Women’s lacrosse stumbles at Amherst

Women’s lacrosse (6-5, 2-4 in the NESCAC) fell Saturday to conference rival Amherst in a 9-4 loss. The women bested Conn. College on Thursday and Springfield on Wednesday by scores of 14-11 and 13-11, respectively. The women also compiled a 3-3 record over spring break, beating Bates, Mary Washington and RPI and falling to Tufts, Union and Trinity.

Amherst was first on the scoreboard on Saturday, bringing the score to 3-0 in the first six minutes of play. Tri-captain Anne Marie Burke ’11 put the Ephs in the game with the team’s first goal at 8:37. Margie Fulton ’12 assisted Katie Pettengill ’13 at 10:36, bringing the score to 3-2. Neither team scored for the remaining 19 minutes of the first half.

The Jeffs came out strong in the second half. They scored five unanswered goals and dominated possession. However, Emily Whicker ’13 scored her first goal of the game with an unassisted shot at 23:37, making the score 8-3 in Amherst’s favor. Only minutes later Amherst scored again, regaining a six-point lead to go ahead 9-3. Meera Sivalingam ’12 fed to Fulton for a goal in the last 30 seconds of the game, but it was only enough to lessen the gap to five and make for a final tally of 9-4.

“We weren’t producing enough goals,” Head Coach Chris Mason said. “Amherst plays a slow tempo game, so we should have pressured them even more.”

The women went into their Thursday match-up against Springfield confident. Rookies Becca McGovern ’14 and Emily Jablonski ’14 were critical players, notching three and four goals, respectively. “It takes a little time for the younger players to feel confident at the college level,” Mason said. “We’re glad that they’re gaining their confidence.” With another three goals from Fulton and one each for Katie Ellis ’12, Burke and Sivalingam, the Pride defense was no match for the strong Eph offense. Though Springfield was first on the scoreboard with a goal at 3:11, Williams responded with a six-goal streak. With two unassisted goals from McGovern and Jablonski at 7:15 and 8:41, the women took a 2-1 lead. Jablonski then assisted Ellis for her first goal of the game 10:08 into the quarter. After two goals from McGovern and Jablonski put the women up 5-1, McGovern recorded her third goal of the game at 16:35 to put the Ephs up by five.

The Ephs relinquished control late in the half and allowed the Pride four unanswered goals, bringing the score to 6-5 with only five minutes left in the first half. Williams took command again by the end of the second quarter, however, with a goal from Sivalingam with just four minutes left and two more quick scores from Burke and Jablonski from Ellis at 27:43 for a 9-5 Williams lead at the half.

Springfield came back after the half determined to shatter the women’s lead, and the final half of the game was extremely close: Both teams held one another to one- or two-goal streaks. Springfield brought the score to 11-9 with a goal 10:17 into the third. Williams, however, soon responded with a goal from Fulton, assisted by McGovern at 11:26 and ultimately came out on top by a final score of 13-11.

Wednesday’s matchup against Conn. College was a close game in which both teams played well. The Camels got off to a good start, scoring two goals to open the game, but the Ephs responded with six unanswered goals. The first was a goal by Sivalingam at 21:41, quickly followed by a goal from Jablonski, assisted by Fulton, for a knotted 2-2 score midway through the first.

Williams took the lead after a successful free-position shot by McGovern, her first of five goals in the game. With the first period nearly half over and the Ephs up 6-2, the Camels put three goals on the board within three minutes to narrow the gap to one at 6-5. A goal from McGovern in the final eight seconds of the first half closed the half with the Ephs leading 9-7.

Williams came out strong after the half with two goals from Nicolle Perry ’13 in the first four minutes of the period. The Camels struck again with a goal at 9:04, but McGovern scored her fifth goal halfway through the second to bring the score to 12-8. After a three-goal streak from Conn. College, the women ended the game with two outstanding goals. The first was assisted by Whicker and scored by Fulton with 2:28 remaining. Jablonski scored the final goal of the game off a pass from McGovern with just under two minutes to play, bringing the final score to 14-11.
Despite the women’s loss to the Jeffs on Saturday, Mason is hoping to focus on the team’s earlier momentum and confidence and ensure that her players “keep their heads on straight” in the coming weeks before the NESCAC tournament.

Over spring break, the women fell 9-4 to Trinity on April 2 and lost to Union 8-7 in overtime on March 29. The women tackled RPI 9-6 on March 28 after falling 14-9 to Tufts on March 26. They started break by trouncing Mary Washington 9-8 on March 22 and powering past Bates 18-12 on March 19.

The women’s next game is Wednesday at Skidmore at 7 p.m., and the team will then host Wesleyan on Saturday at noon.

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