AMHERST, MA – In an energetic matchup against arch-rival Amherst College, the Williams College women's lacrosse team was defeated 15-13. The Amherst Mammoths had a particular edge for causing turnovers, and after a slow start, managed to go on several runs to hold off the Ephs for the rest of the game. The teams went 8-8 in the second half, but Amherst's initial two-goal lead from the first edged them in front.
"I thought that going in I felt like the girls did a nice job with the game plan and recognizing what the looks were offensively," stated head coach Alice Lee. "Defensively, we were taking away some of the looks that Amherst was used to having and doing a nice job coming up with the ground balls. It's executing when we have possession, because it all adds up in the end."
Two Williams players sported four goals apiece – Kara Wollmers and Claire Fitzpatrick. On the opposing end, Amherst's highest scoring players were Claire Dunbar and Becky Kendall with three apiece. Mammoth goalie Talia Land racked up six saves, while Eph goalie Kami Cisneros caught a hefty 11.
The Ephs scored the first goal of the game and captured the lead thanks to Sophia Millay, assisted by Wollmers. Amherst, unable to keep the ball in their possession, initially had a tough time dealing with an aggressive Williams offense. Wollmers once again drove to score on a feed from TenBarge, bringing the score to 2-0 over the Mammoths. Amherst's first goal came a little over ten minutes in by Kendall, who snuck by Cisneros to score assisted by Cohen.
With both teams energized and Amherst looking to take the lead for the first time in the game, the Mammoths' Kendall snuck behind the Williams defense lines to score again, assisted this time by Hannah Gustafson. But the tied score didn't last long, as Eph Meghan Halloran scored on a head-on free position to put Williams back in the lead again.
The Mammoths, able to clear but unable to score, suffered another blow as the Ephs took a page out of the Amherst playbook to have a player – in this case, Williams' Wollmers – cut in behind the Mammoth defense to score assisted by Mason Yonge. However, Amherst put up two free positions in a row directly following Wollmers' goal, tying up the score at 4-4. If that wasn't enough excitement, Mammoth Dunbar circumvented the goal to score for Amherst's third in a row and put her team in the lead for the first time that game 5-4.
Wiliams' Fitzpatrick didn't take this turn of events lying down, and scored off a huge feed from TenBarge to once again tie the score. Yet in spite of that, Amherst's Katherine Malone rushed in on a cross to slip past Cisneros to put the Mammoths in the lead again. Rebecca Wistreich, capitalizing on Amherst's lead, scored again for the last goal of the first half, giving Amherst a 7-5 lead going into the second.
The first two minutes of the second half were action-packed as a goal from each team flew in right out of the gate. Hannah Fox of Amherst scored on a man-up opportunity assisted by Maia Noyes and was quickly followed by Williams' Fitzpatrick, who scored to put Williams within two points of a tie. Wollmers succeeded her with a further two goals, dodging Amherst defenders to make up the score gap and tie the game at 8-8.
Mammoth Dunbar inched the Amherst offense back in front with two goals in a row, and even as Williams' Millay put up one, Amherst's Fox snagged one more to retain the Mammoth's two-goal lead. Two more from Amherst gave the Mammoths the largest lead of the game for either team, leading 13-9.
TenBarge put up the 10th goal for Williams shortly later, followed by Halloran assisted by Fitzpatrick in an attempt to shut down Amherst's momentum. But Amherst put up two more thanks to Noyes and Kendall, once again capturing a four-goal lead. Two more in a row came from Fitzpatrick in the last three minutes, but it was not enough to cut down the Mammoth's lead built up from their earlier runs, and Amherst took the game 15-13.
"I feel like we're getting stronger every day and every game," asserted Lee. "The girls are making some nice adjustments and we're gonna move forward full steam until the next one. We're recognizing what we need to change and focusing on our strengths."
Williams will play Hamilton College at home this coming Wednesday, April 10th at 6:00 pm.