Trinity Tops Amherst to Win NESCAC Championship

HARTFORD, Conn. Suffering just its second setback of the season, the fifth-ranked Amherst lacrosse team dropped a 10-7 decision to No. 3 Trinity College in the 2014 NESCAC championship on the Bantams' Sheppard Field.

Making its first title game appearance since 2005, the Jeffs fell to 16-2 (9-1 NESCAC) overall and will now hope to receive an at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship when the full 36-team field is announced later this evening. Capturing its fourth-consecutive title, Trinity (15-2, 9-1 NESCAC) earns the league's automatic bid to the national tournament.

Staking the home team to an early lead, Renee Olsen '16 beat Amherst goalie Christy Forrest '16 just 1:02 after the opening draw. Kathleen Timmons '15 doubled the Trinity margin before Olsen stuck again at 21:51 to make it 3-0. Just over a minute later, Shea Kusiak '15 scored to push the lead to four less than 10 minutes into the contest.

Settling in, Priscilla Tyler '15 put the Purple & White on the board with a goal at 15:49. Taking advantage of an Amherst penalty seven-plus minutes later, the Bantams notched a free-position score, but Meghan Mills '15 bounced in a successful free-position attempt of her own to pull the visitors back within three.

With 1:26 left in the first, Martha Griffin '17 slipped a defender before tucking a shot inside the right post. Closing the half out strong, Rachel Passarelli '16 converted Amherst's third free-position to make it 6-3 at the intermission.

Opening up the second half scoring, Griffin found Molly Cox '15 for Trinity's seventh goal just 1:12 after the restart. Less than two minutes later, the duo linked up again as Griffin fed a cutting Cox, who buried her second-consecutive marker to make it 8-3.

After Krista Zsitvay '14 and Cox exchanged tallies 1:13 apart, Caroline Holliday '14 got on the board to cut the deficit to four. Keeping the pressure on, Cox notched her fourth goal of the half to pad the Bantam cushion. Zsitvay and Passarelli each found the back of the net in the contest's final 8:17, but Amherst would ultimately fall short of its quest for a first-ever NESCAC title.

Despite winning just five draw controls, Trinity finished with a 21-17 shot advantage, thanks in part to a 17-10 edge in ground balls and 21 Jeff turnovers. Passarelli and Zsitvay each had a pair of scores for Amherst, with Mills, Tyler and Holliday accounting for the other three Amherst markers. Playing all 60 minutes, Forrest finished with seven saves.

Scoring all four of her goals after the break, Cox added an assist for a game-high five points. Olsen chipped in with a pair of scores, while Kusiak had a goal and three assists. Emily Mooney '16 recorded eight saves to improve to 14-2.

2014-05-04



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