April 10, 2012

Maher's 23 Stops Lifts Springfield Over Amherst

from press release

– The 13th-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team attempted 48 shots but was held to only one goal in each of the first three quarters during Tuesday's 9-6 loss to Springfield College at Stagg Field.

Rob Maher made a career-high 23 saves for the Pride (7-3), while Shane Ferguson recorded four goals and two assists. Amherst dropped to 8-3 with its third loss in four games.

Samuel Jakimo '12 was also very strong in goal, finishing the evening with 16 saves for the Lord Jeffs. Alex Fox '12 scored a team-best two goals, and Devin Action '14 added a goal and an assist. Duncan Morrissey '14 won 10-of-19 face-offs and scooped up a game-high seven ground balls.

Springfield scored the opening goal of the game at 13:16, but Amherst answered with 9:40 on the clock when Fox got free and bounced home a shot down low. Ryon Lynch stepped into a Ryan Murphy feed and let one fly from 10 yards out to give Springfield the lead back at 2:21, and Maher made one of his many highlight reel stops with 21 ticks on the clock to keep it a one-goal game after the first quarter.

With 7:28 remaining in the second, Amherst's Cole Cherney '12 buried a man-up strike from Acton to tie the game for the last time. Ferguson put the Pride back on top with 3:41 left in the half when he muscled through a tough check and finished a shot from 10 yards out. The Pride added a goal with just 13 seconds left in the quarter to head into the break with a 4-2 lead.

Amherst's Dan Routh '12 scored the first goal of the second half with 6:28 on the clock, beating his man to the right and slipping a shot underneath a sprawling Maher.

The Pride responded by tallying three goals in a 1:45 span to take a 7-3 lead and force the Lord Jeffs into a timeout. Maher put his stamp on the end of the third quarter with a sprawling save as the horn sounded to maintain the four-goal advantage after three quarters of action.

Ferguson scored his fourth goal of the night with 11:30 to play before finding Lynch on the crease, providing the Pride with its largest lead of the game (9-3) with 8:12 left.

Amherst did not go away quietly, as unassisted strikes from Acton and Fox sandwiched a man-up goal from Routh to make things interesting. The Lord Jeffs won the ensuing face-off to gain possession with under a minute to play before calling a timeout. However, Maher slammed the door shut with three sensational saves, including a diving stop across the crease.

The Lord Jeffs will continue their four-game road trip this Saturday when they take on national powerhouse Tufts University at 1 p.m. in Medford, Mass.

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