SPORTS

Women’s Lacrosse Ekes Out Close Win over Rival Williams, 15-13

By Nat De Jonge '21 || Issue 148-20

Hannah Gustafson ’21 has been an integral part of the Mammoths’ offense, having scored 12 goals, good enough for third on the team, and four assists. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

With spring in western Massachusetts finally setting in, the women’s lacrosse team faced their archrivals on Saturday in balmy weather on Pratt Field. The unranked Williams Ephs made the trip down from Williamstown to face an Amherst team still reeling from two tough losses against NESCAC foes Middlebury and Wesleyan.
A week prior, the Mammoths took on the No. 6-ranked Middlebury Panthers on a road trip to Vermont. A relatively even game broke open midway through the second half when the Panthers scored three unanswered goals to secure a 10-6 lead with 14 minutes left in the game. Amherst responded to the blow with a 3-1 run of their own, but in the end fell short of a win, heading back to Amherst with their second loss of the season.
Upon returning home, the Mammoths immediately began preparations for a midweek game against another formidable opponent — this time the ninth-ranked Wesleyan Cardinals. After a two-goal loss to the Panthers, Amherst was in for another heartbreaker as the margin this time around was cut to just one goal, finishing 10-11 after overtime.
With just under 20 minutes to play, the Mammoths found themselves in a similar position to their previous game in Vermont: down 6-10. Again, the Mammoths mounted a late-game surge. This time, however, they were able to pull even with four unanswered scores. The Cardinal’s goalkeeper acrobatically denied Katherine Malone’s ’20 game-winning shot with a minute left to play, sending the game into overtime.


Despite momentum on the side of the Mammoths, the Cardinals won the opening draw control and scored the golden goal just 41 seconds later, putting an end to Amherst’s comeback. On Saturday, the Mammoths received another chance to, as sophomore midfielder Natalie Landau put it, “prove to [themselves] and the rest of the NESCAC that they could finish out close games.” Despite a lackluster record of 1-4 in the NESCAC, the Ephs put up a decent fight. Amherst-Williams rivalries are often close affairs. Landau said, “Playing Williams is always exciting and high energy because of the nature of the rivalry.” In the first ten minutes of action, the Williams side shot out to an early lead, scoring two quick goals. The Mammoths got on the board after ten minutes with a sly finish by Becky Kendall ’22, her first goal of a hattrick. The two teams traded goals until a 5-1 Mammoth run put the Amherst side up 7-5 at the half.


This two-goal lead proved to be the deciding factor as the two teams played an even second half, scoring eight goals apiece. At one point, with 14 minutes to play, Amherst held a commanding 13-9 lead, but a still-feisty Williams squad continued to battle. They outscored the Mammoths 4-2 in the remaining stretch, but still came up short. Amherst emerged victorious to a score of 15-13.
As for the rest of the season, Landau hinted that the Mammoths are out for a bit of revenge, “We are going to keep working, and are excited to take on another NESCAC competitor [on Tuesday] against Conn. College and hopefully see Wesleyan or Middlebury again in the playoffs.”


On a chilly, rainy Tuesday night, the Mammoths traveled to New London, Connecticut to take on Conn. College. There, the Mammoths ultimately triumphed with ease. Although they were only ahead three at the end of the first half, the Second half turned into a feeding frenzy. The final scoreline read 18-6.
The Mammoths travel to Medford, Massachusetts to take on the Tufts Jumbos on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.