AMHERST, Mass. – Holding the Red Dragons to 13 total shots on target and just two goals in the second half, the sixth-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team broke away from No. 17 SUNY Cortland in the final 30 minutes of play to clinch a 10-7 victory in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Championships Sunday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
With the victory Amherst improves to 16-2 on the season and advances to the third round of the national tournament, while Cortland closes out its 2018 campaign with a 16-5 overall ledger. Amherst returns to action next Saturday, May 19 when they hit the field against NESCAC rival Wesleyan with a spot in the Quarterfinals on the line.
Countering with two quick goals, Brie Yonge beat the Amherst netminder at the 25:25 mark before dishing an assist to Katie Wolfe just over a minute later to give the Red Dragons their first and only lead of the battle.
Potting the next four scores, the Mammoth took a 5-2 lead with 14:16 remaining in the opening half.
Kicking off the Amherst run at the 22:55 mark, Dunbar threaded a pass to Julia Crerend '18 in the critical scoring area before Maia Noyes '21 teamed up with Isabelle Sennett '21 for the goal in a near identical play three minutes later to give the Mammoths a 3-2 edge.
Up a player with 16:18 on the clock, Hannah Fox '20 spun around a defender just inside the 12 meter arc and ripped a shot short-side to make it 4-3, while Cronin made the most of the restart at the end line to notch what stood as Amherst's final goal of the first half at the 14:14 mark.
Calling a timeout to stunt the Mammoths' momentum following Cronin's score, SUNY Cortland battled back in the final 7:25 before the break, logging three straight goals to deadlock the tilt at 5-5 entering halftime.
Lexie Meager brought the Red Dragons back within two with an unassisted score, before Kristyn Drake converted on a free position shot at the 6:42 mark and Megan Gonzalez potted an assist from Ojeda at the 1:55 mark to even the game at five all.
Retaking the lead in the second half after 5:43 of scoreless play, Cronin found a wide open Fox driving towards net who finished with a shot into the top right corner before Fox won the ensuing draw and netted an unassisted tally 15 seconds later to give Amherst a 7-5 cushion.
Cutting SUNY Cortland's deficit to one with 14:21 remaining in regulation, Yonge logged an unassisted marker, however that was as close as the visitors came to tying things in the second half as the Mammoths responded to the goal with a three unanswered scores.
Capitalizing on a free position opportunity, Leah Ritterband '21 gave Amherst some breathing room at the 12:32 mark, before Sennett corralled a bounce pass from Dunbar just outside the arc ripped a shot from 13 yards out over the goal line.
Extending the Mammoths' lead to 10-6, Sennett's free position goal with 8:35 on the clock proved to be Amherst's final goal of the game as the Mammoths' defense was able to hold the Red Dragons to just one more score as time wound down to clinch the 10-7 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In between the pipes, Talia Land '20 (16-2) recorded six saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Annie Casey (15-5) made eight stops for SUNY Cortland in the loss.
- Hannah Gustafson '21 and Cronin each caused two turnovers, while Gustafson posted a contest-high five draw controls.
- The Mammoths owned an 18-13 edge in shots on frame and a 12-7 advantage in draw controls, while both sides picked up 12 ground balls.
- Amherst went 2-for-5 on free position attempts and a perfect 15-for-15 on clears, while the Red Dragons finished 18-for-20 on clear attempts and 2-for-5 on free positon opportunities.