew another free position attempt with 18:39 on the clock, this time with Hannah Fox '20 making the most of the opportunity to give Amherst a two goal cushion.
Teaming up twice before the half, Dunbar sent assists to Crerend at the 17:39 and 9:46 marks to sandwich a player-up unassisted score by Maia Noyes '21. Katherine Malone '20 closed out the unanswered streak with 8:12 to play before the horn, sending a pass from Dunbar across the goal line.
Meghan Halloran got the Ephs back in the scoring column on a dish from Claire Fitzpatrick, however the Mammoths countered two-fold, with Crerend and Annie Cohen '19 each netting an unassisted marker in the final three minutes to set the score at 9-2 at the break.
Amherst potted the first two scores in a back-and-forth second half, with Dani DiTommaso '20 and Crerend each beating the Williams' netminder in the first 10 minutes of action to make it 11-2.
A comeback bid by the Ephs beginning with 18:38 remaining in regulation proved too little too late, as a 6-3 run was not enough to overcome the Mammoths' early dominance.
The two sides traded goals to push the score to 13-4, with Fitzpatrick notching an unassisted and a free positon goal for Williams and Noyes and Molone posting markers for Amherst.
Olivia Gomez and Kailie Saudek recorded two straight scores for the Ephs, before Crerend netted her sixth and what stood as the Mammoths' final goal of the game at the 6:23 mark.
The final two goals of the contest belonged to Williams, however solid defense continued to prevail for Amherst as the Mammoths captured the 14-8 rivalry victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Talia Land '20 (9-1) registered seven saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Kami Cisneros made three stops for Williams in the loss.
- Fox led the Mammoths with four draw controls, while Land and Malone each had two ground ball pickups.
- The Mammoths owned an 18-15 edge in shots on frame, while the Ephs held the advantage in ground ball, 19-11.
- Amherst finished 13-for-16 on clears and 3-for-6 on free position shots, while Williams went 15-for-16 on clear attempts and 3-for-6 on free position opportunities.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- After a six-year run (2011-2016) as the Little III Champions was thwarted by Wesleyan a season ago, the Mammoths once again claim the Little III crown after defeating Wesleyan (8-6) and Williams (14-8) this spring.
- This year's title marks the 17th in program history. The Ephs have claimed 16 overall titles since 1978, while Wesleyan has earned the honor four times.