NCAA Third Round: Amherst 9, Catholic 6

Amherst Women's Lacrosse

Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information

SALISBURY, Md. – Leading from start to finish, a five-goal first half pushed the Mammoths into the NCAA Quarterfinals as the Amherst College women's lacrosse team edged Catholic University, 9-6 Saturday afternoon in NCAA Third Round play at Sea Gull Stadium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 14-5 on the season and advances to its second straight NCAA Quarterfinal and 10th overall, while Catholic closes out the 2019 season with a 17-5 overall mark. Amherst returns to the field on Sunday, May 19 at 1 p.m. when it takes on host Salisbury with a spot in the NCAA Final Four on the line.

Rebecca Wistreich gave the Mammoths a 1-0 lead 2:15 into the contest as she picked up her own rebound, rolled around the crease and sent a follow-up attempt past the Cardinals' keeper. 

Beating her defender 25 yards out to earn a clear path to net, Claire Dunbar doubled Amherst's lead at the 22:34 mark as she drove down the right side and faked the shot high before sneaking the ball into the bottom corner. 

Responding just over a minute later, Anna Maupin broke through for Catholic with a free-position score. 

Juking around the Catholic defense at the 12:35 mark, Maia Noyes bounced an unassisted strike through the legs of the Cardinals netminder, before Megan Ellis got Catholic back within one off a dish from Bridget Beck 20 seconds later. 

Closing out the first half with a 2-0 run to take a 5-2 lead at intermission, Leah Ritterband powered a free position shot into the top right corner with 10:46 on the clock before Lindsey Call took it by herself 1:26 later to close out first-half scoring.

Making it three unanswered goals, Noyes extended the Mammoths' lead to 6-2 with an assist from Dunbar 1:39 into the second half before Ellis snapped Amherst's streak with an unassisted score.

A free position bounce shot from Call gave Amherst a four-goal cushion and Call her sixth score of the spring with 25:22 to play, while Wistreich sent a shot five-hole five minutes later to set the score at 8-3. 

The Cardinals made a push to even the score through the final 17:05, outscoring the Mammoths 3-1, including two goals with under two minutes remaining, but it proved too little too late as Amherst clinched the 9-6 victory. 

A Maupin free-position score made it 8-4, however that goal was countered at the 12:42 mark as Dunbar connected with Ritterband cutting to net for the catch-and-shoot goal.

Striking twice in 19 seconds, Katie Sherry and Molly Monaghan found the back of the net with 1:52 and 1:33 on the clock, respectively, but a Cardinal turnover on the ensuing draw control iced the game for Amherst.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In between the pipes, Talia Land (14-5) recorded nine saves for Amherst in the winning effort, while Nanci Hernandez (15-5) made 15 stops for Catholic in the loss.
  • Four different Mammoths tallied two goals each, while Hannah Gustafson and Hannah Fox led the contests with four ground balls each. Noyes's four draw controls were a team-high, while Sabrina Solow led all players with four caused turnovers.
  • The Mammoths owned the edge in shots (32-17) and ground balls (22-13) and went 2-for-4 on free position opportunities, while Catholic held the advantage in draw controls (11-6) and went 2-for-3 on free position chances.