March 10, 2012

No. 5 Amherst Squeezes Past Colby

from press release

– The fifth-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team used three goals from senior captain Evan Redwood and an exceptional second-half performance by its defense to open the 2012 season with a 9-8 win over Colby College Saturday afternoon at Gooding Field.

Redwood's third goal of the day broke an 8-8 tie with 1:47 remaining in regulation and held up as the game winner. Colby called a timeout with 22 seconds to play and made one last push, but junior captain Danny Gold forced a turnover behind the net and hurled the ball downfield to close the books on a thrilling season opener.

The teams were virtually identical in every major statistical category, with Amherst holding slim advantages in shots (31-28) and ground balls (28-25). Colby won 11 face-offs to Amherst's 10, with the Mules committing 16 turnovers and the Lord Jeffs close behind at 14.

Joining Redwood in leading the Amherst attack were sophomores Aaron Mathias (2 goals) and Devin Acton (1 goal, 2 assists), while Samuel Jakimo '12 made 12 saves to earn the win. Greg McKillop and Ian Deveau had two goals apiece for the Mules, who got nine saves from sophomore Peter Reiley.

Acton opened the scoring 3:31 into the game with a wraparound goal after a restart, but the Mules responded when Deveau, Scott Margolis and Jonathan McIvor put home three goals in a span of 3:20. Redwood got one back for the Lord Jeffs after a timeout, but Colby pushed its lead to 4-2 when McKillop converted a ground ball into a goal with only 11 seconds on the clock.

Colby also scored in the final seconds of the second quarter, as Deveau took a pass from Bjorn Knutson and beat Jakimo to give the visitors a 7-4 lead before the break. Deveau's goal came after Amherst failed to capitalize on a man-up opportunity, giving the Mules significant momentum heading into the second half.

Jakimo and the Amherst defense would surrender only one goal the rest of the way, allowing the Lord Jeffs to slowly chip away at their deficit. Alex Fox '12 made it a 7-5 game early in the third period and Mathias followed two minutes later, with each goal coming after a big stop on the defensive end. The Mules killed a pair of penalties—including a two-minute infraction—late in the quarter to carry a 7-6 lead into the final frame.

Colby failed to score after a lengthy possession early in the fourth, which led to Acton hitting Redwood for the tying goal down at the other end. Senior captain Will Reed put the wheels in motion by picking up a ground ball in front of the net and pushing it forward to Acton, who found Redwood to bring the score to 7-7 with 10:21 on the clock.

Acton also picked up the assist on Amherst's go-ahead goal, this time finding Cole Cherney '12 with 6:38 left in the final quarter. Colby finally snapped a 26-minute scoreless drought when John Jennings scooped up a ground ball and quickly put a shot past Jakimo to make it an 8-8 game with 4:04 to go.

Redwood's winner would come less than two and a half minutes later, as he wrapped around the goal, faked high and went low, bringing the score to 9-8 with the 60th goal of his career.

Amherst will host Bates College tomorrow at 2 p.m., while Colby will return to action next weekend.

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