Acton, Gold Lead Amherst Past Eastern Connecticut

AMHERST, Mass. Devin Acton '14 tallied four goals and an assist and Danny Gold '13 added three strikes and a helper as Amherst notched its first win of the 2013 season, holding off Eastern Connecticut, 13-9, in Wednesday's home opener at Gooding Field.

Kane Haffey '16 chipped in a pair of goals for Amherst (1-2) while Quinn Moroney '16 and Aaron Mathias '14 tallied a goal and an assist each. Mike Jordan '14 led the way for ECSU (1-4) with four strikes while Mike Devine '14 added a pair of goals.

Thanks to a big second quarter, the Lord Jeffs jumped out to a 7-3 halftime lead, but Eastern would not let the hosts run away with it. After Acton put the Jeffs up 10-5 late in the third, quick goals from Jordan and Devine made it a 10-7 game heading into the final frame. The Warriors would draw no closer than three, however, as two more goals from Acton and a final tally from Mathias clinched the win.

ECSU was strong early, grabbing a 1-0 lead on Jordan's unassisted tally with 12:36 to go in the first. Moroney responded for Amherst, scoring off a nice assist from Rob Butko '16 just over a minute later, but Devine would give the lead back to Eastern with an unassisted strike with just under seven to play. The advantage would be the Warriors' last of the day, however, as the Jeffs closed the period with an unassisted Gold tally and a nifty finish in traffic from Acton off a feed from Mathias.

Eastern drew even early in the second on an unassisted strike from Kevin Fechtmann '13, but Amherst exploded for four unanswered tallies over the final nine minutes of the half to seize control of the contest. Continuing the strong start to his collegiate career, Dylan Park '16 took advantage of a man-up opportunity with a rip from the left side on an assist from Acton, before Haffey picked up a ground ball in the middle and finished for a 5-3 Amherst cushion with just under four minutes to go.

Extending the run, Kevin Curry '15 turned in an impressive unassisted effort as he grabbed a ground ball in his own half after an ECSU turnover and streaked up the right sideline before slicing in for the finish. Gold capped the flurry less than 20 seconds later, collecting a ground ball then dodging a defender for an unassisted strike and a 7-3 Amherst lead at the half.

Eastern quickly drew within three, scoring in the first minute of the third quarter as Jordan ripped a laser in after a nice assisting pass from behind the net by Devin Callahan '15. After nearly seven quiet minutes, Gold answered with a tremendous individual effort as he caused a Warrior turnover, collected the ground ball and powered in from the left side for the long-stick midfielder's third goal of the contest.

After Tyler Fresen '14 made it 8-5 with an unassisted tally, the Jeffs pushed their lead back to four as Moroney found Haffey for a man-up strike and Gold dished to Acton from the right side for a 10-5 lead with 2:28 to go in the period. The Warriors grabbed some momentum heading in the fourth, however, as Jordan struck unassisted with just over a minute to go then Chris Barnett '15 found Devine at close range with 13 seconds remaining.

Acton stemmed the tide just over two minutes into the final frame with an unassisted marker, before Jordan sent in his final tally on a pass from Trevor Morrissette '14, making it 11-8 with 7:21 to play. The Jeffs answered again, however, as Jeff Izzo '13 found Acton near the left post with under four to go for the senior's final strike of the day and 10th of the young season. After Merrick Smith '13 sent in the final Warrior tally seconds later, Mathias capped the scoring for Amherst with 2:42 to play as the Jeffs overcame four fourth-quarter penalties to protect their lead.

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