Hartford, Conn. – First-year attacker Claire Dunbar (Timonium, Md.) had two goals and an assist to lead the visiting Amherst College Mammoths to an 10-9 victory 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 Jessee/Miller Field. The game was played in steady rain with several stretches of heavy downpour, and was delayed with 14:04 remaining due to lightning. Trinity, ranked No. 8 in the nation, closes the regular season at 10-5 and in a three-way tie for fourth place in the NESCAC at 6-4. Top-ranked Amherst finishes the regular campaign at 14-1 overall and tied with Middlebury for the first place in the league at 9-1. The Bantams will visit Tufts in the NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals on Saturday, April 28 at noon, while Amherst hosts Colby on the same day at the same time in its quarterfinal game.
Trinity never trailed by more than two goals but never led in the game, tying the score for the sixth and final time on the third tally of the night by senior attacker Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) with 6:48 on the clock. Amherst senior attacker Julia Crerend (New Canaan, Conn.) scored the go-ahead goal just 38 seconds after Coffey’s game-tying marker, and Dunbar made it 10-8 in the visitors’ favor with a player-up goal at the 1:21 mark. Trinity senior attacker Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) gave the Bantams a chance with her third goal, converting on a pass into traffic by classmate Grace O’Donnell (Yarmouth, Maine), with 47 seconds left. Bantam sophomore defender Sarah Montalbano (Huntington, N.Y.) won the ensuing draw, but Trinity turned the ball over in the final seconds.
Amherst led, 2-0, thanks to goals by Crerend and freshman midfielder Maia Noyes (Lexington, Mass.), but the Bantams answered with consecutive goals 43 seconds apart by McInerney and Coffey midway through the first half. The teams traded scores four times over the next 20 minutes resulting in a 5-5 tie at halftime and a 6-6 tie with 24:05 remaining in the second stanza. The Mammoths took an 8-6 lead with 14:04 on the clock, as Dunbar assisted sophomore midfielder Katherine Malone (Sudbury, Mass.) for a short-handed goal after an Amherst yellow card, and senior attacker Mary Grace Cronin (Arlington, Mass.) scored unassisted right before the lightning delay.
The teams came back on the field after a 30-minute pause and played in torrential rain for the majority of the final 14:04. O’Donnell one-timed in a pass by first-year attacker Sophie Berger (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) with 11:09 on the clock to pull the home team to within one at 8-7, and neither team could get off a shot for the next 4:21 before Coffey tied it for the last time. Trinity finished with a 14-to-7 advantage on the draw and limited the Mammoths to just one goal on eight free-position shots, but Amherst outshot Trinity, 29-21, had a 17-to-11 advantage on ground balls, and forced 19 Trinity turnovers while committing 11.
Trinity senior tri-captain Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) totaled 11 saves, while Montalbano and McInerney both had six draw controls. O’Donnell finished with a goal and an assist, while senior tri-captain Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) and junior midfielder Mary French (Gloucester, Mass.) also scored for Trinity. Amherst sophomore goalkeeper Talia Land (Larchmont, N.Y.) had seven saves, while rookie Isabelle Sennett (Wilmette, Ill.) had a goals and two assists, and junior defender Sabrina Solow (Madison, N.J.) notched game-highs of five ground balls and four caused turnovers.