Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain attacker Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, Conn.) totaled two goals and three assists, including the game-winning tally on a free-position shot with 3:47 left in the second half, to lead the visiting Amherst College Lord Jeffs to a 7-6 win over the Trinity College Bantams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women’s lacrosse regular-season finale for both teams this evening on Sheppard Field. Trinity, ranked No. 3 in the nation, falls one game short of a second-straight perfect regular season, falling to the same team that last beat them in a regular-season game to drop to 13-1 overall and 9-1 in the NESCAC. No. 9-ranked Amherst, which had downed Trinity, 5-4, at home in that last Bantams loss to close the 2010 regular-season, improves to 11-3 overall and 7-3 in the league with its fifth consecutive triumph. Trinity was 14-0 in the 2011 regular season before finishing at 18-1 and reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals. Both teams have qualified for the NESCAC Championship Tournament. Top-seeded Trinity will host No. 8-seeded Bates on Saturday, April 28 at noon and No. 4-seeded Amherst welcomes No. 5-seeded Bowdoin at the same time on the same day in the quarterfinals.
Amherst built a 4-0 lead over the game’s first 14 minutes, as Horwitz assisted on two goals and junior midfielder Marta Randall (Monkton, Md.) scored twice during the run. Senior attacker Caitlin Irvine (Westwood, Mass.) got the Bantams on the board with 15:51 left in the first half, converting on an assist by senior co-captain midfielder Liz Bruno (Andover, Mass.), and the teams traded goals into halftime for a 5-2 Lord Jeff lead at the break.
Trinity first-year midfielder Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.), who had scored the last goal before intermission on a low shot from close on the right wing, cut the Amherst lead to 5-3 5:03 into the second half as junior attacker Kaitlin Hildebrand (Berwyn, Pa.) found her from behind the net for the first of her three assists in the game. After a free-position goal by Horwitz at the 19:46 mark, Bantam junior Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) scored 12 seconds later and Hildebrand fed classmate Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) on one goal and Irvine on another to tie the game for the first time with 8:37 left on the clock.
Bantam junior defender Mallory Hinman (Longmeadow, Mass.) won a furious chase for the ensuing draw, and Duncan fired once into the post and had a second shot saved by Amherst senior tri-captain backstop Lamia Harik (Rye Brook, N.Y.) on what proved to be the final Trinity offensive opportunities of the contest. Amherst gained possession and held the ball for five minutes before Horwitz beat Trinity junior goalie Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) with the clincher. Lord Jeff sophomore Alex Philie (East Sandwich, Mass.) won the next draw, and Amherst maintained possession until the final horn.
Trinity held a 10-to-5 edge on draw controls and a 12-to-7 advantage on ground balls, while Amherst finished with more turnovers (12) than shots (11) but controlled the ball for nearly three-fourths of the game. The Lord Jeffs made good on three of their four free-position shots, while Harik and the Amherst defense held Trinity scoreless on its three free position shots. Harik totaled five saves, while Leonhard finished with game-highs of four ground balls and four draw controls.