Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Amherst scored the first eight goals of the battle and held the Wesleyan to five total shot attempts in a dominant first half, as the Mammoths defeated the Cardinals, 12-6 Saturday afternoon at Clark Field to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.
With the win, Amherst improves to 17-2 on the season, while Wesleyan closes out 2018 with a 12-7 overall mark. Amherst will face off against No. 3 seed and defending National Champion Gettysburg on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
First on the board after nearly five minutes of scoreless action to start the battle, Julia Crerend capitalized on a pass from Claire Dunbar at the 25:34 mark to give the Mammoths a 1-0 lead and kick off an eight-goal unanswered run, before Dunbar powered a free position shot into the netting 1:09 later to double Amherst's advantage.
Potting an unassisted tally at with 23:56 on the clock, Isabelle Sennett made it 3-0, while Dunbar notched her second free position goal of the day at the 18:46 mark.
Registering her second assist and fourth point of the first half with 17:04 remaining, Dunbar sent an assist from behind the net to Sennett just off the left post who quickly drove the ball into the top corner, short-side to extend the Mammoths' lead to 5-0.
Wrapping around the net, pivoting and shooting over her right shoulder, Hannah fox '20 added another Amherst goal the 16:28 mark, before Crerend logged her 54th goal of the season with an unassisted score with 10:57 to play before the break.
Amherst's final marker of its 8-0 unanswered run to open the contest came with 9:11 on the clock, as Fox converted on Dunbar's pass with a highlight reel behind-the-back score.
The Mammoths did not allow a Cardinal shot attempt until the 6:18 mark, however Wesleyan finally broke through with 4:53 on the clock, as Emi Ogden-Fung split two defenders for the goal before adding another unassisted tally at the 3:18 mark to set the score at 8-2.
Owning a 9-2 edge at intermission, Katherine Malone potted what stood as the final goal of the first half at the 1:28 mark, cutting to net and corralling a pass from Maia Noyes '21 to record the player-up score.
Needing just 23 second to strike in the second half, Hannah Gustafson got a step on her defender, gathered a pass from Dunbar and sent a shot into the nylon to give the Mammoths an eight goal cushion.
Trying to find a way to claw back into the battle, Wesleyan strung together a 3-0 run in a 3:06 span to cut the Cardinals deficit to 10-5.
Ripping a shot from 10 yards out over the goal line, Caitlin Wood sent a dish from Sydney Prokupek past the Amherst netminder at the 26:09 mark, before Prokupek assisted on a goal by Rylee White 52 seconds later and capitalized on a free position opportunity with 23:03 to play.
Slowing the pace down over the next 10 minutes, the Mammoths stopped the Cardinals from inching any closer before countering with two straight goals to extend their lead to 12-5.
Logging the hat trick, Dunbar posted her seventh point of the game with 13:47 remaining in regulation as she cut towards net from behind the goal and propelled a shot into the top right corner.
Also notching her third goal of the tilt, Sennett tallied what stood as Amherst's final goal of the Third Round at the 10:31 mark, collecting a dish from Noyes eight-yards out and rifling a shot just inside the left post.
Wesleyan's final score came at the 4:17 mark, with Grace Andonian netting a free position shot.
Holding the Cardinals to just one more shot as time wound down, the Mammoths clinched the 12-6 victory.
- In between the pipes, Talia Land (17-2) recorded four saves in the winning effort for Amherst, while Allegra Grant (12-7) made 11 stops for Wesleyan in the loss.
- Noyes led the game in draw controls with seven and caused three turnovers, while Sabrina Solow added two caused turnovers as part of Amherst's dominant defensive effort.
- The Mammoths owned a 23-10 edge in shots on target and a 14-6 advantage in draw controls, while the Cardinals held the edge in ground balls, 21-11.
- Amherst finished 15-for-16 on clear attempts and 2-for-4 on free position shots, while Wesleyan went 16-for-22 on clears and 2-for-4 on free position opportunities.