Women's Lax Little Three Champs
Issue   |   Wed, 04/08/2015 - 00:51
Rob Mattson
Coco Kusiak ’17 has nine goals and three assists this season.

After a week of rest, Amherst women’s lacrosse came up short on Saturday against No. 4 Middlebury on March 28. The loss moves Amherst to 1-3 in the conference. The Panthers took the lead early, putting Amherst down 3-0 at 13:44. A probing attack paid off at 12:19 when Rachel Pasaraelli ’16 put one away, cutting the deficit to 3-1, where it would remain until halftime.

Amherst opened the second half strong, with senior captain Meghan Mills assisting Julia Crerend ’18 in the 20th minute. Within a minute Middlebury put two away to bring their lead back to three. Amherst answered immediately, with Crerend putting two in the back of the net with a goal from Clair Cagnassola ’17 between them. Hanna Kruger ’17 dominated the center-circle, with six draw controls while Christy Forrest ’16 made four saves and Crerend finished with three goals.

“This was a tough loss but Midd is an exceptional team and we played well for the most of the game,” Mills said. “This week is huge for us with an opportunity to win the little three in sight.”

Tied at 5-5, two Panther’s players scored 4 total to bring the game to its final score of 9-5.

The Jeffs kept their goal of winning the little three alive with a 14-8 away win over Wesleyan. Crerend had another three-goal game and helped her team improve to 2-3 in conference play.

The first goal came from Passarelli at 26.32 off a free-position shot. The Cardinals responded with a goal two seconds later to tie the game. The Jeffs were responsible for six of the next eight goals, with Mills notching the first, followed by two from Crerend, two from Cagnassola and another from Passarelli. At halftime Amherst lead 7-3.

To start the second half, Priscilla Tyler ’15 and Crerand scored back-to-back goals to bring the score to 9-3. The Cardinals responded with a goal, but Devin O’Connor ’16 and Coco Kusiak ’17 each put one between the posts in retaliation. Mills, Tyler and Mary Grace Cronin ’18 responded with three for the Jeffs.

In the final chapter of the little three face-off Amherst faced Williams on Friday, March 3 at home. The Jeffs ultimately took home the little three crown with a 17-11 win over the Ephs. The win moves Amherst to 3-3 in conference play and dropped the Ephs to 2-4.

“Williams is always a huge game so it was awesome to play them under the lights with such a huge fan base,” Mills said.

Amherst took the lead early on. Crerend and Passerelli each scored, however the lead was short-lived when the Ephs took control with a five-goal streak to make the score 5-2. With just under 15 left in the first half, Cagnassola scored and shifted the momentum of the game. Mills, Passerelli and Sarah Spector ’15 each put one away before Cagnassola closed out Amherst’s scoring for the half with another of her own. Williams responded with two more goals and the teams entered halftime tied 7-7.

“It was a fast-paced game with lots of momentum shifts, and to our credit we took charge on the draw and in the attacking end in the second half,” coach Christine Paradis said.

Early in the second half, Williams put one past Forrest just 29 seconds into play. Mills quickly stifled that momentum, scoring off a free-position shot. The Amherst goal was quickly backed up by Passerelli’s third goal of the game to bring the score to 9-8 in favor of the Jeffs. The next three goals, including another from Passerelli brought the score to 10-10.

With just under 19 minutes left to play, the Jeffs pulled away, scoring seven straight. Williams could not respond to the spurt of energy and put one away with under four remaining, bringing the game to its final score of 17-11. Looking forward, Passerelli, who was named NESCAC lacrosse player of the week, said, “if we continue to play the we’ve been playing these past few games, I have no doubt we’re going to have a successful postseason.”

The Jeffs return to the field on Saturday, April 11 to face Colby on Pratt Field.