Men’s Lacrosse Wins First Two in Dominant Start to the Season
Issue   |   Tue, 03/06/2018 - 20:52

After a disappointing NESCAC campaign in 2017, the Amherst men’s lacrosse team kicked off this spring season with a dominant 22-7 win over the Colby Mules.

Sophomore Colin Minicus started his season right where he left off last year after being named NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

Against Colby, Minicus led Amherst in scoring with nine points, tallying five goals and four assists.

A home matchup for the Mammoths, Amherst ran onto Pratt Field clad in its all-white uniforms with visible confidence.

Part of this confidence no doubt stemmed from the historical performance of the Mules, who in the past have not been one of the stronger squads in the NESCAC.

Junior Andrew Ford struck first for the Mammoths, putting away a perfect feed from Jimmy McAfee ’20 in the sixth minute of play.

McAfee himself was next to find the net, putting the Mammoths up two, before Ford struck once more less than a minute later to give Amherst a 3-0 advantage.

Colby responded with a goal, but Amherst fired back immediately by putting up six unanswered markers in the first nine minutes of the second quarter.

Trenton Shore ’19 found the back of the net in a man-up score, Ford found nylon once again and Evan Wolf ’19, Minicus, Matt Solberg ’20 and McAfee also contributed to the scoring spree.

Amherst’s dominance did not waver in the second half. The Mammoths added another 11 tallies to the board while holding Colby to just three goals to secure the 22-7 victory.

Minicus and Wolf each logged three scores in the second half, while Jack Norton ’19, Dylan Finazzo ’20, Jack Hutchinson ’21, Max Keeley ’18 and Zach Schwartz ’18 chipped in a goal each. The scoring from so many different sources displayed Amherst’s depth in attack this season.

The defense also proved relatively unbreakable. Five players scooped up three ground balls each, leading to a 40-22 edge in ground balls for the hosts.

At center field, Dylan Finazzo ’20 and Drew Kelleher ’18 were unstoppable in the face-off, leading to an advantage 24-8 in favor of the Mammoths.

Amherst’s net was defended by three different Mammoths — first-years Gib Versfeld and Cameron Mitchell, as well as junior Chad Simmons.

Versfeld registered two stops, while Mitchell batted five away. Simmons also saved one with 2:29 left to play.

In the Mammoths’ Tuesday home matchup against Western New England University (WNEU), Amherst came out to a quick start, putting up seven goals to WNEU’s 3 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Amherst scored four, while the Bears only put one into the Mammoths’ net.

In the third quarter, Minicus scored twelve seconds into play, burying a feed from fellow sophomore McAfee on a fast break off the opening faceoff.

Although WNEU would score two in the quarter, Minicus bookended the quarter with another goal. Amherst maintained a ten point lead.

WNEU scored two quickly at the start of the fourth quarter, but an Amherst timeout quickly led to a unassisted Evan Wolf goal.

WNEU’s late game hustle resulted in several Amherst man-up situations, as the bears committed several penalties.

The final score ended 19-10, as the Mammoths move to 2-0 on the season. Amherst certainly will look to maintain its high-flying offense.

The Mammoths will face an away this Saturday contest as they travel to face NESCAC rival Bowdoin.