Amherst women’s lacrosse lost to the Hamilton Continentals on Saturday, March 7. The contest, played in Clinton, N.Y., ended in disappointment for the Mammoths, as a second-quarter flurry of goals from the Continentals proved insurmountable.
The Mammoths came into the game as the No. 19 team in the nation in a pre-season poll — the Continentals came as 24th. Amherst had won three straight against Hamilton ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
There were just four shots in the first 10 minutes of play, none of which found the target. With 4:32 to play, Lauren Hamilton (of Hamilton) buried the first goal of the game. The Mammoths responded three minutes later, with Becky Kendall ’22 finding the back of the net just twenty seconds after hitting the crossbar. The teams entered the second period deadlocked at 1-1.
Shortly into the second quarter, the Continentals doubled their advantage. Hamilton slotted another past the Mammoths’ keeper Caroline Fischer ’22 . Thirty seconds later, the Continentals found the back of the net once again.
After shots on both ends, the Mammoths brought the deficit back to one. For her first collegiate assist, Ali Astrachan ’23 moved the ball to Kendall, who bagged her second goal of the game. Five minutes later, a Hamilton goal brought the lead back to two, and the score remained 4-2 entering halftime.
A rash of fouls and turnovers bogged down the first 10 minutes of the second half. But with just under six minutes to play in the third, Fiona Jones ’23 brought the Mammoths back within one with her first-ever collegiate goal.
But just when it looked like Amherst was closing the gap, the Continentals scored another pair of goals in rapid succession, stretching the lead out to three. Kendall responded for the Mammoths to complete her hattrick with less than 30 seconds to play in the third, so the Mammoths entered the final quarter down two goals.
Amherst couldn’t get much going in the crucial period, with no shots through the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Continentals scored once again with 10 minutes to play. Though Sydney Larsen ’23 cut the lead to two with a goal four minutes later, the Mammoths would not register another shot. Hamilton safely saw out their first win of the season.
The Mammoths faced non-conference opponent Springfield College on Tuesday, March 8, hoping to rebound from their loss two days prior. They did so in emphatic fashion, crushing the Pride by a score of 16-5.
Eliza Marcus ’25E got the scoring started early, bagging her first collegiate goal. A pair of goals came four minutes later from another first-time scorer. After a foul inside the eight-meter arc, Lauren Friedman ’25 capitalized on a free position shot, then scored her second less than a minute later to give the Mammoths a 3-0 lead.
They continued to lay on the pressure as the quarter progressed. With four minutes to play, Ashley Tucker ’22 uncorked a low, underhand shot to beat the Springfield goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Astrachan passed the ball to Jones as she cut through the eight-meter arc; Jones finished to notch her second of the season. Kendall then capitalized with a man-advantage goal to claim her third score of the season. The Mammoths entered the second quarter up 6-0.
Five minutes in, Springfield scored two rapid goals to bring the deficit down to four. The Mammoths stopped the Pride’s scoring run three minutes later, as a third first-time scorer made her mark. Elizabeth Rose ’25 buried to bring the score to 7-2.
A flurry of goals came as the second half came to a close. Springfield scored with just under four minutes to play. Friedman responded with her second goal of the game, and third of the season, to stretch the lead back out to five. Larsen finished the flurry of goals with 16 seconds to play in the quarter, and the Mammoths entered the half up 9-3.
The second half started slowly: there was just one shot in the first six minutes of the third quarter. The quiet spell ended with 8:55 to play, as Springfield cut the deficit to five, 9-4. The Mammoths refused to give up ground, though. A pair of goals from Tucker and Jones sent the game to the fourth quarter with the Mammoths up 11-4.
Rose scored almost immediately in the fourth quarter, stretching the lead to eight. Springfield responded quickly, cutting the lead to seven after one minute of play, but it was to be their last goal of the game. The Mammoths closed the game with a dominant stretch that rivaled their scorching first quarter. Kendall scored off a free position shot, and Larsen netted her second, then her third. With only 12 seconds left, Kendall added insult to injury, completing her hat trick off an assist from Larsen. The Mammoth pile-on left the score at 16-5 as the final whistle sounded.
The Mammoths are now 1-1 as they look ahead to a packed March game schedule. They will play three games over Spring Break, facing NESCAC foe No. 8 Tufts on home turf on Saturday, March 12, before a trip out west to play Colorado College on Wednesday, March 16; they will fly back to New England for a road trip up to Maine to face Bates on Sunday, March 20.