NESCAC Quarterfinal: No. 2 Amherst 17, No. 7 Colby 11

NESCAC Quarterfinal: No. 2 Amherst 17, No. 7 Colby 11

Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information

AMHERST, Mass. – Senior Julia Crerend netted her 100th career goal, and four markers in the game, to help spark an 11 goal second half by the Mammoths and lead the second-seeded Amherst College women's lacrosse team past seventh-seeded Colby, 17-11 Saturday afternoon at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.

With the win, Amherst climbs to 15-1 on the year and earns a spot in the NESCAC Semifinals, while Colby closes out the 2018 season with a 9-7 overall record. Amherst next hits the field on Saturday, May 5 when they face off against fourth-seeded Bowdoin at 2:30 p.m. at top-seeded Middlebury.

Striking 3:40 into the matchup, Claire Dunbar '21 found Crerend for the score to get the Mammoths on the board before Colby evened things up at the 24:23 mark on an unassisted effort by Sasha Fritts.

Extending the home team's lead to 3-1, Hannah Fox '20 potted back-to-back scores, teaming up with Mary Grace Cronin '18 with 22:47 on the clock and burying a free position shot at the 19:41 mark.

Colby countered with a score from Kendall Smith just over two minutes later, however a three goal run by Amherst that featured two markers by Katherine Malone '20 and a  Maia Noyes '21 score on a free position opportunity while down a player pushed the Mammoths lead to 6-2 with 7:33 remaining before the break. Hannah Gustafson '21 and Dunbar were credited with the assists on the scoring plays.

Cutting their deficit to 6-4, the Mules recorded the final two markers of the first half, with Emma Banks driving a pass from Robyn Pirie past the Amherst netminder while down a player before tallying an unassisted score with just eight seconds on the clock.

The final 30 minutes of regulation featured several momentum shifts and runs by both sides, with the Mammoths kicking things off 56 seconds in the second half with an unassisted score by Crerend before Malone posted her third score of the day on a dish from Dunbar at the 27:43 mark.

Deadlocking the contest at 8-8 with 23:01 on the clock, Colby responded to Amherst's two quick goals with four unanswered scores as Smith, Fritts (2) and Banks each drove a shot over the goal line in a three-minute span.

Taking back control at the 18:37 mark, Isabelle Sennett '21 registered a score before and after Crerend's third marker of the battle to give Amherst an 11-8 cushion, but the Mules rallied behind goals by Smith and Fritts to set the score at 11-10 with under 10 minutes to play.

Trading free position goals, both the Mammoths' Noyes and the Mule's Grace Crowell made the most of their opportunities as the clocked ticked down.

Finding another gear in the final five minutes, Amherst closed out the quarterfinal tilt with five straight scores to clinch the 17-11 victory.

Fox connected with Crerend to give the Mammoths some breathing room at the 4:28 mark, before Cronin ripped a free position shot into the nylon to push the score to 14-11. Adding insurance tallies in the final 2:03, Noyes logged an unassisted score before Cronin potted a goal with 40 seconds remaining and sent an assist to Sennett with one second on the clock.

GAME NOTES

  • Talia Land '20  (15-1) made eight saves in the winning effort in goal for Amherst, while Katie Savage '19 made one stop in 8:03 when called upon midgame in relief. Izzy Scribano (6-7) took the loss for Colby, racking up nine saves in 57:57.
  • Kate Burns '19 led the Mammoths' defense with two caused turnovers, while Noyes and Lindsey Call '19 posted seven and six draw controls, respectively.
  • The Mammoths owned a 26-20 edge in shots on frame and a dominant 21-8 advantage in draw controls, while the Mules held the edge in ground balls, 14-13.
  • Amherst finished 4-for-8 on free positon shots and a perfect 11-for-11 on clear attempts, while Colby went 18-for-21 on clears and 2-for-8 on free positon attempts.