Women’s Lacrosse Opens Season Strong; Men Coming Into Form
By Amro El-Adle '13, Managing Sports Editor
The women’s lacrosse team’s record is gleaming at 2-1 after a sun-soaked cross-country road trip that saw them rip through ninth-ranked Tufts University and Manhattanville College, before succumbing to Messiah College. The men’s lacrosse team has yet to pull out a victory on the season, as both their offense and defense have been gradually rounding into form.


The Jeffs began their season by upending ninth-ranked Tufts University 11-8, in an impressive upset. The Jumbos had twice dismissed Amherst last season, including a first-round win that sent the Jeffs home from the NESCAC Championships.

Junior Kelley Trapp loomed large in the first half, as she tallied five assists and a score in leading Amherst to a 6-3 edge at the half. Trapp dished two of those assists to first-year Wyatt Davis, and followed up with a couple of helpers to Allie Horwitz ’12 to put the Jeffs up 4-1. After the Jumbos responded with a unassisted score, Trapp played point guard again, setting the table for Horwitz once more, before calling her own number for her sixth point of the half.

First-year Marta Randall got in on the action to start the second half, as both she and Trapp chipped in with a goal and an assist to put Amherst up 10-4 at the 13-minute mark. That seemed to revitalize the Jumbos, as they stitched together a quick rally, via draw domination, to narrow the gap to 11-7. The Jumbos would add one more meaningless goal in the waning minutes to close out the game. On the defensive side, sophomore Lamia Harik earned the win, finishing with eight saves. In addition, fellow sophomore Meredith LaRose caused three turnovers and picked up three groundballs. Senior co-captains Kathleen Scheld and Tyler Tory-Murphy also put in strong defensive efforts, with Scheld wining three draws, and Tory-Murphy snatching four ground balls.

On the following Tuesday, the Jeffs made their way down to the sunshine state, and put away Manhattanville College in a laugher, 19-3. With more than 23 minutes remaining in the first half, the Jeffs had marched out to a 4-0 lead behind goals from Tory-Murphy, Davis, and Trapp. By halftime, the Jeffs held an insurmountable 12-1 lead after taking 26 shots to the Valiants’ lone attempt. The second half was much of the same, as the nine different Amherst players scored a point in the game, including Trapp, who had eight points to match her total from the Tufts game. Despite the score, Tory-Murphy was quick to point out that even blow-outs are valuable learning experiences: “[The game] against Manhattanville wasn’t the most challenging, but a lot of the team got to see the field and so many people scored, it proved how well-rounded we are and how much depth we have.”

In their game against Messiah, the Jeffs appeared well on their way to a 3-0 start to the season, but their offense sputtered down the stretch as they dropped an 11-6 decision.

The first half featured a leisurely 4-2 pace, as both teams took some time to find their groove. By the start of the second half, however, it became clear that Messiah would prove too much to handle. Rachel Dirksen was by far the most dynamic player on the field, as she led the Falcons with eight goals single-handedly outscoring the Jeffs in the process. Horrwitz added three points in the loss, with Trapp and senior Hannah Walker chipping in with a couple of points apiece. “We definitely possess the skill to beat them, but our team is pretty young all over the field and I think we were caught off guard a bit by their aggressiveness,” noted Tory-Murphy.


The men’s lacrosse team showed considerable potential over the break, but failed to put it all together, as they dropped their first three games of the season.

The team flashed that hefty potential in the first 1:14 of their season opener against ninth-ranked Tufts, as sophomores Alex Fox and Evan Redwood won consecutive face-offs and scored unassisted goals in helping the Jeffs pounce on the Jumbos.

But the game took an abrupt about-face from there, as the Jumbos responded with eight unanswered goals to close out the first quarter and seize the 8-2 advantage. The second quarter was much of the same, with the Jumbos adding four more scores while shutting Amherst out. The Jeffs seemed to get back into it in the third, as they held the ball for the first five minutes, and first-year Jeff Izzo came away with his first collegiate goal as a result. But the Jumbos doused any hopes of a comeback in the final quarter, as they scored four of the first five goals to put the game away. Senior tri-captain Rob Denious scored three of Amherst’s four goals in the waning moments, leaving the final score at 18-8.

The Jeffs’ next game against Eastern Connecticut State University again demonstrated both their talent and their inability to parlay that talent into a victory, as they fell to the Warriors 14-12. Amherst had no trouble competing in the first quarter, as they twice took the lead, on goals from senior tri-captain Thomas McDonnell, Matt Kellman ’10 and two goals from sophomore standout Alex Fox. Unfortunately for the Jeffs, their two leads in the first would be their only two leads of the game, as the Warriors knotted the score at 4 all by the end of the quarter, and took a 6-4 lead 54 seconds into the second.

The Warriors lead ballooned to 14-9 with nine minutes left in the game, but the Jeffs would not let them out of the woods just yet. With only two minutes remaining, the Jeffs strung together a furious rally, scoring three goals in 57 seconds to narrow the lead to 14-12.

After the Warriors turned the ball over on their next possession, the Jeffs looked to pull within a single goal before they were turned away by the Warriors’ goalkeeper. It was too little too late for the Jeffs after that, as time ran out on their comeback. Fox took a third of the Jeff’s shots on the day, as he finished with seven goals and three assists.

The Jeffs’ defense showed further improvement in the following game, as sophomore goaltender Matt Aizpruru stopped 12 shots while allowing only ten goals in the Jeffs’ contest against Connecticut College. “Our defense has improved dramatically and I feel that is the first step for us in the right direction,” reiterated Fox. Unfortunately for the Jeffs, they ended up on the short end of the 10-8 score.

Sophomore Cole Cherney got things started for the Jeffs with a goal, off a Redwood assist with 11:46 remaining in the first quarter. The Camels responded with a four-goal flurry to regain the lead, but Cherney put Amherst back up 5-4 in the second after goals from Denious, Fox and junior Peter Holcomb. However, the Camels seized a 7-5 edge at the half after netting the final three goals of the half.

Connecticut continued their frenetic scoring pace in the third quarter, taking their largest lead of the game at 9-5 with 3:53 remaining in the third. But the Jeffs cornered the Camels, scoring the next three goals to pull to within 9-8 with just over 14 minutes left in the game.

But the Camels proved clutch down the stretch, as their goalie twice denied the Jeffs, including a creative turnaround by sophomore Brian McFeeley. Connecticut added a goal with ten seconds left to inflate their final tally to 10-8. “The last two games could have gone either way and it feels like we are on the cusp of stringing victories together,” said McDonnell. “Morale is still high and our confidence level is good, but a win will jumpstart our team.”

The Jeffs’ will look for that win in their next game against Bowdoin on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Issue 19, Submitted 2010-03-24 20:11:25