The No. 2 men’s lacrosse team followed up their win last week over then-undefeated Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with two more victories, moving to a perfect 8-0 record (3-0 NESCAC) this spring. The Mammoths began their week trading goals back and forth with the Endicott College Gulls, ending 14-12. Amherst then traveled to Clinton, New York and took care of NESCAC opponent Hamilton, closing that game out 20-8.
Following such a monumental victory over RIT, it is common for a team to ride the high of victory and overlook their next opponent. That may have been the case on Tuesday when Amherst hosted the 1-4 Endicott Gulls on Pratt Field. The first quarter saw the Mammoths match the pace of the RIT game, going on a four-goal run after conceding the first goal of the game. Matt Solberg ’20 sparked the run at the 10:22 mark off of a great feed from Brogan Mahon ’19, followed by a pair of Colin Minicus ’20-to-Evan Wolf ’19 goals. The run ended off of a second assist by Mahon, this time buried by Jon Coffey ’20.
All that high-flying offense came to a halt when a pair of Amherst players incurred holding penalties, eventually leading to an Endicott two man-up goal to close out the quarter. The four-goal flash in the first quarter would prove to make a difference in the match, as the next three quarters were played nearly dead-even. Over the next three quarters, Amherst barely won the ground ball battle 29-24, and only outshot the Gulls at a pace of 32-28.
Amherst and Endicott essentially traded goals for the final three quarters. The second quarter saw Solberg and Coffey each notch their second goals, but were both answers to goals by the Gulls. The third quarter featured a goal by Jack Wolff ’19 and Ethan Kazmierski ’21. The fourth quarter actually saw some more dramatic action: a 3-1 run by the Mammoths featuring two goals by Solberg and one by Jack Norton ’19 was swiftly countered by a 3-1 run by Endicott in the last two minutes of play.
The theme of the game was staying patient. Despite taking 48 shots throughout the game, Amherst’s 12 goals made it the lowest outing of the season. In a back-and-forth game where shots are consistently failing to land, it is imperative that the team does not get frustrated so they can continue creating those opportunities. Little things, like Amherst’s ability to control faceoffs in the second half and executing nearly perfect clears in the last three quarters, allowed the team to keep the ball on offense and continue generating scoring opportunities, resulting in a 12-10 victory.
Amherst took the field again that following Sunday to take on the Hamilton Continentals. Outside of a game with Springfield College on Tuesday, this is the beginning of a long list of match-ups against NESCAC opponents.
The first few minutes of the game echoed some of the same themes as last time, and a failure to pressure on defense led to two goals for Hamilton in the first three minutes. However, those worries would soon fade as the Mammoths countered with a massive 6-1 run. Amherst saw great success all day inside, as early goals by Coffey, Wolf and Solberg were all able to find success and midfielders Chase Yager ’22 and Norton proved no one could stop the Mammoths.
The second quarter proved to be the most competitive of the game, as the Continentals answered Wolf’s three goals and PJ Clementi’s ’22 two assists and a goal with a 3-1 run of their own to close the half.
After Hamilton opened the third quarter with two goals, making it 11-8, Amherst started to create distance. Amherst outshot Hamilton 16-5 in the third after their pair of goals en route to score nine unanswered goals to close out the game.
Norton and Trenton Shore ’19 each notched a pair of goals in the run, while Mahon, James Crovatto ’21, Clementi, Wolf and Jack Hutchinson ’21 all notched one apiece. This massive second half resulted in a 20-8 final score over Hamilton.
Amherst then defended their undefeated record this week with a game against Springfield Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on Gooding Field, which they won, 22-8.
Amherst plays next at the Headstrong Foundation Game and Alumni Appreciation Day on Saturday against Middlebury at home.