Women’s Lax Earns Mixed Results; Paradis Nets 200th Win
By Brenton Arnaboldi '14, Managing Sports Editor
After dropping the season opener to Tufts, the women’s lacrosse team responded with two non-conference victories over spring break, defeating Oneonta State and Drew University by scores of 10-4 and 6-5. With the blowout triumph over Oneonta, head coach Christine Paradis became only the 12th Div. III coach to win 200 career games.

After a strenuous, productive preseason in biting winter winds, the Jeffs, ranked 17th in the country, hosted No. 13 Tufts in the season opener last Saturday. The game included plenty of offense, and featured innumerable momentum swings as the teams exchanged goals at a furious rate. Marta Randall ’13 scored six goals — including five in the second half — against Tufts, but the defense struggled to contain the Jumbos’ attack en route to a 14-13 loss. “Our team went into the Tufts game very confident after a successful preseason, and we did some good things against Tufts offensively but were very soft on our ride (press) and in our settled defense,” Paradis said. “They really took advantage of our defensive mistakes.”

The Jeffs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard against Tufts, as co-captain Kelley Trapp ’11 scored just 38 seconds into the game to give Amherst a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Jeffs, that early edge would be their only lead the entire afternoon. Minutes later, Tufts stunned the hosts with three goals in a 2:11 span to grab a 3-1 advantage. The teams continued to trade blows in the first half, as Amherst and Tufts alternated scores for the duration of the 30-minute period. The Jeffs kept Tufts within striking distance by consistently cutting two-goal deficits and closing the gaps to one goal (scoring while down 3-1, 4-2, 5-3, and 6-4), but the Jumbos countered with a goal each time to restore two-point cushions. The alternating scoring pattern continued into the second half; Amherst cut the margin to 7-6 three minutes after the break, but Tufts immediately responded with another goal - just 12 seconds later - to extend the lead to 8-6. The Jeffs, however, continued to claw from behind, and eventually tied the game at 9-9 with 16 minutes remaining. The deadlock would not last long, however, as the Jumbos wrestled control of the game and took a 12-10 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation. Amherst continued to push forward desperately, scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes, but the Jeffs were doomed by defensive breakdowns in the waning moments, as the Jumbos added two insurance tallies in the last 3:30.

After losing to Tufts last Saturday, the Jeffs were determined to play better against Oneonta State on Tuesday, and rose to the occasion with a dominating 10-4 victory. The game started off slowly, as the score remained just 1-1 after 15 minutes of play as both offenses had trouble finding their rhythm. The Jeffs erupted late in the first half, however, and took a 4-1 lead into halftime. Amherst scored two goals in the first 3:07 of the second frame to extend the lead to 6-1, but Oneonta closed the margin to 6-3 by the midway point of the second half, with 15 minutes remaining in the contest.

After Randall and Oneonta’s Rebecca Monteith traded goals, Randall, Ludlow and Trapp scored to give Amherst a 10-4 cushion with 8:54 left, effectively sealing the victory. The Jeffs outshot Oneonta by a healthy 30-13 margin.

After the game, the players honored Paradis — who has been with the program since 1995 — for her 200th career victory. In her 17 years at Amherst, Paradis has compiled a 200-66 (.752) record, and has led the Jeffs to two ECAC Championships, eight trips to the NCAA quarterfinals, five trips to the national semifinals, three appearances in the title game and one NCAA Championship in 2003. “It was a very nice honor and one that I take great pride in as a leader of this program. We have had some outstanding players and teams along the way that have helped me achieve this milestone,” Paradis said.

After handling Oneonta State, the Jeffs traveled to New Jersey to take on Drew University on Friday. The contest evolved into a defensive battle, as both teams struggled to gain traction on offense, with Amherst grinding out a tough 6-5 victory. Natalie Dugan ’13 and Ludlow each chipped in two goals, but the Jeffs’ offense generally struggled to generate scoring opportunities. Amherst’s main playmaking weapon on attack, Trapp, sat out due to injury. Trapp’s absence enabled the Drew defense to clamp down on Randall (who had tallied 11 goals in her previous two games), therefore forcing the Jeffs to find other sources of scoring production. “Our offense is still working to gel, and each game presents different challenges,” Paradis said. As opposing defenses concentrated on shadowing prolific scorers such as Randall and Trapp, “other players have had to step up and we are working on how to play as a unit when certain players see that kind of pressure.”

While the offense stagnated, the Jeffs’ defense stifled the opposition. After conceding 14 goals in the season opener — essentially a defensive debacle — the Jeffs have allowed only nine goals in their past two games. “We are starting to find our rhythm as a team, and have tightened things up on defense,” Paradis said.

Amherst grabbed a 2-0 lead early in the game, but Drew erased the deficit by halftime. The Jeffs regained a two-goal advantage 10 minutes into the second half, as Dugan and Annelies O’Dea ’14 scored 68 seconds apart to give the Jeffs a 5-3 lead. Amherst then withstood a late surge from Drew to earn the 6-5 victory.

Issue 19, Submitted 2011-03-23 04:59:41