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April 20, 2013

Williams Falls to Amherst 10-9

Williams Men's Lacrosse (5-7/3-6 NESCAC) lost a heartbreaker 10-9 at home against Amherst (3-8/3-6 NESCAC) on Saturday, April 20. A lot was riding on a victory, including a third NESCAC win for either team as well bragging rights over a huge conference rival.

The first few minutes of the game foreshadowed a competitive battle, as both teams fought for clear possession. After about 3 minutes, Devin Acton found the back of the net for the Lord Jeffs and Amherst took the lead at 1-0. The Lord Jeffs perpetuated their momentum, winning the following face-off and taking two shots, though both attempts were unsuccessful.

With 8:40 remaining in the quarter, Eph freshman Jack Lauroesch scored off of a feed from Colton Growney to even the score. Shortly after, however, Amherst's Aaron Mathias and Ramsey Bates each tallied goals of their own, giving the Lord Jeffs a 3-1 lead with 6:19 left in the first quarter.

The remainder of the quarter was a constant back-and-forth: Jack Lauroesch and Colin Foster each assisted the other to yield two more Williams goals, and Quinn Moroney netted one for Amherst. After an action-packed first quarter, the score was 4-3 Amherst.

Amherst scored the first goal of the second quarter after only 18 seconds, but at 12:29 Eph Will Stewart answered back with an unassisted goal. Amherst dominated much of the next few minutes until Jeff Izzo slid the ball past Whittam, increasing the lead to 6-4.

Amherst's Moroney was called for unnecessary roughness, resulting in a penalty at 8:30. The ball changed possession several times before Bryson Gilbert-Bono, taking advantage of the man-up situation, scored Williams' fifth goal. Williams attempted three more shots on Amherst goalkeeper Thomas Gilligan before Steven Kiesel successfully tied the score.

Gilbert-Bono scored his second goal, assisted again by Conor Roddy, with 2:42 remaining in the half. This point put Williams ahead for the first time in the contest. With one second remaining in the half, however, Amherst's Kane Haffey scored off a feed from Quinn Moroney.

The 7-7 score at half time was an appropriate indication of the level of competition from both teams.

David Lee won the first face-off of the second half, but possession changed hands for several minutes. For eight minutes each team tried desperately to score; Amherst took 6 shots as compared to 2 by Williams. With 6:18 left in the third quarter, Patrick Moroney scored a goal for Amherst, and a minute later Ramsey Bates netted another.

Andy Grabowski capitalized on a failed clear attempt from Amherst with 0:52 left in the third quarter. His goal, assisted by Tucker Dayton, brought the score to 9-8 Amherst going into the fourth quarter.

About halfway through the fourth quarter, Amherst strengthened their lead to 10-8 with a goal from Devin Acton. Despite two Williams time-outs and a final goal by Colton Growney with 1:08 remaining, the Ephs could not catch their opponent. Amherst goalkeeper Thomas Gilligan proved steady, saving two shot attempts by the Ephs in the final minute of the game.

Amherst had an edge when it came to ground balls (winning 33 of 54) and face-offs (winning 16 of 22). The teams were very similar, however, when it came to scoring. Amherst took 35 shots, and Williams took 33 shots. Amherst keeper Tom Gilligan slightly out-saved Whittam, 13 to 11.

Fourteen of the total nineteen points scored were tallied in the first half.

The Ephs will take on Middlebury at home on Wednesday, April 24. It will be their last game of the regular season.

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