Hartford, Conn. – In a tale of two halves, the No. 5 ranked Trinity women's lacrosse team rallied for a 7-4 victory against No. 3 Amherst in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action at Sheppard Field on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Bantams clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship.
The triumph was the eighth straight for Trinity as it ends the regular season with a 12-2 record and a 9-1 mark in conference play, while the Lord Jeffs lost their first contest of the season and head into the postseason 14-1 overall and 9-1 in league play. Amherst will be the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Championship.
Trinity sophomore Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) registered a game-high four points on two goals and two assists, while senior Kathleen Timmons (Branford, Conn.) netted a tally and added helper. Four other Bantams found the back of the net on senior day.
"Amherst is such an athletic team so it was very important for our defense to take away their drives, and we did a nice job of putting pressure on their scorers," Trinity Head Coach Kate Livesay said.
The Lord Jeffs had a balanced attack as four different scored. The stifling Trinity defense held Amherst to a season-low four goals. Entering the game, the visitors had registered eight goals or better in every game this season. Mia Haughton (Princeton, N.J.) and Rachel Passarelli (Hamden, Conn.) both had multi-point games for Amherst scoring a goal and dishing an assist each.
In a low scoring first half, Amherst got on the board first just over eight a half minutes into play as Haughton scored off a pass from Passarelli. 58 seconds later, The Bantams knotted the score at one as Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) scored on a free-position shot. Alex Philie (East Sandwich, Mass.) capped the scoring in the first half and gave Amherst a 2-1 edge heading into the break.
In the second half, the Bantams offense exploded for six goals and the defense held Amherst to just two tallies. Timmons and Karly Simpson (South Hadley, Mass.) scored early in the stanza to give Trinity its first lead of the game at 3-2. Amherst responded as Elizabeth Ludlow (Huntington, N.Y.) scored on a free-position shot to tie the game at three.
Trinity answered with three consecutive goals as Griffin netted two unassisted markers and assisted on a Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) goal to give the Bantams a 6-3 advantage. With under six minutes remaining in regulation, Passarelli brought the Lord Jeffs within two with a free-position goal. Under a minute later, Lindsay Mullaney (Boston, Mass.) put the game out of reach with a free-position goal for the Bantams.
Over the final four and a half minutes, Trinity controlled the ball and after one final rush from Amherst the horn sounded and the Bantams escaped victorious.
Hayes won a game-high five draw controls for the Bantams, while Ashley Stewart (Dover, Mass.) and Kathryn DeLillio (Wilmington, Del.) each caused three turnovers. Phili had two draw controls for the Lord Jeffs and both Kerry Fusco (Essex Falls, N.J.) and goaltender Christy Forrest (Madison, Conn.) grabbed two groundballs.
Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.) made three saves to earn the victory for Trinity, while Forrest turned aside seven shots in a losing effort for Amherst.
On clinching the top seed in the conference tournament Livesay added, "We have been a balanced team offensively and as our defense has improved throughout the season, our confidence has grown with it. It took some time this year, but we feel good about who we are and what we can do."
Trinity will host Bates in the NESCAC Quaterfinals on Saturday, April 26, while Amherst will square off with Bowdoin.