Trinity Men's Lacrosse Defeats Amherst To Close Regular Season
Amherst, Mass. – Junior attackman Rob Nogueras (Parkland, Fla.) scored a pivotal goal with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter to lead the visiting Trinity College Bantam men’s lacrosse team to a 9-7 win over the Amherst College Lord Jeffs this afternoon at Gooding Field in the regular season finale for both squads. Trinity finishes the regular campaign at 9-5 overall and 7-3 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and Amherst falls to 9-6 overall and 5-5 in the NESCAC. Both will return to action this Saturday for the NESCAC Championship quarterfinal round. The Bantams earned the No. 2 seed, its highest in program history, and will host No. 7-seeded Hamilton, while the Lord Jeffs grabbed the final playoff spot and will travel to take on top-seeded Tufts.
Amherst scored three consecutive goals and cut its deficit to one at 8-7 late in the fourth quarter, but Nogueras’s second goal of the day killed the hosts’ momentum and helped the Bantams earn their first win over the Jeffs since 2008. Nogueras was the only Bantam with multiple goals, while junior attackman Jeff Hebert (Cornwall, Ontario) scored once and recorded three assists. Evan Redwood paced Amherst with two goals and an assist, with Aaron Mathias also scoring twice for the Lord Jeffs. Trinity outshot Amherst in each of the final three quarters to finish with a 43-33 advantage, but the Jeffs held narrow edges in ground balls (31-30) and face-offs (11-9). Samuel Jakimo stopped 18 shots in the loss, and senior Peter Johnson (Riverside, Conn.) made eight saves for the Bantams.
The visitors struck first when junior midfielder Terence Olson (Avon, Conn.) knocked down a Jakimo pass, picked up the loose ball and quickly put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 Trinity lead 8:30 into the game. Redwood brought Amherst even with 2:08 remaining in the first when he finished a pass from Devin Acton , as the teams headed into the first intermission knotted at 1-1. The difference maker proved to be the second quarter, during which Trinity scored four consecutive goals and forced Amherst to play catch-up the rest of the way. Scoring during the 4-0 run were the freshman trio of James O’Connell (Ridgewood, N.J.), Matthew Hauck (MIddleton, Mass.), and Jack Castelli (Huntington, N.Y.), and junior midfielder Steve Manning (Tyngsboro, Mass.), but Mathias finally stopped the bleeding when he took a feed from Redwood and made it a 5-2 game with 6.6 seconds left in the first half.
The Bantams held a 6-4 lead after the third quarter, as a wraparound goal from Nogueras was sandwiched in between scores from Danny Gold and Ramsey Bates . Both of Amherst’s goals in the period came on the transition after saves by Jakimo. Jakimo then opened the final quarter with a pair of point-blank saves, but Trinity pushed its lead back to three when Hebert beat his defender and carried the ball in untouched for an unassisted goal at 11:57. Hebert then picked up the assist by connecting with sophomore Chris Sweitzer (Wilmette, Ill.) from behind the net, making it an 8-4 game with 10:41 to play. Amherst got back in the game by scoring the next three goals, beginning when Cole Cherney took a pass from Will Reed and used a spin move to free himself for an attempt that beat Johnson at 8:30. After Mathias notched his second goal of the day, Redwood followed suit and cut his team’s deficit to one at 8-7 when he jumped and fired a shot into the back of the net with 3:31 on the clock. The Bantams took some wind out of Amherst’s sails with a long possession, and they finally put the finishing touch on the game when Nogueras broke free from his defender and beat Jakimo with 1:37 to go for the final goal of the day.