MEDFORD – The seventh-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team held off a furious comeback by #7 Tufts to earn a 20-16 NESCAC victory over the Jumbos on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.
|Matt Purdy was one of 14 Jumbos honored on Seniors Day after the game|
The visiting Mammoths led 15-4 in the second quarter before Tufts came back to within 16-14 early in the fourth quarter. However, Amherst scored the next four goals from there and earned the victory.
The Mammoths, who improved to 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the conference, were led by five goals apiece from junior Evan Wolf and sophomore Matt Solberg. Sophomore goalie Chad Simons made 14 saves.
The Jumbos, who had a 10-1 run to get themselves back in the game, lost for the first time this season (10-1, 6-1 NESCAC). Senior Andrew Seiter finished with three goals and three assists for the hosts.
It was all Amherst in the first 30 minutes. The Mammoths opened a 4-1 lead at 6:37 of the first quarter after sophomore Jon Coffey scored back-to-back goals. Seiter scored his first for Tufts at 5:36 of the opening period, but Amherst would net 11 of the next 13 goals in the game to lead 15-4 with another Coffey goal at 2:34 of the second period.
Wolf had all seven of his points in the game – five goals and two assists – in the first two quarters. Similiarly, sophomore Colin Minicus scored his final total of a goal with four assists in the Mammoth's first-half barrage.
Tufts actually began its comeback by scoring with four seconds remaining in the first half, as sophomore Matt Treiber converted a pass from junior Danny Murphy witn a man-advantage. That started a seven-goal run that had the Jumbos within 15-11 on a Seiter from Murphy goal at 3:30 of the third. Senior Frank Hattler and sophomore Nick Shanks each scored twice during Tufts' run.
Amherst broke the Tufts run with a goal by Jason Herrick with nine seconds left on the third-period clock putting Amherst back up by five (16-11). However, Tufts had the next three to close within two before the four-goal run by Amherst, including three scores from Solberg, restored a comfortable 20-14 margin.
Mammoths' sophomore face-off man Dylan Finazzo was a key contributor to the win by going 23 for 36 on draws. Simon had a couple of key stops in the second half to hold off the Jumbo rally. Freshman Reid Shilling caused two turnovers for Amherst. The Mammoths had a 60-54 advantage in shots and 43-34 in ground balls for the game.
Shanks finished with four goals and an assist for Tufts, while Treiber had four goals including three in man-up situations. Tufts converted on three of its four extra-man situations in total. Sophomore Jack Donohue caused three turnovers for the Jumbos and classmate Mason Pollack made 16 saves in goal.
Tufts plays NESCAC action at Bates College on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Amherst also plays Bates next at home on April 21.