Brett Miller '09
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Rookie Brett Miller had an incredible afternoon on Saturday, registering four goals and an assist in the win.

Jeffs Clinch NESCAC Tournament Bid With 13-11 Win Over Williams

April 29, 2006

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s lacrosse team clinched its sixth straight trip to the NESCAC Championship Tournament with a 13-11 victory over visiting NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College on Saturday afternoon. Junior Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) and rookie Brett Miller (Wantagh, NY) tallied four goals apiece as the Jeffs wrap up the regular season at 4-9 overall and 3-6 in conference play.

The Jeffs earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament and will travel to third-seeded Bowdoin College tomorrow for a first-round matchup. Middlebury finished at the top of the conference and will host the NESCAC Tournament for the sixth straight year.

Cherney opened the game with some fireworks, taking a feed from Miller in front of the cage and whipping it behind his back for the score 1:07 into play. Williams responded with a heavy hand, notching four straight goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead, and after a unassisted tally from Miller, Eph sophomore Michael Vrla (Paradise Valley, AZ) closed the quarter with his second goal of the game to make it 5-2 Williams.

Amherst came out firing in the second session as Cherney took advantage of a man-up opportunity, converting a feed from fellow quad-captain Kevin Boova (Summit, NJ) at the 11:31-mark, and then torched his defender 3:06 later for an unassisted score to spark a 4-0 Amherst run. Sophomore Will Ferrer (Greenwich, CT) and junior Chris Hofmann (New Canaan, CT) added unassisted goals in the spurt as well. Senior James Lee (Darien, CT) stopped the bleeding for Williams, scoring off a feed from sophomore Andy Camposeo (Florence, MA), but Boova found Ferrer for a man-up tally to close the half with a narrow 7-6 Amherst edge.

Senior Joaquin Walker (Denver, CO) gave the Jeffs a two-goal advantage just 40 seconds into the third quarter, sprinting past his man for the score. There was little action for the majority of the frame as Williams pulled within one on a goal by Lee at the 8:49-mark, but the last 1:35 saw an explosion of scoring as Eph senior Tim Pingree (Boston, MA) converted a feed from sophomore Dixon Hargrove (Wallingford, PA) to knot the score at 8-8, and Miller posted a pair of goals in the final minute, awarding assists to Boova and sophomore T.J. Jackson (Worcester, PA).

Williams wouldn’t go away, pulling back to a 10-10 tie as Hargrove found the net 52 seconds into the quarter and dealt his fourth assist of the game as he found first-year Kevin Connolly (Simsbury, CT) for the leaping score at the 7:28-mark. However, Amherst answered by taking sound control of the game with three straight goals. Hofmann opened the run, scooping up an errant Williams pass at midfield, sprinting down the right sideline and flipping the ball over the goal to a wide-open Jackson for the score. Boova continued, sliding a gorgeous cross-field pass to Miller for a back-door goal, and Cherney capped the spurt, taking a feed from Walker and launching a shot from straight on to make it 13-10 Amherst with just under five minutes to play.

Lee got one back for the Ephs, notching a man-up goal with 2:15 to play, but Williams could do no more and Amherst held on for the win.

Miller had one assist to go with his four goals, while Boova finished with a season-high four assists. Ferrer had two goals and Hofmann, Walker and Jackson contributed a goal and an assist apiece. Senior quad-captain Andrew Wilcox (Ancramdale, NY) was a force in the midfield and on the defensive end, going 9-for-16 on the face-off and grabbing six ground balls. Junior David Beck (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) was stellar as well scooping up five ground balls. Rookie goalie Matt Pietroforte (Brooklyn, NY) finished with eight saves and a pair of ground balls.

Hargrove led Williams with a goal and four assists, while Lee added three goals and an assist. Vrla, Pingree and Connolly each had two goals, while Vrla chipped in a helper. Junior Chris Merwin (Baltimore, MD) won 10-of-20 face-offs and recorded a game-high nine ground balls. Rookie netminder Michael Gerbush (Glen Head, NY) posted seven saves in the losing effort as the Ephs dropped to 6-7 (3-6 NESCAC) and earned the No. 7 seed in the NESCAC Tournament. They travel to second-seeded Wesleyan University for tomorrow’s first-round tournament matchup.