After frigid temperatures delayed the team’s season-opener from Saturday to Sunday, the ninth-ranked Amherst men’s lacrosse team began their 2017 season with a home win against NESCAC foe Bowdoin. In a rematch of last year’s season opener, in which the purple and white narrowly held onto a 10-7 win, the home-field advantage proved useful for the hosts, who dominated the Polar Bears by a score of 17-12.
Midfielder Matt Killian ’17 struck first for Amherst on an unassisted tally. Fellow senior Chris Albanese would strike just a minute later on a feed from Evan Wolf ’19, who proceeded to put purple and white ahead 3-0 with an unassisted tally of his own just over three minutes later. Albanese continued his dominant first quarter, notching three more goals before the whistle blew to end the frame. Killian added one more goal in the quarter while Colin Minicus ’20 notched a pair of goals, propelling Amherst to a 9-1 lead after just the first stanza of play.
Bowdoin would try to crawl their way back in the second, posting five goals of their own. However, Albanese, Minicus and Andrew Ford ’19 all scored to give the purple and white a 12-6 lead heading into halftime.
In the third period, Jack Norton ’19 exploded with a hat trick of his own off assists from Sam Chen ’17, Minicus and Ian Kadish ’18.
With Amherst entering the fourth holding a comfortable 15-8 lead, Bowdoin needed a miracle to pull out a win. Although the Polar Bears did manage four tallies in the frame, two more goals from Jack Norton ’19 and Wolf closed a promising opening to the 2017 season.
Albanese led both teams in scoring with five goals to his name, while Minicus led in assists with three. Most impressively, 11 Amherst players posted either a goal or assist. With contributions from both new and veteran team members, Amherst showed off this team’s depth to the rest of the NESCAC.
Amherst senior goaltender Cody Tranberger managed 13 saves, while Bowdoin netminder Peter Mumford recorded 20.
The purple and white also edged the Polar Bears in face-offs won, taking 24 to their 10, and showed tremendous hustle, leading 56-37 in ground balls.
The purple and white sought to continue their winning ways on Tuesday, when the team took to the road for the first time this season, traveling to face Western New England University.
The host Golden Bears jumped out to an early lead, scoring just 1:14 into the affair. Although the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, the score remained at 1-0 when the whistle blew to close the period.
Amherst’s offense came to life in the second, however, with the purple and white tallying five goals, two from Ford, Albanese and Wolf each adding one. Additionally, junior Max Keeley notched his first goal of the season, giving the purple and white a slim 5-4 lead heading into the half.
The see-saw nature of the affair continued into the third frame. The purple and white again showcased its depth with two more players, Jon Coffey ’20 and Connor Sheehan ’18, scoring their first goal of the year.
After Western New England rallied to take a 8-7 lead early in the fourth, the purple and white responded dominantly, scoring three unanswered goals via Brogan Mahon ’19, Killian and Norton. These three tallies left the final score 10-8 in favor of Amherst.
The purple and white look to continue their winning start to the season, when the team travels to play conference rival Bates on Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m.