Women’s Lacrosse Ends Season With Middlebury Loss

Women’s lacrosse fell to Trinity in their regular season finale and to conference- and national-No. 1 Middlebury in NESCAC quarterfinals, ending their first season since the onset of the pandemic.

Women’s Lacrosse Ends Season With Middlebury Loss
Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Chris Paradis coached her final regular-season game this past week. She led the Mammoths to 14 NCAA tournament berths and a national championship in 2003. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Women’s lacrosse traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday, April 27, to meet Trinity in their last regular season game of 2022. The game was effectively a tune-up before the NESCAC tournament began later that week, as both teams had already clinched a playoff spot.

Amherst started the game strong, with defense being the name of the game in the first period. They were scored on only twice in the quarter, and matched those goals with two of their own from Fiona Jones ’23 and senior captain Becky Kendall ’22.

The Mammoths entered the second quarter tied at two with the Bantams, looking for a win to improve their tournament seeding. However, Trinity needed the win just as badly and showed it early in the frame: the team scored three straight goals in the first three minutes of the quarter. The Mammoths fought back with two of their own, but going into the half, the score favored Trinity, 7-4.

Heading into the second half, Amherst’s eyes were set on a comeback. They started the rally with an unassisted goal from Sydney Larsen ’23 with 5:50 left to go, and followed with a tally from Katie Hadro ’23 with 3:29 remaining in the third.

In the fourth quarter, neither team would score for nearly 11 minutes until Eliza Marcus ’25E scored an unassisted goal with 7:50 left to put the Mammoths behind by only one. Two minutes later, Lauren Friedman ’25 scored her second to tie the game at nine apiece. But Trinity scored twice in the final four minutes to put the game away and ultimately prevailed 11-9.

After the tough Wednesday loss, the Mammoths traveled to Vermont to face No. 1 seed Middlebury for the second time this season, this time with a NESCAC semifinal berth on the line. The Panthers got off to a quick start, netting four consecutive goals to start the game. Larsen’s unassisted tally put Amherst on the board with five minutes left in the first quarter and narrowed the lead to  4-1.

But that was the closest the Mammoths would come to taking the lead. Middlebury dominated the rest of the game, netting 13 consecutive goals to take a 17-1 lead. Breaking the Panther run was senior Marina Bevacqua ’22, who recorded Amherst’s second of the game via an unassisted goal with 10:44 left in the final quarter. Despite the Mammoths’ best efforts, Middlebury finished the game with another win by a 20-2 margin. However, goalies Caroline Stole ’24 and Caroline Fischer ’22 combined to make an impressive 20 total saves in the game.

Though a disappointing result, the Mammoths are keeping their heads held high. Larsen said, “we recognized that having a postseason was a privilege and it was a manifestation of all of the hard work that we had put into our regular season. Although we had hoped it would not be our last bus ride, we played for each other and for our seniors, and it left us with a lot of motivation for next season.”The loss marked the end of the season for the Mammoths, who finished 2022 with a 9-7 overall record. It was also the last game for retiring head coach Chris Paradis, who concluded her remarkable career on Saturday. During her career, Paradis guided Amherst to 14 NCAA tournament berths, including a national championship win in 2003. She finished her tenure with 321 wins, the 10th most by any women’s lacrosse coach across all NCAA divisions and the fourth highest total of any coach at the Division III level.