After two 30-minute rain delays and a sloppy first half on Saturday, Amherst men’s lacrosse was able to get back on the right track after two straight losses with a 12-7 comeback-win over Colby. Coming into the match, only one game separated the teams for the sixth seed in the NESCAC standings, so Saturday’s contest was a must-win for both of them. (Head-to-head matchups are a critical tiebreaker when it comes to seeding in the NESCAC tournament.) Amherst now moves to 5-5 on the season and 3-3 in NESCAC play, while Colby dropped to 4-5 and 1-4 in NESCAC games.
The game started off well for the Mammoths, as they got a goal on their first possession of the day by way of a right-handed goal from Carter Tate ’22 off a pass from Matt Adams ’23. Colby quickly responded, however, with two big goals of its own. Amherst was able to pull one back with a goal from Connor Guest ’24, who scored in his fourth straight game to even the score at two apiece. But Colby again scored two unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead in the second quarter.
This is when the first rain delay of the day halted the action, causing both teams to head to the locker room to regroup. After waiting the required 30 minutes, Colby hadn’t lost their groove, and the Mammoths went down 5-2 shortly after the teams returned to the field. But, with their backs against the wall, the Mammoths’ comeback began, starting with a goal from Brock Gonzalez ’23 with only 19 seconds to go in the second quarter to narrow the margin to 5-3 at halftime.
Amherst got off to a great start in the second half, maintaining their momentum from the first as PJ Clementi ’22 opened the second-half scoring at the 10:54 mark to make it 5-4. Tanyr Krummenacher ’23 then scored to tie the score at five all. Guest and Clementi then each scored their second of the day shortly thereafter — in what seemed like the blink of an eye but was actually about three minutes of game time, the Mammoths had turned a 5-3 deficit into a 7-5 lead. Undeterred by the scoring spree, Colby responded with a goal of their own at the end of the third to make it a 7-6 game heading into the final period. Clementi credited the run to the team “play[ing] our brand of lacrosse really well — pushing transition, taking advantage of matchups, and pressuring on defense.” Clementi emphasized the importance of this style to the team’s in-game turnaround. “We always say if we play our brand of lacrosse we can control the pace and set the tone. In the first quarter we sort of let them dictate the pace, but after the delay we knew we had a really good game plan, and just had to execute it. Once we did that everything clicked, and we were able to put together a nice run on offense and play lockdown defense.”
This attitude was evident in their fourth-quarter play, as Amherst took over to end the game with a 12-7 win. It was all built on their defense creating chances on offense. Dylan Hsu ’25, Krummenacher, Clementi, Gonzalez, and Adams were the ones to take advantage, capitalizing on their opportunities to widen the Mammoths’ lead. After surrendering five goals in the first half, Amherst only allowed Colby to score two goals the rest of the way, outscoring the Mules 9-2 in the second half.
Amherst travels to New London, Connecticut, for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Connecticut College Camels on Wednesday, before returning home to play archrival Williams on Saturday at 1 p.m.