Bennett’s Behind-the-back Goal Highlights Men’s Lacrosse Wins

Men’s lacrosse have gotten off to a fast start. They began spring break with a tough loss against Tufts, one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, before ripping off two wins against Bates and Gettysburg College.

Captain PJ Clementi '22 looks ahead for a pass during a game. Photo curtesy of Clarus Studios.

The Amherst men’s lacrosse team has hit the ground running in 2022, beginning the season with a 3-1 record and lots to be excited about after a close bout with national-No. 3 Tufts, and wins this past weekend against both Bates and Gettysburg College at the Mustang Invitational.

The Mammoths’ matchup against Tufts on March 13 saw great offensive production from Brock Gonzalez ’23 and Tanyr Krummenacher ’23, who both had five goals each in Medford. Early in the first quarter, Gonzalez and senior captain PJ Clementi ’22 scored less than a minute apart to give the Mammoths a 2-1 lead. The Jumbos quickly responded to tie the game at 2-2 but Amherst took the lead again on Gonzalez’s second goal of the game. With Tufts leading 7-3 at halftime, the Mammoths cut to two before the Jumbos again prevented them from tying the game, extending the lead to four heading into the final quarter. Krummenacher led yet another rally, scoring three of his five goals in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, and cutting the Jumbos’ lead to 15-14 with 6:10 to go in the game. This time though, Tufts shut the door for good, preventing the comeback by scoring three goals before the final horn to secure the win.

Despite the loss on Sunday, the Mammoths’ offensive success carried over into their first game in Maryland against the Bobcats. The game started with an incredible 14-yard behind-the-back goal from Jake Bennett ’24 (which has gotten over 100,000 views on Instagram as of March 22). After skillfully beating his defender behind the cage, Clementi delivered a great pass to Bennett, who caught it about 20 yards from the goal, got a step on his defender moving to the right, and fired a laser behind his back into the top right corner. People from all over the world, including lacrosse legend Paul Rabil, have commented on the video expressing their praise for the shot. His teammates were no different, heaping praise on Bennett’s goal. Jack Siegel ’22 said of the goal, “Sheeeesh!” while Clementi joked, “That goalie has a family!”

Some of the comments on the viral video of Jake Bennett '24's goal against Bates this past weekend. Photo courtesy of Liza Katz '24.

And that viral wonder goal was only the beginning: the Mammoths broke open a 6-5 deficit in the second quarter with a 12-0 run spanning halftime to take the lead for good. In their second-quarter 6-0 run, six different Mammoths netted, with goals from Krummenacher, Gonzalez, Ethan Opdahl ’23, Bayard DeMallie ’23, Clementi, and Carter Tate ’22. The third-quarter run started with a man-advantage goal from Alex Giacobbe ’25, and ended just over 11 minutes later when Dylan Hsu ’25 scored the Mammoths’ sixth goal of the quarter with just over three minutes to go. This run effectively ended the Bobcats’ chances at a win, and the Mammoths rolled to a 22-10 victory. With the win, the Mammoths moved to 2-1 on the season.

That momentum carried over to their last game against then-No. 11 Gettysburg. This back-and-forth offensive game ended with the Mammoths claiming a 18-14 victory over the Bullets. While the game started with Amherst down 2-0, they quickly tied the game at 3-3 with two goals from Gonzalez and one from Clementi. While Gettysburg scored again to take a 4-3 lead into the second quarter, it was here that the Mammoths pulled away, going on another 6-1 run to widen their lead to 11-5. Two goals from Clementi and DeMallie, and a goal each from Ben Bruno ’25, Krummenacher, Gonzalez, and Tate comprised the run, and set the halftime margin at 12-8. The rest of the contest was much more back and forth, with Gettysburg getting within one goal with 9:54 left in the game. But in the end, Amherst’s offense proved to be too much for the Bullets, and three more Mammoth goals sealed the win. The team is now 3-1 on the season and has moved up to No. 10 in USA Lax Magazine’s most recent rankings. The Mammoths will be returning to action on Wednesday, March 23, playing at Springfield College in a 7 p.m. tilt against the Pride.