No. 11 Amherst's Comeback Bid Thwarted in Overtime by No. 9 Wesleyan

No. 11 Amherst's Comeback Bid Thwarted in Overtime by No. 9 Wesleyan

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Mammoths outscored the Cardinals 5-4 in the second half to deadlock the contest at 10-10 and force overtime, however a Sydney Prokupek score seconds into extra time lifted the home team to victory as the No. 11 Amherst College women's lacrosse team was edged by No. 9 Wesleyan University in a Little III battle Wednesday evening at Smith Field. 

With the setback, Amherst falls to 6-3 on the season and to 2-3 in league play, while Wesleyan improves to 9-1 overall (4-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action this Saturday, April 6 when they host archrival Williams in a 1 p.m. clash at Gooding Field. 

The Mammoths came roaring out of the gate, netting the first four goals of the contest within the first 15 minutes of play. Isabelle Sennett '21 kicked off scoring 2:19 into the game, powering an unassisted tally over the goal line. 

Hannah Gustafson '21 extended the Amherst lead to 2-0 at the 27:41 mark off a dish from Becky Kendall '22 before Kendall potted back-to-back goals to set the Mammoths' edge at 4-0. 

Responding with a 4-0 run of its own, Abby Manning, Johanna Copeland, Prokupek and Abigail Horst each found the back of the net over the next nine minutes to deadlock the score at four all before a Hannah Fox '20 free position dagger at the 5:33 mark restored an Amherst advantage.

Closing out the first half with back-to-back goals, Manning and Copeland each drilled unassisted markers into the nylon to give the Cardinals a 6-5 lead at intermission. 

First to strike in the second half, Copeland logged her third goal of the night at the 28:52 mark to extend Wesleyan's cushion to 7-5. That goal was quickly countered by Fox with an unassisted marker to once again pull Amherst within one. 

Looking to take control, Wesleyan put together a 3-0 run over the next 11 minutes with three consecutive unassisted scores by Caitlin Wood (2) and Horst to push the Cardinals' lead to 10-6. 

Undeterred, the Mammoths battled back as time wound down, recording the final four goals of regulation to deadlock the contest at 10-10 and force overtime. 

Gustafson sparked the comeback bid for Amherst with a free position goal with 10:51 on the clock before Claire Dunbar dished out a helper to Sennett to get the Mammoths within two. 

A Katherine Malone '20 score made it a one-goal game, while Dunbar came through in the clutch with a free position goal at the 5:39 mark to tie the game at 10 all.

The Mammoths looked to net the game-winner with just over a minute left to play, however Wesleyan keeper Allegra Grant came up with the highlight reel stop on a shot from Malone to force extra time. 

Despite holding Wesleyan scoreless for the final 13 minutes of play and having the momentum entering overtime, the Cardinals won the opening draw and scored just 41 seconds later to claim the 11-10 victory. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In between the pipes, Talia Land '20 (6-3) made five saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Grant recorded seven stops for Wesleyan in the win.
  • Four different Mammoths tallied two scores, while junior Kelly Siebert tied for a game-high with four ground balls. Fox's five draw controls also constituted a contest-high, while Siebert and Kate Burns '19 each forced three turnovers.
  • Amherst owned a 12-11 edge in draw controls and went 3-for-4 on free position shots, while the Cardinals held the advantage in shots (24-20) and ground balls (15-13) and went 1-for-5 on free position opportunities.