No. 12 Amherst Leads from Start to Finish Against No. 10 Catholic to Clinch Spot in NCAA Quarterfinals

No. 12 Amherst Leads from Start to Finish Against No. 10 Catholic to Clinch Spot in NCAA Quarterfinals

SALISBURY, Md. – Leading from start to finish, a five-goal first half pushed the Mammoths into the Regional Finals as the No. 12 Amherst College women's lacrosse team edged No. 10 Catholic University of America, 9-6 Saturday afternoon in NCAA Third Round play at Sea Gull Stadium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 14-5 on the season and advances to their second straight NCAA Quarterfinal and 10th overall, while Catholic closes out the 2019 season with a 17-5 overall ledger. Amherst returns to the field tomorrow, Sunday, May 19 at 1 p.m. when they take on host and No. 7 Salisbury with a spot in the Final Four on the line.

First on the board, sophomore Rebecca Wistreich gave the Mammoths a 1-0 lead 2:15 into the contest as she picked up her own rebound, rolled around the crease and sent a follow up attempt past the Cardinals' keeper. 

Beating her defender 25 yards out to earn a clear path to net, Claire Dunbar '21 doubled Amherst's edge at the 22:34 mark as she drove down the right side and faked the shot high before sneaking the ball into the bottom corner. 

Responding just over a minute later, Anna Maupin broke through for Catholic with a free position score. 

Juking around the Catholic defense at the 12:35 mark, Maia Noyes '21 bounced an unassisted strike through the legs of the Cardinals netminder, before Megan Ellis got Catholic back within one off a dish from Bridget Beck 20 seconds later. 

Closing out the first half with a 2-0 run to take a 5-2 lead at intermission, Leah Ritterband '21 powered a free position shot into the top right corner with 10:46 on the clock before Lindsey Call '19 took it by herself 1:26 later to close out first half scoring.

Making it three unanswered goals, Noyes extended the Mammoths' lead to 6-2 with an assist from Dunbar 1:39 into the second half before Ellis snapped Amherst's streak with an unassisted score.

A free position bounce shot from Call gave Amherst a four-goal cushion and Call her sixth score of the spring with 25:22 to play, while Wistreich sent a shot five-hole five minutes later to set the score an 8-3. 

The Cardinals made a push to even the score through the final 17:05, outscoring the Mammoths 3-1, including two goals with under two minutes remaining, but it proved too little too late as Amherst clinched the 9-6 victory. 

A Maupin free positon score made it 8-4, however that goal was countered at the 12:42 mark as Dunbar connected with Ritterband cutting to net for the catch-and-shoot goal.

Striking twice in 19 seconds, Katie Sherry and Molly Monaghan found the back of the net with 1:52 and 1:33 on the clock, respectively, but a Cardinal turnover on the ensuing draw control iced the game for Amherst.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In between the pipes, Talia Land '20 (14-5) recorded nine saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while Nanci Hernandez (15-5) made 15 stops for Catholic in the loss.
  • Four different Mammoths tallied two goals each, while Hannah Gustafson '21 and Hannah Fox led the contests with four ground balls each. Noyes's four draw controls were a team-high, while Sabrina Solow '19 led all players with four caused turnovers.
  • The Mammoths owned the edge in shots (32-17) and ground balls (22-13) and went 2-for-4 on free position opportunities, while Catholic held the advantage in draw controls (11-6) and went 2-for-3 on free position chances.