Acton, Haffey Spur Amherst Comeback Win vs. Springfield

AMHERST, Mass. - Devin Acton '14 gave the Amherst its first lead with 1:04 to go in regulation as the men's lacrosse team rallied from a five-goal deficit to defeat Springfield, 13-12.

Down 6-1 midway through the first half and 12-10 entering the final quarter, the Jeffs netted three unanswered in the final 10 minutes to pick up its fourth win of the season. Holding a 46-37 shot advantage and 42-32 edge in ground balls, Amherst made the most of its man-up opportunities, netting three goals on two penalties.

Kane Haffey '16 paved the way for the Amherst attack with a game-high six goals, while Acton and Dylan Park '16 each had a pair of scores. Quinn Moroney '16, Patrick Moroney '14 and Danny Gold '13 accounted for the other three tallies, with Quinn Moroney adding three assists.

Bryce Serriello '15 led Springfield with four goals, while Ryan Murphy '14 finished with a pair of scores. Tony LaGuerre '16, Kevin Sainte '15, Ryon Lynch '14, Kevin Freeman '14, Matt Fleisher '14 and Kevin Dean '16 also scored a goal apiece.

Finding Murphy on the right side, Colby Verge '13 helped set up Springfield's first score, assisting on the junior's 24th of the season at 9:47. Responding less than a minute later, Quinn Moroney picked up a ground ball after a Sam Lawlor '16 miss and found Haffey for the equalizer.

Capping off a flurry of goals, Murphy came right back down and linked up with Fleisher before Serriello caught a pass on the left side. Dodging a defender he ripped a high shot past first-year Amherst goalkeeper Thomas Gilligan with under five minutes to go in the first. LaGuerre added to the lead at 2:17, forcing an Amherst timeout.

Sainte kept the Pride rolling with a score 4:19 into the second period before Serriello fired a long shot while ranging to his right to make it 6-1. After Haffey and Serriello exchanged tallies 2:35 apart, Amherst rattled off three unanswered to pull within two.

Gold got the run started with a hard shot from 10 yards out at 3:46. Taking advantage of a locked-in Springfield penalty for an illegal body check, Park and Haffey netted a pair of goals in 59 seconds to suddenly make it 7-5. Lynch momentarily ended the Jeff hot-streak with a score with 41 seconds left, but Acton beat Robert Maher '14 with a low shot just before the half to keep the Purple & White within striking distance.

Wrapping around behind the net, Quinn Moroney again went low on Maher before Patrick Moroney found space to the right of goal. Making the initial save, the Pride goalie could not control the rebound as Haffey plucked it from the air and tucked a try inside the left post.

Tallying his fourth goal, Serriello put Springfield back on top at 9:25. Converting another man-up opportunity, the Jeffs pulled even less than two minutes later on a Patrick Moroney shot that found the upper right corner.

Responding with a pair of goals, Freeman netted an even strength score at the 5:06 mark of the third before Sainte found a cutting Dean for a man-up tally just 51 seconds later. Park brought the Jeffs back within one with under three minutes to go in the quarter, but Murphy sneaked behind the cage and flicked a quick shot into net with just four seconds on the clock.

Causing a turnover early in the final period, Amherst got out in transition, with Acton putting a shot on goal. Once again at the right place at the right time, Haffey corralled the rebound and notched his fifth of the night to cut the deficit to 12-11. Finding open space on the right side after a restart, Haffey tied it for the second time with 4:39 left in regulation. Taking a pass behind the net, Acton wrapped around the left post, dodged a defender and scored in the upper left corner to give Amherst its first lead of the game with 1:04 to go.

Maher made 21 saves in the loss, while Gilligan made 12 stops. Going 11 for 18 on face-offs, Duncan Morrissey '14 paced Amherst with six ground balls, while Haffey picked up four. Springfield's Branden Fernandez '14 and Matt Dalton '15 had six and five ground balls, respectively.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Apr. 13 against Tufts.


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