AMHERST, Mass. – Down 6-1 with 7:45 remaining in the first half, the Mammoths mounted a furious comeback effort that saw the home team hold the Herons scoreless in the second half while potting 10 unanswered goals as the No. 13 Amherst College women's lacrosse team powered past No. 18 William Smith, 11-6 Sunday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-1 on the season, while William Smith suffers its first loss of the spring and falls to 2-1 overall. Amherst returns to the field on Saturday, March 16 when they host TCNJ in a 1 p.m. non-conference battle.
Ellie Burns kicked off the Herons 3-0 run to open the contest with an unassisted tally at the 27:28 mark, before Mekayla Montgomery and Bizzer Gahagan found nylon with 25:40 and 22:46 on the clock, respectively.
Breaking through six minutes later, sophomore Leah Ritterband converted on a free position shot to get the Mammoths on the board.
William Smith countered with another run of three unanswered goals, with Payton McMahon potting back-to-back free position shots and Ellie Burn beating the Amherst netminder on a feed from Sadie Mapstone at the 7:45 mark to push the score to 6-1 in favor of the visitors.
The goal by Burns proved to be the Herons' final score of the matchup however, as staunch defense and impressive play in between the pipes by Amherst kept William Smith scoreless through the final 37 minutes of regulation.
Undeterred by the 6-1 deficit, the Mammoths found a new gear on offense in the final 6:43 before intermission, notching four quick goals to cut the score to 6-5 at the break.
Netting her second goal of the day, Ritterband initiated Amherst's 4-0 run with free position score, before Claire Dunbar '21 capitalized on another free position opportunity three minutes later.
Hannah Gustafson '21 and Katherine Malone '20 closed out scoring in the first half, with Gustafson potting a dish from Becky Kendall '22 at the 2:55 mark and Malone ripping an assist from Dunbar over the goal line with 12 seconds on the clock.
Adding six unanswered goals to the board in the second half, Amherst clinched the 11-6 come-from-behind victory.
Malone tied the game at the 26:39 mark with an assist from Ritterband, before Gustafson notched a free position score with 24:07 on the clock to give the Mammoths their first lead of the day.
Four more goals in the final 15 minutes gave Amherst some breathing room down the stretch, as Maia Noyes '21, Dunbar, Gustafson and Sennett each beat the Herons' goalkeeper to lift Amherst to the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- In net, Talia Land '20 (3-1) registered 16 saves for Amherst in the winning effort. Olivia Hofmann made one stop for the Herons in the first half, while Jules Kennedy (0-1) took the loss for William Smith, making one save after entering in relief for the final 30 minutes.
- Gustafson led the Mammoths offense with three goals on four shots, while Dunbar, Malone and Ritterband each added two scores. Senior Kate Burns logged a team-high two ground ball pickups, while Noyes and Gustafson both snagged three draw controls. Dunbar also forced two turnovers.
- With two goals apiece, McMahon and Burns led the Herons' offensive attack, while McMahon posted a game-high four ground balls. Montgomery had three draw controls and three forced turnovers.
- Amherst owned the edge in draw controls, 10-9, while William Smith held the advantage in shots, 25-20, and ground balls, 20-10.