Second Half Surge Sparks No. 13 Amherst Men’s Lacrosse to Comeback Win Over No. 2 Tufts

Recap courtesy of Amherst College

AMHERST - Amherst College senior Chris Albanese scored six goals while freshman Colin Minicus dished out eight assists and the 13th-ranked Mammoths outscored #2 Tufts University 13-3 in the second half to help seal a 21-15 comeback win in Saturday afternoon's men's lacrosse tilt at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium.

Defenseman Arend Broekmate scored his fourth goal of the year

With the win, Amherst improves to 10-3 overall, 6-2 in NESCAC play, while Tufts moves to 11-1 on the season, 6-1 in league play having suffered its first loss of the campaign.

In a back-and-forth first quarter, Amherst drew first blood as junior Max Keeley scored just 33 seconds into the game on a pass from freshman Jackson Herrick to make it 1-0 in favor of the Mammoths. Tufts answered with a run of four straight goals including two from Zach Richman, and one each from Danny Murphy and Michael Mattson to make it 4-1 at the 7:54 mark. Murphy and Ben Connelly chipped in an assist each, while Lucas Johnson dished out two helpers during the stretch for the Jumbos.

The Mammoths responded with back-to-back goals as sophomore Brogan Mahon found Albanese at the 6:47 mark, while Minicus assisted junior Brett Inglesby with 4:50 to play in the frame to pull the hosts to within one at 4-3. Tufts extended its lead back to two with 2:52 on the clock when Murphy scored on a feed from Frank Hattler, but goals from Herrick (2:13) and Albanese (on the man-advantage with 52 seconds left) helped knot the game at 5-5 after 15 minutes of action. Mahon assisted both of those scores.

In the second quarter, Richman broke the deadlock following a pass from Nick Shanks just 24 seconds into the restart. An extra-man goal by Mahon (assisted by Minicus) leveled the game once more, before Tufts answered back with five consecutive tallies to make it 11-6 with 7:16 to play in the half. Connelly scored an unassisted man-up marker, before Mattson fired in a back-to-back goals – the second assisted by Tucker Mathers – while Connelly and Murphy finished off the stretch with a goal each. Albanese and Mattson then traded goals to make it 12-7 with 1:38 to play, before sophomore Zach Schwartz capitalized with a man-up goal with 57 seconds on the clock to make it 12-8 at intermission. Minicus aided both of Amherst's final two scores of the half.

Early in the third quarter, the Mammoths pulled to within two as senior Matt Killian potted a goal (assisted by Albanese), before freshman Jon Coffey added one of his own to make it 12-10 with 12:39 to play in the period. The Jumbos got those two back as Mattson scored twice on feeds from Johnson and Murphy to make it 14-10 with 11:19 to play in the stanza. From there, Amherst exploded for six straight goals and scored 11 of the final 12 markers of the contest to pull away to its victory. Albanese book-ended the Mammoths' run in the third quarter, while Mahon, Killian, junior Jack Wolff and Schwartz each scored to make it 16-14 in favor of Amherst after 45 minutes of play. Minicus added two more helpers during the run, while Coffey chipped in an assist.

In the fourth quarter, Arend Broekmate scored an unassisted goal just 22 seconds into the frame to pull the Jumbos to within one at 16-15, but Tufts was held scoreless for the rest of the game. Minicus found freshman Jimmy McAfee and then Albanese to help Amherst pull away. Wolff added another tally at 4:40, Killian found the netting at 3:05 and freshman Matt Solberg capitalized on a feed from Inglesby with 2:17 to play to secure the six-goal win for the Mammoths.

Senior Cody Tranbarger, who made 18 saves in the winning effort, made 12 of those stops in the second half (nine in the third quarter) to help lift Amherst to its win. Amherst was led by Dylan Finazzo at the faceoff X (23 for 38) and he collected a game-high 11 ground balls, while Coffey followed with five pick-ups. Mahon, Killian and sophomore Jordan Sanford added four ground balls each, while senior Uzoma Egbuchulam, sophomore Jamie Smith and Coffey forced two opponent turnovers each.

Killian finished with three goals behind Albanese's six scores, while three other players found the back of the cage twice to help highlight the win.

Tufts was led in groundballs by Henry Hollen who picked up seven, while Mattson finished with six goals and five ground balls. Murphy and Richman added three goals each, while three Jumbos registered two caused turnovers each.

Ben Shmerler made 19 saves in 31:45 of action between the pipes for the Jumbos, while Robert Treiber made seven stops in 28:15 of relief.

The Mammoths return to action next Saturday when they travel to NESCAC and Little III rival Williams College at 1 p.m. The Jumbos host Bates College at Bello Field on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

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