April 23, 2011

Jakimo Backstops Amherst to First Win over Wesleyan Since 1999

from press release

AMHERST, Mass. – The ninth-ranked Amherst College men’s lacrosse team scored three fourth-quarter goals and held visiting Wesleyan University scoreless for the final 55 minutes and 52 seconds, using a stellar performance from goalie Sam Jakimo ’12 (Woodbury, NY) to earn a 4-2 victory of the Cardinals Saturday afternoon at a cold and rainy Gooding Field.

Amherst (12-1, 7-1 NESCAC) secured a home game in the upcoming NESCAC Championship by earning its first win over Wesleyan (9-4, 4-4) since 1999, snapping a 13-game losing streak in the Little Three rivalry. The Lord Jeffs have now won 12 straight, with Jakimo making 18 saves on Saturday to improve to 12-0 on the season.

Jakimo came up big throughout the day, stopping two shots in the first quarter, six in the second and five in each of the final two. Wesleyan’s Grant Covington made eight stops in net for the Cardinals, who held a commanding 45-25 advantage in shots, including a 28-11 edge during the scoreless second and third periods.

Junior Cole Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) led the Amherst offense by tallying two goals and an assist. Wesleyan was led by Teddy Citrin’s two goals, with Graham Gnall assisting on both scores.

Citrin put Amherst in a quick 2-0 hole by capitalizing on passes from Gnall with 13:38 and 10:52 remaining in the opening quarter. Amherst struck back with 5:27 to play in the first when Cherney fed senior Dan Routh (Allendale, NJ), who ripped a low shot between the legs of Covington.

Wesleyan was in control throughout the scoreless second period, outshooting Amherst by a 13-5 margin in the frame. Jakimo came up with six saves in the quarter, including two off shots from point-blank range. Amherst’s best chance came when Cherney went airborne to corral a cross-feed from classmate Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD), but Covington stuffed the one-timer to preserve the one-goal lead.

The third quarter provided as much excitement as the second, but again neither team was able to find the back of the net. Amherst finally put an end to a scoring drought that lasted 37:04, knotting the game at 2-2 1:37 into the final quarter. Sophomore Ramsey Bates (McLean, VA) scooped a ground ball between two Wesleyan defenders and sent a long pass to a wide-open Devin Acton ’14 (Sudbury, MA), who snapped a quick shot into the bottom corner.

The Jeffs took their first lead of the day with 6:39 remaining when Alex Fox ’12 (Garden City, NY) found Cherney, who curled a run from behind the net and sent a one-timer past Covington. Cherney tallied his second goal of the day off a perfect feed through traffic from  first-year Beda Cha (Lutherville, MD), providing Amherst a 4-2 cushion. Two more Jakimo saves denied hopes of a late Wesleyan comeback, and as the final horn sounded the Amherst bench stormed the field to congratulate its goalie.

In a game that was dominated by defense, Amherst senior captain Gabe Mann (Denver, CO) and Wesleyan’s Brett Cabriele joined Jakimo in leading all players with five ground balls apiece. Covington and Pete Modera each added four for the visitors, while Arne Andersen ’13 (Phoenixville, PA) had four for the hosts. Wesleyan committed five penalties but allowed only one man-down goal, while Amherst was not whistled for a single penalty.

Amherst will wrap up its regular season next Friday at 4:30 when it hosts Trinity College, with the winner grabbing the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Wesleyan will host Connecticut College Friday at 4:30 p.m. with hopes of grabbing the No. 4 seed.

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