Amherst, Mass. –A seven-point night by junior midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) powered the top-ranked Trinity College Bantams to a 12-7 win over the No. 14-ranked Amherst College Lord Jeffs in the women's lacrosse regular-season finale for both New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rivals this evening on Gooding Field. Trinity closes the year with 14 wins in a row after an 11-10 setback at No. 10-ranked Colby on opening day, and sits at the top of the league standings with a 9-1 record in NESCAC play. Amherst drops to 9-6 overall and 4-6 in the conference. The Bantams open the league tournament, which they have hosted and won each of the last four seasons, against Williams on Saturday, April 25 at noon, while Amherst visits Middlebury in their NESCAC Quarterfinal Saturday.
Trinity got on the board first at the 25:26 mark when first-year midfielder Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) scored before Griffin fired in her first goal less than a minute later to give the Bantams a 2-0 lead. Claire Cagnassola cut the deficit in half for the home team with a free-position goal at the 23:15 mark, but Trinity first-year goalie Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) made a point-blank save one-on-one against Amherst's Priscilla Tyler nine minutes into the contest, and stopped Rachel Passarelli on a free-position shot 90 seconds later to keep the Lord Jeffs from tying it. Trinity extended its lead to three when senior tri-captain attacker Renee Olsen (Ridgewood, N.J.) notched back-to-back scores to give the visitors a 4-1 edge midway through the first half. Olsen picked up a loose ball behind the Lord Jeff defense and quickly bounced it past Amherst goalie Christy Forrest for a man-up goal at the 16:42 mark, and bounced another shot past Forrest on a free position with 15:21 on the clock.
After Amherst scored on a Julia Crerend free-position shot, Trinity sophomore Clare Lyne found the back of the net on a feed over the Lord Jeff defense from outside Griffin to make it 5-2 with just over 13 minutes to play in the stanza. Goals by Devin O'Connor and Meghan Mills pulled Amherst to within one at 5-4 with 5:31 left in the period, but Trinity tabbed the final goal of the half when sophomore Karly Simpson (South Hadley, Mass.) struck with 2:01 on the clock to give the Bantams a 6-4 edge at intermission.
Trinity pulled away early in the second frame as senior attacker Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) fired in a goal from Griffin who proceeded to score two more goals of her own and make it, 9-4, with 21:28 left in regulation. Lyne then scored her second of the game on a pass from senior tri-captain midfielder Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) to increase the advantage to 10-4 at the 12:31 mark. Passarelli scored on a free-position shot, but Griffin answered with her fourth marker to set the score at 11-5. Sarah Spector and Griffin exchanged goals to keep the Trinity cushion at six (12-6) with just 1:24 remaining, before Mills scored her second to set the final score at 12-7. Ferguson played the first 30 minutes in goal for Trinity and made five saves to improve her record to 8-0, while junior Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.) added a save in the second half. Griffin finished with five goals and two assists, while Lyne scored twice and won five draws, and classmate Lara Guida (Mendham, N.J.) paced the Bantam back line with two ground balls and two caused turnovers.