When their first game finally began, the Jeffs dug themselves an early hole, falling behind 7-2 at halftime. However, the Jeffs prevailed, opening the 2003 season with a 12-11 victory over the fourth-ranked William Smith College Herons on March 15.
The team’s offense was led by attackers Abby Ouimet ’03 and Allison Aldrich ’04, who registered three second-half goals each. Junior midfielder Jackie Sargent provided the most excitement however, scoring her third goal of the game, the game winner, with 4:20 remaining.
Ouimet also tallied two assists for the Jeffs. The rest of the teams’ scores came from midfielder Mary Kate Allen ’03, who registered two goals and midfielder Liz Martin ’04 who recorded a goal and two assists. Tri-captain attacker Erin Beaumont ’03, also contributed three assists. Senior tri-captain goaltender Brooke Diamond had eight saves in the victory.
“I was very proud of our team in our William Smith game,” said Head Coach Chris Paradis. “Coming back from a five-goal deficit to the fourth [ranked] team in the country took incredible courage and spirit.”
“I’m really excited for this season,” added Ouimet. “To play a team of that level early on and come back after a five-goal deficit really shows that this season is going to be great.”
The following Wednesday, March 19, the Jeffs faced St. Lawrence University. Ouimet, Allen and Martin again led the scoring, contributing four goals each. Beaumont registered two goals and attackers Kennon Kay ’05 and first-year Scotty Hanley made the Jeffs’ score sheet with three and two goals, respectively.
Brooke Diamond and Olivia D’Ambrosio ’05 split the goaltending in the 19-7 victory.
“Our St. Lawrence game was inspiring. Our passing was sharp and we had very few turnovers. It was truly a great start,” commented Paradis.
After a strong start in Florida, the 2-0 Jeffs will host NESCAC foes Colby and Bates this Saturday and Sunday. Neither game is expected to be a cakewalk. The White Mules, nationally ranked 15th in the preseason poll, stand one-and-one with a 17-7 loss against Middlebury College and a 25-1 win against the University of New England.
The 19th-ranked Bobcats have won four non-conference games, two by at least eight goals and dropped their only NESCAC game to Wesleyan University 15-9.
Despite the tough schedule that lies ahead, these two early victories have given the Jeffs even more confidence in the team’s abilities this season.
“Both of our games were really great because we played at a high level and improved over the week,” said Ouimet. “I think we proved that we can play competitively at a high level all season long and contend for the national championship. I know that from here on out we are going to keep setting a high standard for Amherst lacrosse.”