Jeffs Use Big 2nd Half Rally to Top Tigers in NCAA Tourney

AMHERST, Mass. Erasing a four-goal halftime deficit, the 12th-ranked Amherst lacrosse team rallied past Colorado College in an NCAA first-round game on Pratt Field, 13-10.

Down 8-4 at the break, the Jeffs accounted for the first six goals of the second stanza, ultimately outscoring the Tigers 9-2 over the final 30 minutes. Improving to 15-4 overall and 3-1 in NCAA tournament play, the Purple & White advance to face Union College in second round action on Saturday, May 10. The Dutchmen began their championship run with a decisive 24-4 victory over New England College. Colorado College closes out the 2014 season with a 10-6 slate.

Staking the Jeffs to an early lead, Devin Acton '14 dodged a defender before moving to his right and rifling a shot from 12 yards out past sophomore goalie Chase Murphy '16. Less than two minutes later, Henri Halle '15 answered, tucking a shot into the bottom right corner of the cage. Austin Davie '17 and Tyler Allen '14 then netted goals just eight seconds apart to put the visitors up 3-1.

Coming around the back-post, Acton trimmed the Jeff deficit to one with a wrap-around score at 9:40. With less than five minutes to go in the opening quarter, Jack McCormick '17 back-handed a nifty Allen feed past Amherst senior goalkeeper Greg Majno.

Opening up the second period scoring, Taylor Paul '15 carried the ball on the right side before snapping a high shot into the net. Taking advantage of a CC slashing penalty, Aaron Mathias '14 converted a man-up goal off a Quinn Moroney '16 helper to momentarily pull the Jeffs back within two.

Getting the Tigers back on track, Halle and Jack Kreitler '14 buried consecutive scores to up the CC margin to 7-3. Causing a turnover with just over three minutes remaining in the half, Rob Butko '16 made a quick move toward the crease before getting his second goal of the season. However, with just three seconds on the clock, Kreitler struck again, bouncing a shot inside of the far post to double the Tiger cushion.

Gaining possession behind the net early in the third quarter, Moroney found a charging Michael Litner '16 for a tally at 11:24. Capitalizing on a Kane Haffey '16 caused turnover, Moroney found Acton for another Jeff goal approaching the eight minute mark before Haffey linked up with Acton for Amherst's third-straight marker. On the man-advantage with just under three minutes to go in the quarter, Haffey found an open Moroney on the right side for the equalizer at 2:54.

Dodging a defender 2:01 into the final frame, Acton snuck a hard shot inside the near post. Just over a minute later, Moroney slipped a try into the bottom right corner of the cage. After Kreitler notched the Tigers' first goal of the half at the 10:48 mark of the fourth quarter, Moroney flipped a shot behind his back and went five-hole on Murphy to put the home team up 11-9.

Making good on a Dylan Park '16 feed, Charlie Gill '16 increased the lead to three before Acton collected his sixth of the game by going to his right and ripping a shot into the upper right corner. Stephen Petersilge '17 closed out the scoring with a CC goal at 2:34. Going 50 percent (13 of 26) from the face-off 'X', Amherst finished 16 for 19 on clears. Winning the ground ball battle 41-28, the Jeffs were 2 for 4 on the man-advantage while closing out the contest with a 47-36 edge in shots.

With six goals, Acton upped his career point total to 220, surpassing Derek Cherney '07 (204) for the most in the program's modern era. Recording three goals and three assists, Moroney now has 106 points on the year, which is highest single-season total since Cherney posted 68 during the 2005 campaign. Filling in for Majno (4 saves) in the second half, first-year Cody Tranbarger made five stops en route to his first career win.

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2014-05-07



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