After they beat NESCAC rival and national No. 7 Tufts 9-8 on Sunday, April 10, women’s lacrosse returned to the field on Wednesday for a conference tilt against Connecticut College. They led from start to finish, coming out victorious against the Camels 12-7. On Saturday, the Mammoths went on the road to take on arch rival Williams, and again left the field with a win. This time, however, the game was a back-and-forth affair that went into overtime before eventually going the Mammoths’ way: they left Williamstown with an 8-7 victory.
While some teams would have a hard time maintaining their momentum after a massive win like Amherst’s against Tufts, the Mammoths didn’t seem to be resting on their laurels.
Sydney Larsen ’23 emphasized the importance of their first contest: “The Conn game was a great opportunity to keep our momentum rolling after our win against Tufts. [It] was our first game on [Gooding Field] and I think it allowed us to play cohesively because we are so comfortable there.” It was also the Mammoths’ staff appreciation game, so the team had a lot to play for coming into an important contest.
And they did not disappoint — in one of their best scoring outputs of the season, they scored six first-quarter goals en route to a 6-1 lead after the first frame. The team quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Becky Kendall ’22 and Larsen. The Camels then narrowed the lead to one, but the Mammoths responded: Kendall netted twice more, and Campbell Moriarty ’24 got in on the fun with two of her own before the end of the quarter, putting the final touches on their offensive outburst.
But Conn would not go gently into that good night, getting on the board first in the second quarter and starting a rally. It was soon halted, though, as the Mammoths kept their five-goal lead intact via another tally from Larsen. But it was here that the Camels made a run despite their demoralizing first quarter, scoring two more goals to bring the score to 7-4 at halftime.
After halftime, the Camels came the closest they would all night, tacking two more goals onto their first-half scoring run to narrow the deficit to one. But with their lead looking precarious, the Mammoths found their groove once again — Kendall scored her fourth of five goals on the day to retake the momentum heading into the fourth quarter, and then her fifth shortly after the beginning of the final frame to shut the door on the Camels’ comeback.
But the Mammoths’ offense was not the only thing that contributed to their ability to seal the game. Larsen highlighted the team’s stalwart defense as an x-factor during their run. “Our defense never gets enough credit… They made some incredible stops that picked up momentum, especially in the second half.”
It was that defense that took the wind out of the Camels’ sails. They finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter after two more Mammoth goals from Moriarty and Rachel Rogers ’25, but it was too little too late — the damage was already done, and the final goal of the day from Marina Bevacqua ’22 and more stellar backstopping from goalie Caroline Stole ’24, who made 12 saves in the contest, sealed the win.
The Mammoths then took the short bus ride to Williamstown to take on the Ephs in a must-win NESCAC contest on Saturday, April 16. Amherst’s trend of building first-quarter leads continued, although this time, some early offensive miscues led to a 1-0 deficit at first, before a goal from Eliza Marcus ’25E tied the game at one apiece. Lauren Friedman ’25 took advantage of the swing in momentum, giving the Mammoths the lead with three minutes to go in the period, before Kendall scored yet another goal to put the team up two. Though Williams scored again to narrow the lead, the Mammoths held a 3-2 advantage heading into the second quarter.
From here, the game became a back-and-forth affair, with neither team scoring two in a row through the rest of the first half. For every goal the Ephs put on the board, Amherst tallied one of their own, preventing a comeback effort. Bevacqua opened the second-quarter scoring with a woman-up goal, but the Ephs retaliated. Kendall scored her second of the day to restore the two-goal lead heading into halftime, but Williams again put a goal on the scoreboard in response, this one after the halftime break. Kendall scored again shortly after, her team-leading 29th of the season keeping the opposition at bay for the time being.
But whatever the Ephs’ coach said to them during the break seemed to have worked, as after Kendall’s third goal, Amherst’s archrivals went on a 3-0 scoring run to take the lead for the first time all day. With time running out, it seemed the Mammoths were down and out. But Bevacqua would have none of that, tying the game with 5:58 to go to send the game to overtime.
The Mammoths have been great in overtime this season, going 2-0 in overtime games up to this point. Saturday was no different. After the first three-minute period yielded no winner, OT hero Friedman again gave her team the golden goal. She made a looping cut through the eight-meter arc, caught a beautiful feed from Larsen, and quick-sticked a low shot past the Williams keeper. The stick check confirmed the goal, and the Mammoths returned home with a win over their most bitter rival.
Not to be outdone by the offense, Stole again stole the show, racking up nine saves in her fourth win of the season, including two early in the first quarter that prevented the Ephs from jumping out to an early lead, and a close-range stop in OT on what could’ve been the game-winner.
The Mammoths will look to extend their burgeoning win streak at home against No. 1 Middlebury this Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m. in their only game of the week.