Bye Bye ’Bos: Women’s Lacrosse Downs Tufts in OT Thriller

Amherst women’s lacrosse went 1-2 on the week after hard-fought losses against No. 11 Wesleyan and No. 5 Colby and an exciting overtime win against No. 6 Tufts. It was the Mammoths’ first win over the Jumbos since 2018.

Defender Colleen Mooney '23 tracks down a groundball. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios. 

Amherst women’s lacrosse started off their three-game week on Wednesday, April 6, against No. 11 Wesleyan in a Little Three matchup between two nationally-ranked teams. The Cardinals struck first in a low-scoring first half, scoring their opener midway through the first quarter. The Mammoths would tie the score with two minutes to go in the first quarter when Marina Bevacqua ’22 scored her eighth goal of the season, but they entered the second period down 2-1.

The second quarter held the same scoreline as the first, with Wesleyan striking first, netting two goals to widen the lead to three, but Fiona Jones ’23 got one back for Amherst, and the Cardinals took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

The second half proved much more fruitful for the Cardinals, as they scored eight goals in the third quarter and four in the fourth and locked down on defense, keeping the Mammoths from scoring at all. The game would end in a 16-2 loss for the Mammoths, and they headed into their second NESCAC match of the week hoping for more success.

But their second game was no easier than the first. Amherst traveled to No. 5 Colby on Saturday and came back home with another loss. Early in the game, Colby quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Mammoths, but Bevacqua put the Mammoths on the scoreboard when she converted a pass from Eliza Marcus ’25E with eight minutes to go in the first period to make it 3-1.

Going into the second quarter, the Mules extended their lead to 10-1 before the Mammoths chipped into the growing margin. In the final three minutes of the half, both Lauren Friedman ’25 and Marcus scored to make it 10-3 heading into the locker room.

The Mules would go on to score six more times in the second half, while the Mammoths tallied only one, by way of Ali Astrachan ’23. Amherst returned home with a 16-4 loss.

Some teams would be discouraged coming into Sunday’s pivotal game against No. 6-ranked Tufts, but not the Mammoths. They started strong, scoring the first goal of the game again from Bevacqua and keeping the game tight with tough defense. But the Jumbos weren’t far behind, quickly evening the score before taking the lead on a free-position goal. The two teams traded goals in the final minutes of the first quarter, as Becky Kendall ’22 tied the score at 2-2 with 30 seconds to go before the Jumbos answered with 14 seconds left, leaving the game at 3-2 to end the quarter.

Jones opened the second-quarter scoring with a goal to even the game, and her classmate Sydney Larsen ’23 wasn’t far behind her, giving the Mammoths a 4-3 halftime lead. The Mammoths kept Tufts scoreless in the second quarter, the first time all season the Jumbos have failed to score in a quarter, thanks to the incredible goalkeeping of Caroline Stole ’24. Stole made her second start of the season in the contest and made 15 total saves in the game, the most recorded by a Mammoths netminder since 2019.

Stole said of her performance, “I think that goalies get a lot of recognition for big wins but at the end of the day, this is ultimately team sport and I am so proud of every one of my teammates who left it all out on the field. It makes it that much more rewarding to win when we win together.”

And the team came together in a big way the second half, with the game on the line the whole way through. Larsen converted again to put the Mammoths up by two early in the third quarter, but the Jumbos would even the score yet again, with the score standing at 5-5 heading into an exciting fourth quarter.

Larsen got her third of the day to open the scoring, and Bevacqua gave Amherst a two-goal lead with her second. But Tufts would not go down without a fight, again rallying with two back-to-back goals to tie the score. Kendall struck with only four minutes left in the game, scoring her second of the match, but the Jumbos were soon to follow, netting only 30 seconds later. Both sides’ chances in the remaining minutes were bested with fantastic defense and goalkeeping from both sides, sending Amherst into their second overtime game of the season. The Mammoths are 1-0 in overtime this season, with Friedman scoring the game-winner in their overtime victory over McDaniel College in Colorado on March 17.

The first overtime came and went, with the two teams going scoreless as tensions continued to rise. But a second overtime was all Jones needed. She beat her defender with a fake spin move to her right, stepped around her, and fired, finding the back of the net for a golden goal that sent the Jumbos back to Medford with a loss.

After the game, Jones said, “We’re really excited about this win. It has been a tough season, but after [a] reset we came back stronger than ever. We hope this [victory] sets the tone for the rest of the season because we’re here to win.”

Amherst will face Connecticut College on Wednesday, April 13, at 6 p.m. on Gooding Field, as they look to improve their NESCAC record against the Camels. They will then travel to Williamstown, Massachusetts, on Saturday, April 16, to play perennial rival Williams.