No. 5 Amherst Cruises by Bridgewater State in NCAAs

AMHERST, Mass. - The fifth-ranked Amherst lacrosse team opened its 2014 NCAA championship run with a decisive 20-4 victory over Bridgewater State on Pratt Field.

Improving to 20-9 all-time in tournament play and 17-2 on the season, the Jeffs advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2008. Dropping to 0-6 all-time in championship play the Bears closed out the year with a 14-6 mark.

Racing out to a fast start, Amherst netted the game's first seven goals over a span of just 5:47. Krista Zsitvay '14 opened up the scoring at 28:25 before consecutive Meghan Mills '15 and Elizabeth Ludlow '14 goals 1:01 apart made it 3-0. Caroline Holliday '14 pushed the margin to four with a tally just 30 seconds after Ludlow's marker. After two more Ludlow and Holliday goals at 25:44 and 25:15, Zsitvay closed out the run with a score just over five minutes after the opening draw.

Successfully converting a free-position attempt with 23:45 on the clock, Lauren Geary '16 put the visitors on the board, but Alex Philie '14 answered on the other end thanks to a Coco Kusiak '17 feed. Carrying the ball on the right post, Mia Haugton '16 found a cutting Mills in front for Amherst's ninth tally. Keeping pace, Taylor Clancy '14 posted a score just 30 seconds later, but Philie came right back with a free-position goal to make it 10-2.

Ahead 13-2 at the intermission, the Purple & White picked up where they left off, with Ludlow beating sophomore goalie Chandler Ross just 59 seconds into the period. Mills kept things going with a goal at 26:00 before Clancy found the back of the net to trim the Bridgewater St. deficit to 15-3. Getting the Jeffs back on track, Holliday notched two-straight scores with a Devin O'Connor '16 tally pushing the margin to 18-3 with 14:59 on the clock.

Owning a 14-11 advantage in face-offs, Amherst held a decisive 29-9 edge in shots and 17-11 margin in ground balls. Holliday finished with four goals and two assists, while Ludlow, Mills and Philie each had a hat-trick. In all, 11 different Jeffs factored into the scoring, with Christy Forrest '16 making three saves in 50:13 minutes.

Clancy paced the Bear attack with three goals, while Geary accounted for the other BSU score. Ross collected five saves in the loss.


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