AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths forced the Jumbos' keeper to turn away 16 shots, but a second half push by the visitors got the best of the home team as the ninth-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team fell to second-ranked Tufts University, 9-7, Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.
With the setback, Amherst moves to 2-1 on the season and to 1-1 in conference play, while Tufts improves to 3-0 overall (2-0 NESCAC).
Trading scores in the opening 10 minutes, junior Hannah Gustafson kicked things off at the 26:16 mark with an unassisted strike for her fifth goal of the season as she took it herself from 20 yards out, drove down the right side and beat the keeper nearside, top corner.
Responding with four seconds remaining on a yellow card, Emily Games potted a player down score for Tufts and her team-leading ninth goal of the spring with 20:36 on the clock to make it 1-1.
Dominating the next 10 minutes of action, the Mammoths forced three turnovers a netted three unanswered scores to take a 4-1 lead with 10:03 remaining before intermission as Sydney Larsen '23 found the back of the net at the 18:19 mark before Claire Dunbar '21 logged back-to-back unassisted strikes in a span of 2:27.
The sides closed out the first half the way it began, as Larsen and Becky Kendall '22 countered markers by Jumbos Anna Clarke and Catherine Lawliss (free position) to set the score at 6-3 Amherst at the break.
Clawing back into the contest in the second half, Games and Clarke teamed up to tally two goals in 25 seconds to cut Tufts' deficit to 6-5 and reenergize the visitors' offensive attack.
Stalemating the matchup at six all with 21:55 to go in regulation, Games notched her third score of the bout before an unassisted goal by Kirsten Grazewski with 17:17 on the clock gave the Jumbos their first lead of the day and capped off the visitors' 4-0 run to start the second.
Looking to swing momentum in the latter half of the period, Gustafson hit nylon just over two minutes later to make it anyone's game down the stretch.
Tufts ultimately came out on top in the closely contended battle of national top-10 teams, with Colette Smith and Lawliss potting the final two goals to lift the Jumbos to the 9-7 victory.
Amherst is right back at it again tomorrow, Sunday, March 8 when they travel to Babson College for a 2:00PM non-conference matchup.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Talia Land '20 (2-1) took the loss for the Mammoths in frame, making eight saves in the game, while Molly Laliberty (3-0) racked up 16 stops for the Jumbos to earn the win.
- Amherst owned the advantage in shots (25-22), shots on target (23-17) and ground balls (19-12) and forced a stellar 17 turnovers compared to the Jumbos' six. Tufts held the edge in draw controls, 10-8, and went 1-for-5 on free position opportunities, while the Mammoths went 0-for-4 on free position chances.
- With four caused turnovers, Maddie Norman anchored the Tufts' defensive effort, while Lily Baldwin and Clarke registered four and three draw controls, respectively.
- Kelly Siebert '20 led all players on the defensive side of the ball, causing four turnovers and grabbing two ground balls, while Colleen Mooney '23 contributed three forced turnovers and three ground ball pickups. Larsen and Gustafson each hauled in three draw controls.
COACHES VS. CANCER
Since 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer has served as a cohesive program for coaches of all sports and levels to unite as one team in the fight against cancer. Today our Amherst Mammoths and visiting Tufts University, along with all teams in the NESCAC Women's Lacrosse conference joined the fight and are helping to raise money and support the American Cancer Society. Thousands of individuals and families battle this disease daily and this year, one of our own was affected. Wesleyan Head Coach Kim Williams is battling cancer and as a conference we are showing her that she is not in this battle alone and that at the end of the day we are all one team. We are looking forward to a competitive day of lacrosse across the conference while still uniting to join the bigger battle: the fight against cancer.
If you'd like to join the Mammoths' and all 11 NESCAC women's lacrosse program's in joining the fight, please visit: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/2020-nescac-womens-lacrosse-coaches-vs-cancer