Derek Cherney '07
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Senior tri-captain Derek Cherney had four points in his last game at Amherst, finishing with 204 career point.

Jeffs End Season with 9-5 Loss to Williams in NESCAC Quarterfinals

By Alex Kantor

April 29, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The fourth-seeded Amherst College men’s lacrosse team’s season ended this afternoon with a disappointing 9-5 loss to archrival and No. 5 seed Williams College in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. The Lord Jeffs played neck-and-neck with the Ephs for the first half, as the two teams traded goals for the first seven scores.

Amherst earned the right to host the NESCAC Tournament’s quarterfinal round with a 15-10 win at Colby yesterday, while Williams fell to Bowdoin 6-5 in its final regular season game to draw the fifth seed.

Reflecting on the statistics from the game, Amherst did all the right things to earn a playoff win, but would come up empty handed as the Ephs rode the wave of a combined 7 points from sophomore Tim White (Englewood, CO) and junior Dixon Hargrove (Wallingford, PA) and an extremely hot goalie.

Amherst out shot Williams 40-28 on the day, including a 23-11 edge in the second half, but Eph goalie, sophomore Michael Gerbush (Glen Head, NY) made an amazing 19 saves, while allowing just 5 goals. Amherst would muster only a single goal in three different periods.

The Lord Jeffs would not give up easily, winning the ground ball battle 37-19 over the Ephs. Amherst played smart, team lacrosse, and was successful on 18 of 20 clear attempts.

The two NESCAC and Little Three archrivals traded goals for the first 27 minutes of play, with Eph junior Mike Vrla (Paradise Valley, AZ) starting things off after nearly six minutes of play. Amherst senior tri-captain Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) responded for the Jeffs with 1:58 remaining in the first quarter.

Hargrove gave Williams a 2-1 advantage with just 34 seconds showing on the first quarter clock, converting on a feed from White.

Cherney responded once again for Amherst, scoring a beautiful unassisted goal. After a third Williams goal and a subsequent pair of penalties on the Ephs, Cherney assisted on the Amherst equalizer for the game’s lone man-up goal.

Williams would push the lead to a three goal advantage over the closing minutes of the first half and first 8 minutes of the third quarter. For the fourth time of the day, Cherney had a hand in an Amherst goal, setting up first-year Rob Denious (Bloomfield Hills, MI) to respond and cut the deficit to 6-4. Cherney finished the day with four points to total 204 career points in four years at Amherst.

Williams maintained composure and would not let Amherst creep back into the game once more, and closed the game scoring three of the final four goals to seal a 9-5 win. With the victory, Williams avenged an April 14, 2007 overtime loss to Amherst in a game which saw the Lord Jeffs make a fourth quarter comeback for the win.

Amherst’s season ends with the loss, leaving the Jeffs with a 7-8 mark. Williams advances to the semifinal round of the NESCAC Tournament next weekend to face an opponent to be determined at host Tufts.