Trinity Tops Women’s Lax Once Again in NESCAC Finals
Issue   |   Wed, 05/07/2014 - 02:09

The Amherst women’s lacrosse team traveled to Hartford, Conn. this weekend for the NESCAC championship. The Jeffs beat archrival Williams 9-4 on Saturday in the semifinals to advance to their first conference championship since 2005, where they fell to top seeded Trinity College 10-7. The team’s only two losses this season have come from the Bantams.

On Saturday, the Jeffs decisively downed the Ephs for the second time this season. Rachel Passarelli ’16 had five goals on the day, giving her 35 on the season. The sophomore gave the Jeffs a two-goal lead to open the half after capitalizing on failed Williams clear attempts. With five minutes remaining in the first half, The Ephs got on the board, but Christy Forrest ’16 came up with a big save to preserve the lead. Alex Philie ’14 added a goal before the intermission to put the Jeffs back up by two.

In the second half, Williams got two goals back, but three more Passarelli goals, an additional Philie tally and a goal from both Meghan Mills ’15 and Claire Cagnassola ’17 gave the Jeffs a convincing 9-3 victory — largely due to Forrest’s seven saves on the day and a team effort that led to a 23-18 edge in shots.

“We played well against Williams at both ends of the field. On defense, we came up big once again and shut their key players down and pressured them to make poor feeding and shooting decisions. On offense, we found good looks at the cage and capitalized on our opportunities. Williams is always a battle, and in the end, we stayed composed and played our game to beat them for the second time,” head coach Chris Paradis said.

On Sunday against Trinity, Amherst had a tough start to the game, falling behind 4-0. Priscilla Tyler ’15 managed to get the Jeffs on the board with less than 10 minutes to go in the first. To close out the half, Passarelli and Mills each converted free throw positions while the Bantams exchanged these scores with two of their own, leaving Amherst behind 6-3 at halftime.

Trinity continued its momentum into the second half, increasing their lead to 8-3 in the opening minutes. Krista Zsitvay ’14 and Caroline Holliday ’14 each added tallies, but they both were countered with Bantam goals. Zsitvay and Passarelli each scored again to close the deficit, but the Jeffs fell short 10-7.

While Amherst dominated draw controls as they have consistently done this season, the team had 21 turnovers, which allowed for the Bantams’ 21-17 shot advantage and 17-10 lead in ground balls.

“We just didn’t come out sharp enough on Sunday, and this hurts against a top team like Trinity,” Paradis remarked. “After their first few goals in the opening minutes, we matched goals and had more possession time but couldn’t find the back of the net. In post-season, unforced errors are costly, and we made too many of them.”

“We did play them better than the last time and overall, the NESCAC tourney was a great preparation for the NCAA’s. We got tougher, better and more confident in key areas, and we will continue to work on decision making under pressure in practice situation to prepare us for the journey ahead,” Paradis continued.

Although the Amherst won an NCAA championship in 2003, the team has yet to win a NESCAC title. However, the 2014 squad received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament where they will host Bridgewater State in the second round after receiving a first round bye.

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