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.