John-Thomas Milone '10
Photo by Sam Masinter
First-Year John-Thomas Milone kept Amherst in the game by scoring all three of the Jeffs' goals in the first half

Jeffs Pick up Gritty Win Over Springfield to Move to 4-3

By Justin Long

April 2, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s lacrosse team trailed visiting Springfield College 6-4 after three quarters, but came back to tie the game on three separate occasions in the final frame. Senior tri-captain Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) ran the clock down to 20 seconds before he made his final move, eventually getting himself open for the game-winning shot with just 13 ticks left on the clock.

Springfield first-year Joe Heney got things going when he scored just 1:40 into the game, but Amherst’s first-year John-Thomas Milone (Manhasset, NY) notched the score at 1-1 one minute and 13 seconds later. Neither offense put anything together for the rest of the period, as the teams took their first break in a deadlock.

Amherst took a 2-1 lead at the 12:16 mark when sophomore Tim Thornton (Garden City, NY) fed Milone his second goal of the game, but Springfield once again responded quickly, as the Pride tied the game at 2-2 before rattling off two more goals to take a 4-2 lead with three minutes to play in the half. Milone snuck in his third goal of the game with only 11 seconds on the clock, keeping Amherst within one goal as the teams headed into halftime.

The Jeffs earned a man-up opportunity two minutes into the second half, but Springfield’s Kyle Cloutier came up with a huge save that resulted in a quick counter-attack, as sophomore Jake Beebe gave the Pride a 5-3 lead. The lead was bumped to 6-3 when junior Greg Welch netted his second goal of the game midway through the third period, but Amherst put in the final goal of the frame when a Rob Madden (Woodbridge, CT) hustle play led to a T.J. Jackson (Worcester, MA) goal.

Jackson opened up the final period with his second goal with an assist from Cherney, and first-year Rob Denious (Bloomfield Hills, MI) tied the game at 6-6 just 43 seconds later. The Jeffs nearly scored shortly after to take their first lead of the second half, but another save and quick counter from Springfield led to Heney’s second goal at the 8:57 mark.

Cherney tied the game 57 seconds later with an unassisted goal, but the Jeffs found themselves trailing once again only 36 seconds later when Welch picked up a rebound after Chris Jez hit the post, giving the Pride an 8-7 lead. Welch increased the lead to 9-7, leaving Amherst less than six minutes to make a comeback.

The Jeffs capitalized on a two-man advantage when first-year Thomas McDonnell (Manhasset, NY) converted on a Brett Miller (Wantagh, NY) assist, and used their momentum to tie the game at 9-9 just 15 seconds later when senior tri-captain Chris Hofmann (New Canaan, CT) picked up a rebound off the post and snuck a shot past Cloutier.

The Pride found themselves in great position with time running out, working with a man-up opportunity with just 1:15 showing on the clock. Amherst played some gritty defense and escaped unharmed, as the Jeffs gained control in the offensive zone and called a timeout with 35 seconds remaining in regulation.

Amherst looked to Cherney to do something special, as he ran the clock down to 20 seconds and began his drive toward the net. The senior tri-captain stormed in and looped around the net, pulling up for a shot in mid-air that found its way through the legs of Cloutier, giving the Jeffs a 10-9 lead and leaving Springfield just 13 seconds to work with. Amherst gained control of the face-off and ran out the clock, preserving their fourth win of the season.

The Lord Jeffs held a lead for a total of one minute and 28 seconds in the game, but it was enough to get the job done. Amherst returns to action Wednesday for a NESCAC match-up at Trinity College at 4 p.m.