Aiming High
By Amro El-Adle '13, Managing Sports Editor
The women’s lacrosse team continued its fervent play to start the season, picking up steam after a loss to Bowdoin two weeks ago and improving their record to 5-2 (3-1 in the NESCAC). The men’s team put their early season struggles behind them as they reeled off three straight wins to level their record at 3-3, including 2-2 in NESCAC play.


In their lowest scoring output since a 14-3 beating at the hands of Middlebury College on April 5, 2008, the Jeffs were handled 11-3 at Bowdoin College for their first conference loss of the season.

What ended up a laugher actually began a closely contested defensive showdown, as both teams combined to score only five goals in the first half. First-year Marta Randall scored Amherst’s first goal of the game with 12:07 remaining in the opening period, and sophomore Allie Horwitz found the back of the net with seven seconds remaining in the half to send the Jeffs into the break down just 3-2.

But a very different Polar Bears squad came out for the second half, as they doubled up on the Jeffs’ score just 20 seconds into the second frame. From there, the Polar Bears continued the onslaught, as they fired 18 shots at Amherst sophomore goalie Lamia Harik, compared to the measly four shots that the Jeffs conjured in that duration. Despite her 14 saves on the game, Harik could only watch as her team turned the ball over 16 times in a lop-sided game that the Polar Bears locked up with six unanswered goals to start the second half. Randall scored another free position goal late, but it served only to ameliorate the score. “I think in the games in which we’ve fallen behind early on and had to catch up we just got off to a slow start and had to find our stride,” noted Randall. “ The coaches and captains become especially important in a situation like that because we really rely on them to pull everyone together and get the team back in the game.”

In their next outing, the Jeffs overcame soggy surroundings to pull out an 8-6 non-conference road win over Springfield College. Horwitz, senior co-captain Kathleen Scheld and fellow senior Hannah Walker each scored a goal in a first half that saw the Jeffs take a 3-1 lead.

Those goals would prove crucial, as the Jeffs looked well on their way to cruising for the rest of the game when Horwitz netted a hat trick with 13:46 remaining in the game to give the Jeffs a 7-2 edge. An unassisted score two minutes later seemed to awaken the Pride, as they came storming all the way back to 8-6 with 3:17 to go.

The Jeffs held them at bay for the rest of the game, however, and closed out the victory. Junior Kelley Trapp joined Horwitz as the only player with multiple points, as she assisted on two goals.

In their game against Bates College at Gooding Field, the Jeffs started out sluggish but pulled out an 8-7 victory to stay tied for second in the NESCAc standings.

The Bobcats came out of the gates firing, taking a quick 3-0 lead just over six minutes into the game. Head Coach Christine Paradis called a timeout and helped stem the Bobcat tide before sending the Jeffs back out onto the pitch. Amherst responded appropriately, as they used a spurt of four goals by Scheld, Randall, Horwitz and first-year Hillary Denson to capture a 4-3 lead. After another goal by Bates, the Jeffs regained the lead on a Walker goal with 9:17 remaining.

The second half was much of the same, as the teams went back and forth early on, with the Bobcats gaining a 7-6 lead on a free position shot with 21:08 left. However, the Jeffs were clutch, as Trapp helped put the game away with a goal and an assist to Walker to give Amherst an 8-7 lead with more than 17 minutes remaining. Despite dominating draw controls 11-6 and outshooting the Jeffs 11-8 in the second half the Bobcats could not capitalize for the rest of the game. Harik sealed the deal when she ended a Bates surge by intercepting the ball from behind the net on a brilliant play.

Amherst will play Wheaton College on Gooding Field in non-conference action at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.


The men’s team equalized their record at 3-3 after a rough patch to open the season, when they started winless in their first three games. Their first win of the season came in a 13-8 drubbing of Bowdoin College.

The Polar Bears stepped onto Gooding Field having not won there since a 10-5 decision in 2001, and they stepped off with that streak still alive. The Jeffs began the game conservatively, hanging on to the ball in the first period and waiting to take the last shot before the buzzer. With less than 30 seconds remaining, the Jeffs turned the ball over and watched as Bowdoin scored with a mere three seconds left on the clock.

Perhaps inspired by that turn of events, the Jeffs started the second period on fire — burning the Bowdoin goalie 24 seconds into the frame and seizing a 5-1 advantage over the Polar Bears with 3:30 left in the half. Sophomore Cole Cherney even managed to return the favor that Bowdoin had dealt the Jeffs earlier in the game, scoring on an assist from classmate Alex Fox just ten seconds before the break.

Senior tri-captain Thomas McDonnell put the Jeffs ahead 10-6 about midway through the third, after the Polar Bears had clawed back into the game with a string of goals. Cherney and fellow sophomore Evan Redwood put the finishing touches on the game, with a combined four goals down the stretch. Sophomore Sam Jakimo also helped preserve the Amherst lead, making five saves in the final frame and ending with 14 in his first collegiate start.

Against Wheaton College, the Jeffs showed just how far they have come in a span of a few games, as they not only maintained at least a share of the lead for the entire game, but also managed to overcome four ties en route to a thrilling 11-10 win.

The teams traded scores of 3-1 in each of the first two periods, ending up in a four-all tie by halftime. Cherney was the first to score in the third period, while classmates Fox and Dan Routh followed up with a trio of goals to put the Jeffs in front 8-4.

The Lyons would not be dismissed without drama, however, as they roared back to knot things up at 8-8 with 7:57 left in regulation. McDonnell responded with a goal of his own off an assist from fellow senior Matt Kellman. Routh followed up with another goal minutes later to give the Jeffs a solid 10-8 lead with 5:09 remaining.

Wheaton fought back, netting two goals with 1:44 left in the fourth. With 28.3 seconds left in regulation, and only a second remaining on the Lyons’ pushing penalty, Redwood put the Jeffs ahead on an unassisted game-winner. To put the nail in the coffin, Jakimo made his 14th save of the day at the buzzer. Fox, Routh and McDonnell finished with three points apiece in the victory. “We work on pressure situations in practice, but when it comes down to it, a clutch goal like that is simply an unbelievable individual effort,” said Routh. “Hopefully there will be more such efforts to come.”

The Jeffs proved that they can put teams away early with their talent and depth at their next game against Bates College.

The first two periods featured a prominent Amherst attack, as the Jeffs one-upped the Bobcats in each of the first two periods, outscoring them 4-3 in the first period and 3-2 in the second.

Though Bates outmatched them on the statsheet — the Bobcats had the edge in shots, face-offs and clearing opportunities — the Jeffs dominated where it mattered most: the scoreboard. The Jeffs tacked on four more goals in the third period, and they cruised in the fourth to a 13-7 conference win. Redwood and Routh each chipped in with four points and McDonnell led the team with five. Jakimo picked up his third consecutive win, and the team has been perfect since his return from a pre-season illness.

The Lord Jeffs will head to Vermont this afternoon for a 4:30 p.m. date with Middlebury College.

Issue 21, Submitted 2010-04-07 03:08:54