Men's Lacrosse Continues to Build on their Strong Start to the Season
Issue   |   Tue, 03/22/2016 - 23:14

The Amherst men’s lacrosse team survived tough competition on their recent spring break trip to Florida. They played two gritty opponents during their week in sunny Orlando, seeing two nail biting matches against their toughest out of conference rivals.

The purple and white squared off first against Western New England. The first half was dry of any solid action, but Western New England’s Patrick Dillon ripped the only goal of the period to put the Golden Bears ahead. In the second period, goals by Dylan Park ’16 and Quinn Moroney ’16 lifted Amherst to trail by just one goal heading into the half.

Park again scored the equalizer from Kane Haffey ’16 to put the action at 3-3. A back and forth third period, which saw many unassisted efforts on both sides, would set up a crucial and exciting fourth quarter.

Amherst went up by two points several times in the last period of play, until the Golden Bears tied the game with only 4:15 left on the clock. They then added two more goals in the final minutes to devastate the favored purple and white on their first matchup in Florida.

Amherst took this loss to gear up for No. 20 Cortland State. Chris Albanese ’17 opened up the scoring for Amherst, and the purple and white subsequently built a 3-0 lead on goals from Connor Crump ’16 and Evan Wolf ’19. After back and forth play, Amherst entered the half with an 8-4 advantage.

A relatively quiet third quarter favored Amherst heading into the final stanza, but the last 15 minutes of the game were jam-packed with action. Cortland lit up the scoreboard with a 6-0 run that gave them a 12-10 lead with 5:35 left. The purple and white stayed in the game, however, and clutch goals by Charlie Gill ’16 and Haffey sent the two teams into overtime.

It was Albanese, the first goal scorer of the day, who closed out the action as well. With only 3:07 left in overtime, his unassisted goal lifted Amherst to a much-needed 13-12 victory.

The purple and white returned from Florida for a Tuesday night game on March 22 against Endicott College. By the end of a back-and-forth match, Amherst emerged victorious by a final score line of 15-14.

Although Endicott struck first, Amherst quickly fought back with three goals in as many minutes. Gill started off the scoring with an unassisted strike, which was followed by goals from Albanese and senior Rob Butko. Endicott then tied the score at 3-3 with less than five minutes left to play in the quarter, but Crump quickly gave the advantage right back to the purple and white with an unassisted strike.

This lead, however, would not last, as Endicott knotted the score at 4-4 going into the second period. In the beginning of the second quarter, Moroney scored a goal and then assisted another to put the purple and white up by two. A flurry of goals from both teams, including three in 45 seconds by the purple and white, resulted in Amherst holding a 12-8 lead at the end of the second stanza.

Endicott came out strong in the second half, and by the end of the third quarter had cut Amherst’s once significant lead to a mere 12-11 advantage.

In the fourth quarter, the purple and white extended their lead to 15-12, but this advantage quickly shrunk to 15-14 with five minutes left to play. Amherst was able to stave off Endicott’s furious offense in the final minutes of the fourth quarter in order to earn their fifth win this season.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, March 26, when they host NESCAC foe Hamilton at 1 p.m. The team then takes on Springfield in an away game on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m.