The men’s lacrosse team took the field in Lewiston, Maine on April 20 and left Bates with what was arguably the team’s best performance of the season. The Mammoths were dominant from start to finish in the 25-12 romp, scoring at least six goals in each of the four quarters.
Amherst’s schedule thus far has been daunting. The team has taken on six nationally-ranked opponents including Bates, four of whom are in-conference rivals. Coming off of a 1-2 record in their last three games, the Mammoths entered this match looking for momentum heading into NESCAC playoffs. All they needed for that push was to look back at the two blemishes in their otherwise incredible season.
Amherst’s losses to Tufts and Williams share one major thing in common: both began with Amherst down early. The early April loss to Williams saw the Ephs go on a 5-1 run following the Mammoths’ opening goal. Last week’s near comeback over Tufts saw Amherst go scoreless in a quarter for the first time this season. While Amherst’s deep roster allows the team to compete late in games against tough opponents, even the greatest teams can’t dig themselves out of every hole.
Knowing that, it’s no surprise that this weekend’s dominant win began with instant offense from the Mammoths. Evan Wolf ’19 kicked things off by netting an unassisted goal just over two minutes into the contest. A mere 16 seconds later, Logan Lair ’21 connected with Jon Coffey ’20 for a second score. It would be less than a minute before Chase Yager ’22 scored to make it 3-0 in about three minutes. Bates’ first goal of the quarter was quickly followed up with goals by Coffey and Colin Minicus ’20 within a minute of the initial score. Even the morsel of momentum Bates could have carried into the second quarter following a late goal was stymied when Jimmy McAfee ’20 netted the sixth goal of the quarter with under a minute left.
Amherst truly separated themselves from their opponent in the second quarter as they followed up their first-quarter performance with a 7-2 run. Two man-up opportunities early in the quarter led to two goals for the Mammoths, courtesy of Minicus and Trenton Shore ’19. Another goal by Minicus and Coffey, two goals by Ethan Kasmierski ’21 and another score by Luke Mallette ’20 would lead to a halftime score of 13-4. On the day, 14 different Amherst players found the back of the net.
A high-scoring affair always signals offensive dominance, but it cannot be understated how crucial the defense was to this game. The team generated 14 turnovers in the first half and added a suffocating pressure throughout the game. Goalie Cam Mitchell ’21 faced 48 shots on the day but was only forced to make nine saves. Those attempts missing the cage are all a result of the defense playing relentlessly tough despite their hot offense. The Mammoths also proved their dominance throughout the game in the ground. Amherst out-ground balled Bates to the tune of 47-29.
With the victory, Amherst moves to 12-2 on the season, 7-2 in the NESCAC. After a final game at Trinity College on Wednesday, the Mammoths will go on to the NESCAC playoffs. Amherst currently sits in a three-way tie for the No. 2 seed with Little Three rivals Williams and Wesleyan. The Mammoths will need a win and a Williams loss to Middlebury in order to earn that seed. The Mammoths will conclude their regular season tomorrow in an away contest at Trinity.