Lacrosse Teams Defeat Bates in Season Openers
Issue   |   Tue, 03/04/2014 - 21:20

Men

The Amherst men’s lacrosse team began itsseason with a statement win against Bates in their season opener on Pratt Field this past Saturday. The Jeffs’ offensive prowess was on display, racking up 17 goals. The defense performed equally well, holding Bates to just eight goals.

Scoring was rampant in the first quarter with Amherst taking a 6-4 lead by the end of the period. Sophomore Dylan Park scored the first point of the Jeffs’ 2014 campaign. Park went on to score a second and had eight total shots on goal.

The second period was all Amherst as they extended their lead by four more goals and scooped up 13 ground balls before the end of the half.

The Jeffs continued to roll through the second half. They scored four more goals to Bates’ lone point in the third, and each team was able to find the back of the net three more times before the final buzzer rang. Amherst took 44 shots, showing their efficiency on offense to Bates’ 55.

“I was proud of the way our guys came out flying around versus Bates. We have focused almost exclusively on ourselves this year, rather than our opponent, so it was nice to see the guys play so hard when in fact there was an opponent on the field,” Coach Jon Thompson said.

Kane Haffey ’16 and Aaron Mathias ’14 led the Jeffs’ scoring with three goals apiece. Park and Devin Acton ’14 had two each, while seven other players contributed a goal each. Sophomore Quinn Moroney racked up an impressive game-high five assists for the Jeffs.
Greg Majno ’14 started the game in goal and finished with six saves, while Cody Tranbarger ’17 took over for the second half, racking up 12 saves in his first collegiate career action.

Thompson acknowledged that his team should not get comfortable this 17-8 victory and that there are still improvements to be made in the upcoming week of practice.

“There were some areas that need to be addressed. We adjusted well at the face-off stripe, but we’ll need to practice facing off more if we intend to hit our goal for improvement. We also need to develop some depth at defensive midfield. We have quite a few young men who can play there right now but need to be sure that our depth is improving every day in terms of on ball defense,” Thompson noted.
Amherst looks ride the momentum from their first game when they travel to Maine to play the Bowdoin next Saturday. The Jeffs will remain on the road until Saturday, April 5 when they return home to Pratt Field to face Colby.

Thompson also pointed out that playing on the road is yet another obstacle for his team to overcome in order to succeed this season.
“We have a big push ahead. We go on the road for the first time, which is no small task in the NESCAC. We’ll sleep in different beds, we’ll eat different food, we’ll have a slightly different schedule. The question is, will we allow those differences to affect our style, our pace, and our type of lacrosse? We all hope the answer is no, but only time will tell.”

Women

After much anticipation, the Amherst women’s lacrosse team opened its 2014 campaign on the right note with a 12-8 victory over Bates College. The 13th-ranked Jeffs traveled to Lewiston, ME for their first contest of the season, and their efficient style of play yielded some promising results going forward.

Caroline Holliday, one of the five senior captains for the Jeffs, started off her final season with six points garnished off of three goals and three assists.

“We played as a cohesive unit throughout the field, which is great to see so early on,” Holliday said. “On the attack, we had a bunch of different players scoring and assisting. On the defense, we played as a solid unit and caused a lot of turnovers as a result. As a team, we’re excited to finally be competing after two weeks of preseason, and we’re working hard to keep getting better every day.”

Coach Paradis corroborated this analysis, adding how impressed she was with the defensive effort, which featured many hustle plays and double teams as well as tight one-on-one defense that took place all over the field.

Offensively, many different players stepped up for the Jeffs. Rachel Passarelli ’16 had four points off of two goals and two assists, while Elizabeth Ludlow ’14 and Meghan Mills ’15 each scored two goals. Mia Haughton ’16, Devin O’Connor ’16 and Priscilla Tyler ’15 also contributed to the scoring with one goal each.

The Bobcats started the game off with a 2-1 advantage. This lead was short-lived, however, thanks to a 4-1 run by the Jeffs that would take them to a 5-4 edge at the end of the first frame.

In the second half, the game remained tight, as the teams went back and forth to reach a 6-6 tie. However, another 4-1 offensive spurt of goals by the Jeffs put them ahead 10-7 with 7:16 remaining. Despite one last retaliatory score by the Bobcats, Amherst scored twice more to finish the game with a 12-8 victory.

Goalie Christy Forrest ’16 made 11 saves to earn the win, while the Bobcat’s netminder stopped six shots. The teams were fairly evenly matched, as they tied 20-20 in shots. Bates held a 13-11 edge in ground balls and Amherst won 12 of the 22 face-offs.

Like Holliday, Paradis is confident that the team will stay motivated and work hard to continue to improve. She is excited about the depth the squad will have this season, especially as many injured players are scheduled to return to the field within the next few weeks.

The Jeffs will look to establish a win streak when they take on Babson for their home opener this Wednesday, March 5 at 5 p.m.

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