Amherst Defeats Women's Lacrosse in NESCAC Showdown, 14-13

Recap courtesty of Amherst College

AMHERST – Down by five with 24:15 remaining, Amherst College finished the game with a 7-1 run to hand Tufts its first conference loss, as the fourth-ranked Mammoths women's lacrosse team rallied past the No. 6 Jumbos, 14-13, Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.

Emily Games netted a season-high five goals

With the win, Amherst climbs to 11-1 on the season and to 7-1 in league action, while Tufts falls to 10-2 overall (6-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field on Wednesday when they kick off a three-game road trip to close out the regular season with a 6 p.m. non-conference tilt at Babson. The Jumbos host Bates Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m.

Amassing a quick four-goal lead, the Mammoths came out ready to play today in the clash of top-10 teams. Faking out a defender behind the net and sending a shot from the left side over the goal line, Mary Grace Cronin struck 1:09 into the matchup to get Amherst on the board. Doubling up the home team's edge just over a minute later with an unassisted effort, Hannah Fox found nylon before dishing a pass to Katherine Malone for the 3-0 score at the 27:06 mark. Julia Crerend closed out the Mammoths' opening run, cutting to net and capitalizing on a pass from Maia Noyes with 24:07 on the clock.

Tallying the first Jumbo goal of the contest, Emily Games converted on a free-position shot at the 20:09 mark. However, the visitors' score was almost immediately countered by Malone to make it 5-1 Mammoths.

Going on a run of their own, Tufts recorded five unanswered goals starting at the 19:27 mark to take their first lead of the day, 6-5, with 12:12 remaining in the first half behind scores by Games (3), Annie Sullivan and Catherine Lawliss.

The sides entered intermission with the Jumbos owning a 9-7 lead, as Fox and Isabelle Sennett's goals in the final 10 minutes were offset by scores from Dakota Adamec, Caroline Nowak and Sullivan of Tufts.

With the Jumbos continuing to control momentum to open the second, Nowak found Maddie Norman for the marker 37 seconds into the half before Sullivan and Lawliss each beat the Mammoths' netminder to give Tufts its largest lead of the bout, 12-7.

Amherst began to claw their way back with 20:07 remaining in regulation, as Cronin potted back-to-back scores with assists from Hannah Gustafson and Crerend to cut the Amherst deficit to three (12-9).

An unassisted tally by Leah Ritterband with 14:34 on the clock brought the Mammoths within 12-10, before Cronin posted her third goal of the half to bring Amherst within one, 12-11.

Deadlocking the matchup at the 12:16 mark, Crerend drove a pass from Fox into the netting with a defender in her face before Gustafson buried a go-ahead score on a free-position opportunity to give the home team the lead, 13-12, for the first time since the 15:23 mark in the first half.

Registering her fifth goal of the day with 9:09 to play, Games evened the score at 13 all. However, a Ritterband free-position goal at the 4:49 mark to put Amherst ahead proved to be the difference maker as the Mammoths' defense held strong in the final minutes to secure the victory.

Talia Land made six saves for the Mammoths in the winning effort, while Audrey Evers recorded eight stops for Tufts in the loss. Junior Sabrina Solow led the Amherst defense with four caused turnovers and four ground balls, while Kat Krieg impressed with three forced turnovers and four ground balls. Fox led the contest in draw controls with six. For Tufts, Adamec won six draw controls while Games had four. Sullivan (three goals) caused two turnovers.

Amherst owned a 22-19 edge in shots on target and a 21-12 advantage in ground ball pickups. The Mammoths finished 17-for-20 on clears and 3-for-6 on free position shots, while the Jumbos went 16-for-20 on clear attempts and 4-for-10 on free-position opportunities.