MEDFORD – Junior Emily Games netted a game-high four goals to guide No. 6 Tufts University women's lacrosse to a hard-fought 14-12 NESCAC victory over No. 11 Amherst College on Seniors Day Saturday at Bello Field.
|Maddie Norman scored two goals and won three draw controls in the victory.|
With the win, Tufts remains unbeaten at 12-0 overall and is 7-0 in NESCAC action. Amherst falls to 8-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play. The home team has now won each of the past five matchups between the two teams.
Amherst sophomore Leah Ritterband netted a goal with 8:12 remaining to tie the score at 11-11. Tufts sophomore Catherine Lawliss then marched down the field and got a great shot on goal right in front of the net, but Amherst junior goalie Talia Land came up with a huge save. Jumbo junior Maddie Norman came back less than a minute later and scored a free-position goal to give Tufts a one-goal edge at 12-11. Norman then won the ensuing draw control and Games netted a goal off a nice feed from senior Dakota Adamec. Games scored again less than two minutes later to give the Jumbos a 14-11 lead.
The Mammoths responded with a man-down goal off the stick of sophomore Isabelle Sennett off a pass from Ritterband to get within two goals with 0:52 remaining. Amherst junior Hannah Fox then won the ensuing draw control, but Tufts senior Maddy Schwartz forced a turnover and Tufts closed out the 14-12 victory.
Sullivan and Adamec, two of 10 Jumbo seniors honored prior to the game, each scored a goal in the first minute of the game to give the brown and blue a 2-0 advantage. Classmate Maria Dattolo then rifled a shot that beat Land to give the Jumbos a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. The Jumbos extended their run to 4-0 on a goal from Norman off a pass from Games less than four minutes into the contest. The Mammoths looked to put an end to the Jumbos' run when Ritterband put a shot on goal, but senior Audrey Evers denied the shot.
After earning a man-up opportunity, Amherst got on the scoreboard with a goal from season-leading point scorer sophomore Claire Dunbar. Ritterband then earned a free-position attempt after drawing a foul and scored to make it a 4-2 game. Amherst sophomore Hannah Gustafson won the ensuing draw control and the Mammoths capitalized with a goal from first-year Becky Kendall to get within 4-3. The Mammoths then extended their run to four unanswered goals with Noyes netting a goal with 13:39 remaining in the first half to tie the score.
The Jumbos responded with a goal from Sullivan off a pass from Lawliss after being held without a goal for 13 minutes by the Mammoth defense. Then over the next six minutes, Dunbar and Adamec each had great chances that were stopped by the goalies. Amherst senior Annie Cohen then tied the game at 5-5 after receiving a dish from Dunbar. The final goal of the half came from Games after she earned a free-position shot with 0:15 remaining to give the Jumbos a 6-5 lead at the break.
To begin the second half, Adamec and Dunbar traded goals within the first two minutes in what was now a 7-6 contest. Games won the ensuing draw control, pushed the ball down the field, and found Grygiel, who then dished it to first-year Mae Briody to give Tufts a two-goal lead (8-6). Less than a minute later, Adamec found Lawliss to extend the lead to 9-6 as the Jumbos opened the second half much like they did the first.
Amherst junior Katherine Malone answered with a goal to get the Mammoths within two (9-7). Noyes then scored a man-up goal to pull the visitors within 9-8 off a free-position attempt. Games answered with a free-position goal of her own to push the lead back up to two (10-8). The Mammoth offense then had three great opportunities on first-year goalie Molly Laliberty, who had entered for the second half. Laliberty stopped all three attempts. Amherst finally broke through with a goal from Sennett to get back within a score (10-9). Lawliss and Dunbar then traded goals within a minute span in what was now an 11-10 game with 8:46 remaining.
The Jumbos outscored the Mammoths 3-2 in the final 8:46 of the game to secure the 14-12 victory. Games scored twice and Norman netted a goal during that time. Ritterband and Sennett responded with the Mammoth goals.
For the game, Amherst tallied 36 shots, with 22 on goal, and Tufts had 30 shots, with 27 reaching goal. The Jumbos scooped up 13 ground balls and the Mammoths had 12. The teams were even on draw controls as each collected 14.
Adamec scored two goals, dished out two assists, and won four draw controls for the Jumbo offense. Sullivan, Lawliss, and Norman each scored two goals respectively. Junior Lily Baldwin scooped up a team-high four ground balls. Evers and Laliberty each recorded five saves in the game.
Dunbar led the Mammoth offense with three goals and two assists. Ritterband netted two goals and recorded two assists. Noyes and Sennett also each scored two goals. Noyes won a game-high five draw controls. Land stopped 13 Jumbo shots in the game.
Seniors Evers, Hedy Veith, Sullivan, Megan Toner, Schwartz, Cecily Freliech, Grygiel, Gabby Vinci, Adamec and Dattolo were honored before the game. The seniors have combined to win 44 games in their four years as Jumbos.
Tufts will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to NESCAC opponent No. 22 Bates with a 5:30 pm start time. Amherst will wrap up non-conference play on Wednesday when they host Babson at 6pm.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello