Amherst sophomore Andrew Wilcox (right) didn't quite see eye to eye with Williams' Jon Drenckhahn on Saturday. Wilcox had the last laugh, however, scopping up a game-high 12 ground balls and scoring his second goal of the season.
17th-Ranked Jeffs Earn No. 4 Seed in NESCAC Tourney with 11-9 Win Over Williams
May 1, 2004
AMHERST, MA - The 17th-ranked Amherst College menís lacrosse team held off a fourth-quarter rally from visiting NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College to earn an 11-9 victory on Saturday. Amherst junior attackman Alex Casertano (Millbrook, NY) netted four goals, including three in a row to open the second half, as the Jeffs conclude the regular season at 10-4 (6-3 NESCAC). Amherst secured the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Championship Tournament with the win and will host fifth-seeded Bowdoin College tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 p.m.
Williams opened the scoring as sophomore Eric Gottenborg (Greenwood Village, CO) netted a man-advantage goal off an assist from first-year Matt Paster (Smithtown, NY). Casertano answered with a man-advantage score of his own, finding the net from the left side off a feed from senior co-captain Mike Allison (W. Nyack, NY). The Ephs tacked on two more goals as senior Scott Wilbur (Victor, NY) scored off a pass from sophomore Tim Pingree (Boston, MA), and Wilbur fed junior Matt Barhight (Lutherville, MD) for the 3-1 edge. Junior Andrew Syfu (Hobart, IN) pulled the Jeffs back within one, scoring unassisted with a bounce shot in the closing seconds of the quarter.
Amherst evened the score 4:45 into the second frame as junior Colby Griffith (Lexington, MA) fired in a laser from the point. The visitors regained the advantage on an Andrew Nathenson (Maplewood, NJ) score, but the Jeffs netted a pair of scores in the final 1:30 to take a 5-4 lead at the half. Amherst sophomore Andrew Wilcox (Ancramdale, NY), who tallied a game-high 12 ground balls, deflected an Eph pass at midfield, scooped up the ground ball and took it in for the unassisted score at the 1:12-mark, and 19 seconds later junior Joaquin Walker (Denver, CO) fed Allison for a bounce shot to give the Jeffs their first lead of the game.
Casertanoís three-goal outburst began just under three minutes into the second half as he circled from behind the net for the score and then slipped in another unassisted tally 49 seconds later to push the lead to 7-4. His fourth and final score of the contest came off a long crossing pass from first-year Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY). Williams finally answered as junior Geoffrey McNally (Sudbury, MA) found sophomore Patrick Hayes (Washington, DC) for the score, but Amherst responded immediately, winning the ensuing draw and taking it straight to the net. Wilcox lost control near the goal, but classmate Kevin Boova (Summit NJ) scooped it up and fired over the head of Eph senior goalie Matt Rade (Orchard Park, NY). Pingree netted an unassisted tally in the final minute of the frame to pull the visitors within three, 9-6.
Amherst stretched its lead back to four with an unassisted score from Walker, but the Ephs rallied for three straight scores to pull within one with 6:37 left in regulation. Wilbur, Pingree and junior Corey Whitbeck (Hudson, NY) each netted unassisted goals in the run. Amherst sealed the victory at the 6:02-mark as Allison scored his second goal of the day off a slick feed from Cherney.
Amherst junior goalie Cushing Donelan (Noroton, CT) collected eight saves and five ground balls, while Rade nabbed 11 saves as the Ephs dropped to 3-10 (2-7 NESCAC) with the loss.
2004 NESCAC Championship Tournament
First Round - Sunday, May 2, 2004 (1 p.m.)
No. 1 Middlebury - bye
No. 7 Conn. College at No. 2 Tufts
No. 6 Trinity at No. 3 Wesleyan
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 4 Amherst
Semifinals - Saturday, May 8, 2004 at Middlebury College
No. 1 Middlebury vs. lowest remaining seed (Noon)
Remaining first-round winners (3 p.m.)
Finals - Sunday, May 9, 2004 at Middlebury College
Semifinal winners (Noon)