|Jeffs Drop Double-Overtime Thriller to No. 4 Wesleyan, 10-9|
Jeffs Drop Double-Overtime Thriller to No. 4 Wesleyan, 10-9
By Justin Long
April 11, 2007
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s lacrosse team gave Wesleyan University everything it had, taking the No. 4 Cardinals into double overtime. First-year goalie Andrew Harrison (Hanover, MA) and the Lord Jeff defense held off the Wesleyan attack for as long as they could, but the Cardinals eventually ended the game with a goal 46 seconds into the second extra frame to pick up the 10-9 win.
The Jeffs began the game with more poise than they had all season long and jumped out to a 1-0 lead when junior Will Ferrer (Greenwich, CT) assisted senior tri-captain Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) for the first goal of the game after nearly five minutes of play. Junior Chris Jasinski tied the game with an unassisted goal just 69 seconds later, but Tim Thornton (Garden City, NY) regained the lead for Amherst with help from first-year Tom McDonnell (Manhasset, NY).
First-year Jon Killeen and junior Grayson Connors scored within one minute and 25 seconds of each other to hand the lead back to the Cardinals with 3:10 remaining in the first quarter, as Wesleyan headed into the first intermission with a 3-2 advantage.
McDonnell opened up the scoring in the second period when he finished off a pass from Cherney less than two minutes in, taking advantage of Amherst’s man-up opportunity, but less than one minute separated Wesleyan’s next two goals, both scored by sophomore Jason Ben-Eliyahu.
Sophomore Thomas Foote (Newton, MA) mimicked Ben-Eliyahu by netting the next two goals of the game, with assists coming from Ferrer and sophomore Brett Miller (Wantagh, NY), as the Jeffs tied the game at 5-5 with 4:27 remaining in the half. The teams remained in a deadlock for the remainder of the quarter, with Amherst carrying the momentum into halftime.
The Jeffs were relentless in the first half, out-shooting Wesleyan 20-11 to force senior quad-captain Charlie Congleton to come up with seven saves. Harrison was solid in his first start of the season, making three first-half saves while playing a very smart 30 minutes.
It took only one minute for Ben-Eliyahu to give the Cardinals a 6-5 lead in the third quarter, but neither team could put anything together for the next nine minutes. Junior Alex Kaufman finally ended the scoring drought when he gave the Cardinals a 7-5 lead with 4:42 on the clock, but Miller and McDonnell each netted another goal to tie the game for the third time, with McDonnell’s goal coming with only 10 seconds remaining before the horn.
Amherst rattled off its third and fourth consecutive goals just two minutes and 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, with Ferrer picking up both assists, as the Jeffs took a 9-7 lead, their largest of the game. Jasinski cut the deficit to one less than a minute later, but Harrison and the Amherst defense stayed tight for the next seven minutes of action to preserve the 9-8 lead.
Despite temporarily shutting down the Cardinals’ attack, the Jeffs could not muster another goal of their own and gave up the game-tying tally with 4:49 remaining in regulation. Harrison made six saves in the fourth quarter and Congleton made three, as each goalie carried his team into overtime.
The Amherst fans stood up in anticipation as Cherney fired in a hard shot late in the first overtime, but Congleton came up with another big save to keep the game going. Neither team could find the back of the net in the four-minute extra session, sending the game into a second overtime.
Wesleyan took the face-off to begin the second overtime and called a quick timeout to set up the perfect offense. Sophomore Russell Follansbee took charge and made his move from behind the net, sneaking a low wrap-around shot past Harrison for the unassisted game-winner.
Harrison finished the day with 14 saves, nine of which came in the final 20 minutes, while Congleton made an impressive 15 saves for the Cardinals.
Amherst moves to 4-6 on the season and 2-3 in the NESCAC, while Wesleyan improves to 10-1 overall and 4-1 in NESCAC play. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday for a game with archrival Williams College, another key conference match-up. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Williams.
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