Men’s Lacrosse Stays Undefeated, Moves to 7-0 Over Spring Break
Issue   |   Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:27

The sixth-ranked men’s lacrosse team continued its undefeated streak over spring break, advancing to 7-0 this season. The Jeffs beat non-conference opponent Endicott at home Friday, March 13 before traveling to Owen Mills, Maryland to defeat Washington College on March 17. The purple and white closed the week with a decisive 13-7 victory over NESCAC opponent Hamilton on Saturday, March 21 in sunny Florida.

“They were very big tests for us and we had multiple people step up into different roles,” said Quinn Moroney ’16, the Jeffs’ offensive leader. “Our team is really starting to hit its stride as we enter the middle part of our schedule,” he said.

The Jeffs handed Endicott its first loss of the season, with a 16-10 win at Pratt Field. Sophomore Chris Albanese put away the first goal of the game off of a pass from junior Kane Haffey. Pat Routh ’15 gave Amherst a 2-0 lead with a goal at the 9:14 mark, but the Gulls answered back with a goal of their own less than a minute later. Haffey extended the lead off of a feed from senior Kevin Curry, allowing the Jeffs a two-goal advantage at the close of the first frame.

Five minutes into the second quarter, Quinn Moroney ’16 got things rolling on a dish to Dylan Park ’16. Park’s goal was answered by a goal from Endicott, but the Jeffs turned it on and responded with five more of their own in the remainder of the half. Matt Killian ’17, Moroney, Mike Litner ’16, Haffey, and Albanase each tallied one goal a piece in the purple and white’s second quarter roll.

The Gulls came out firing in the third quarter. Endicott found the back of the net just 36 seconds into the second half, followed quickly by a goal from Amherst’s Albanese, but the Gulls put four more away to cut Amherst’s lead to 10-7. First-year Max Keeley and Moroney each added another point for the Jeffs before Endicott scored its eighth goal, but that was as close as the Gulls would get to cutting the deficit. Charlie Gill ’16 scored on an extra man opportunity with 1:19 left in the third, giving the Jeffs a 13-8 lead at the close of third frame. The purple and white pulled away with the lead in the fourth, as Haffey, Litner and Gill each added another goal to the Jeffs’ total, while the Gulls could only find the net twice more.

While Moroney led the offense with eight points (six assist, two goals), Cody Tranbarger saved 16 Endicott shots on the defensive end of the field. Conner Crump ’16, Rob Butko ’16 and Ryan Cassidy ’16 contributed to a strong defensive effort, winning a total of 20 ground balls.

Amherst then traveled to Maryland to take on the Shoremen of Washington College, where once again Moroney was a force to be reckoned with. Moroney awarded the Jeffs two goals and contributed six assists in a hair-raising, come-from-behind victory. The Shoremen took an early lead 21 seconds into the game when they found the back of the net. The Jeffs trailed by four 10 minutes into the quarter, but Gill fired one away to put the purple and white on the board. Litner and Haffey followed Gill’s lead and brought the deficit to 3-4 at the end of 15 minutes of play. Washington College managed to score a fifth in the middle of the second quarter, but Routh again cut the Shoremen’s lead to one off of a pass from Moroney with 2:02 to play in the half. Tranbarger collected nine saves in the first 30 minutes, and the half closed with the Jeffs trailing by a goal.

After an early goal by Washington College, the Jeffs put four unanswered goals away to gain the lead at 7-6. Killian got the ball rolling with his first goal of the day at the 10:34 mark, followed by Albanese on a pass from Litner and Haffey on a helper by Moroney. Senior Kevin Curry caused a Shoremen mistake, and he fed one to Butko to bring the Jeffs’ lead to two.

Moroney found fire in the fourth, tallying his two goals and three more assists to Routh, Haffey and Gill. Washington College managed three goals of their own in the fourth, but the Jeffs finished with the 13-10 victory. Cassidy caused three turnovers in the defensive end, while he, Moroney and Matt Virgilio ’15 collected four ground balls a piece in the win.

Amherst traveled to Florida to challenge NESCAC opponent Hamilton on Saturday, March 21. The Jeffs outscored the Continentals 7-2 in the second half, powering them to the 13-7 victory. The win keeps the Jeffs undefeated at the top of the NESCAC, along with rivals Williams and Tufts.

“I’d just emphasize that we’ve had a great start, but we have much more to accomplish,” goalie Cody Tranbarger said of the team’s success thus far. “The last time the men’s lacrosse team was 7-0, they lost seven straight. We’re going to keep our success in perspective and keep working toward our ultimate goals.”

While celebrating its successes, the team keeps focus heading down the road.

“Both the offense and defense are gaining chemistry and improving everyday. Our coaching staff continues to be one of the best in the country and does a great job of preparing us for each game,” Moroney said. “Hopefully we can use the momentum we gained over spring break to have a great second half of the season.”

The Jeffs face local opponent Springfield Tuesday, March 24, at Pratt Field and NESCAC rival Middlebury Saturday, March 28.