Women’s Lacrosse Wins Home Opener, Cronin Adds Five Goals
Issue   |   Wed, 03/09/2016 - 00:05

Beginning their season last weekend against Bowdoin, the Amherst women’s lacrosse team claimed an 11-6 win over the Polar Bears to open their overall record and conference record at 1-0.

In a matinee game on Saturday, March 5, it was Bowdoin who opened the scoring a mere 34 seconds into the contest. After Amherst’s Claire Cagnassola ’17 controlled the draw, the Polar Bears forced a turnover before Megan O’Connor shot the ball past Amherst goalie Christy Forrest ’16.

The purple and white, however, were not thrown off by the early setback, scoring seven unanswered goals to end the first half with a 7-1 lead. With 26:44 left in the first half, Amherst knotted the score through an unassisted goal from Mary Grace Cronin ’18. Cronin then scored again less than a minute later to give the purple and white a 2-1 lead.

The sophomore led Amherst’s attack with throughout, scoring five goals on six shots and adding an assist to her tally.
The Cronin assist, where she fed first-year Jacq Fitzgerald, gave Amherst a two-goal cushion.

The purple and white then began to pull away. Forrest made nine of her 14 saves in the first half while the Amherst attack relentlessly pressured the goal of Bowdoin’s Kayli Weiss.

“We had everyone from first-years to seniors step up big in the game against Bowdoin,” Hanna Krueger ’17 said. “I think this is a testament to the depth of our team this year, which makes every practice competitive and interesting.”

Two goals from Kate Wyeth ’17, one from senior captain Rachel Passarelli and Cronin’s third helped Amherst to their six-goal advantage heading into the locker room.

Senior captain Mia Haughton played a key role in this passage of play, claiming two of her three assists for the game on Wyeth’s first and Passarelli’s goal.

Amherst’s marauding offense in the first half forced Bowdoin into a change at goalie, with Erin Morissey replacing Kayli Weiss in net during the second half.

The purple and white still began the second half how they finished the first. After a Bowdoin foul gave Amherst an early opportunity, Cronin buried the free position shot to give the purple and white an 8-1 lead.

Most of the second half was characterized by even, back-and-forth play. Two Bowdoin goals closed the Amherst lead to five, but Passarelli linked up with Haughton once again to score her second of the game with just under 24 minutes remaining.
Another Bowdoin goal followed by two unassisted tallies for Amherst from Cagnassola and Cronin set the score at 11-4 in favor of Amherst with seven minutes remaining.

Two more Bowdoin goals before the final whistle set the score at 11-6, but the purple and white prevailed over their NESCAC rival.

Krueger praised the coaching staff’s experience and preparation after the game.

“Our two new assistant coaches have a wealth of playing experience and have brought so much knowledge to the team this year,” she said. “The team has been great at adjusting to new offensive and defensive sets. It was great to see it all play out so successfully against a top-class team last Saturday.”

Amherst returns to action this Saturday, March 12, when they travel to Bates for a NESCAC showdown at 2:30 p.m. The purple and white then travel to Clermont, Florida, where they will play McDaniel on Tuesday, March 15 and Dickinson on Thursday, March 17.