Springfield, Mass. - March 28, 2018 - Despite holding an 8-5 lead early in the second quarter, the Springfield College men's lacrosse program fell to nationally-ranked Amherst College, 21-11, in a non-conference game on Wednesday night at Stagg Field.
Amherst, who entered the game ranked seventh in the country in the most recent USILA Division III National Poll, held a 57-41 shot advantage over the Pride and secured 23 of the 34 faceoffs, en route to improving to 7-1. The loss dropped Springfield to 5-3 on the season.
For the visitors, Matt Soldberg had five goals and two assists, Evan Wolf added four goals and two assists, and Dylan Finazzo won 18-of-28 from the "X" while picking up 11 ground balls. Chad Simons came off the bench and was terrific in goal for the final 41 minutes, making eight saves and allowing just three goals.
After Amherst scored the game's first goal nearly five minutes into the contest, the offensive action heated up with five goals in the next three minutes, including four goals by the Pride from Duncan Preston (South Portland, Maine), Hawley, Matt Allen (Chevy Chase, Md.), and Tommy Nash (Massapequa, N.Y.) as the hosts took a 4-2 with 6:02 left in the quarter. The teams would each score twice more in the stanza, with a strike by Chris Cunnington (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) off a face-off win at 1:49 giving Springfield a 6-4 edge.
Springfield's lead grew to 8-5 with 11:00 remaining in the first half after strikes from Lucas Habich (Little Silver, N.J.) and Nash just 52 seconds apart, but the Mammoths would respond with three consecutive goals to knot it up at 8-8. At the 5:34 mark, Cameron Glover (Brunswick, Maine) dialed one in from 17 yards out on a man-up strike thanks a great look from Preston, but Amherst would close with a pair of goals 16 seconds apart with under two minutes left in the half to take a 10-9 lead at the break.
Opening up the third quarter, Soldberg was able to find the net again at the 12:55 mark, then two Max Keeley strikes gave Amherst a 13-9 edge. Hurley was able to slow the momentum with an unassisted goal at 4:52, but the visitors scored three more times in the third to push the lead to 16-10. Hawley scored the first strike of the fourth quarter with 8:02 on the clock to pull within five goals, however the Amherst offense churned out the final five goals of the contest en route to the 21-11 victory.
Springfield will open up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Friday night when it travels to face Emerson for a 7:30 tilt.