Men’s Lacrosse Surges to 4-1 Start
By Amro El-Adle '13, Editor-in-Chief
After an opening-day loss to top-ranked Tufts, the men’s lacrosse team has reeled off four straight wins to usher in the era of new head coach Jon Thompson.

Facing off against the defending national champions in an away game to start their season, the Jeffs looked uneasy. Amherst gave up five goals to five different Jumbos in the opening period, while managing only a single score of their own. The second period saw the Jeffs come to life, as they scored four goals — two of which came 19 seconds apart. But a porous defense gave up five goals again in the second period, during which goaltender Sam Jakimo ’12 came on in relief of first-year Greg Majno. The junior saved 11 shots over the next two periods in helping the Jeffs outscore Tufts 4-3 the rest of the way. Even though it seemed like Amherst’s defense had trouble matching the intensity exhibited on offense, co-captain Evan Redwood ’12 pointed out that “Tufts’ strength is their transition [offense],” and that the Jeffs’ defense was constantly improving.

Constant improvement has been a central tenet of Thompson’s coaching strategy, continued Redwood: “The fact that coach stresses that we must keep improving after both wins and losses is very important to our team identity.” That improvement was evident in the team’s next game against Endicott College, as they fell behind early before clawing their way back into the game, and eventually pulling out the 11-10 victory.

Down 4-1 in the first period, Ramsey Bates ’13 sparked the comeback with an unassisted goal to trim the deficit to two goals. Danny Gold ’13 and Alex Fox ’12 followed up with unassisted goals of their own to tie the game. The Jeffs then took the lead, with a Redwood goal bookended by Cole Cherney ’12 goals. After Endicott came back to knot the game at 10, with 3:42 remaining, first-year Devin Acton came through with a clutch score — the final one of the game.

The Jeffs kept that momentum going against Roger Williams, squeaking out a 13-11 victory. Against the Hawks, the Lord Jeffs’ defense held its own, sending the teams into the half knotted at six goals apiece. Cherney, who had scored half of the Amherst goals in the first two periods, ravaged the Roger Williams defense again in the latter two, netting four more goals. With less than four minutes remaining, the Hawks threatened, cutting the lead to 11-12 before Fox put the game away with an unassisted score. Cherney was quick to chalk up his success to Thompson’s regiment: “I feel as if we know everything about our opponents going into the game and could not be more well-prepared.”

In their first game at Gooding Field, the Jeffs showed off just how far they had come in a few games, as they pounded Connecticut 10-3. After bursting out of the gates for a 5-0 lead, the Jeffs clamped down defensively and stymied the Camels’ attack. The Jeffs went 14-17 on clearing opportunities, with defensemen Tony Argibay ’13, Arnie Andersen ’13 and senior co-captain Gabe Mann shielding Jakimo all game. The goaltender finished with 10 saves. Acton again led the Jeffs’ charge, finishing with five points.

Acton replicated his five-point performance in yesterday’s game against Eastern Connecticut State Univ., as Amherst ended the Warriors’ four-game winning streak with a 12-7 victory. Stoked with another 5-0 lead in the first period, Jakimo and the defense held the opposition in check, while Redwood led the Jeffs with six points. “In order to make sure that we continue to improve Coach Thompson makes it a point to reiterate that we cannot become complacent,” Redwood explained. “This has proved especially important as we recently made our debut in the top twenty of the coaches poll for the first time in five years.” The Jeffs will travel to Bowdoin on Saturday for a 2 p.m. date.

Issue 19, Submitted 2011-03-23 05:03:15