Athletics

Men's and Women's Lacrosse Set For Friday Showdown With Trinity

Contact: Ben Badua

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First-year Annelies O'Dea has been on a roll of late, tallying six goals and two assists in her last two games.

WOMEN'S PREVIEW
Live Coverage:
Friday’s contest between Amherst and Trinity is set to tip off at 6 p.m. on Robin L. Sheppard Field in Hartford, CT. For those unable to follow the contest, be sure to follow all the action live via webcast courtesy of Trinity Sports Information.

Currently slotted sixth in the NESCAC standings, the 16th-ranked Amherst College women’s lacrosse team (9-4, 4-4 NESCAC) renews its rivalry with third-ranked Trinity College on Friday, Apr. 29, with hopes of climbing the league charts. With an upset win against the undefeated Bantams (13-0, 8-0 NESCAC), the Lord Jeffs would stay in the running for the conference’s No. 4 seed, keeping their hopes of hosting a Championship quarterfinal alive.

Amherst enters Friday’s showdown as the league leader in shot percentage (.494) as an efficient Lord Jeffs attack tries to stake the squad’s goaltending tandem of junior Lamia Harik (Rye Brook, NY) and first-year MC McClellan (Denver, CO) to an early advantage. Amherst’s duo combined to post the league’s fourth-best goals-against average (7.40), with McClellan and Harik ranking fourth (7.37) and fifth (7.43), respectively.

Headlining the Purple and White’s offense for most of the season has been sophomore midfielder Marta Randall (Monkton, MD), who sits tied for second in the NESCAC in goals (34), while placing 11th in points per game (2.92). First-year Annelies O’Dea (Pittsford, NY) had been the team’s biggest offensive threat of late, having led the team in points in the past three games, while classmate Alex Philie (East Sandwich, MA) sits tied for ninth in the conference in ground balls with 32. Junior Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT), senior Kelley Trapp (Monterey, CA), first-year Elizabeth Ludlow (Huntington, NY), and sophomore Hillary Densen (Summit, NJ), all of whom have registered double-digit points this season with at least 12 goals, will also look to contribute to the Amherst effort.

Having won 11 of its last 13 meetings with league-leading Trinity, the Lord Jeffs will look to duplicate last year’s 5-4 triumph at Gooding Field by trying to contain a balanced Bantam attack that features a pair of offensive threats that currently sit in the top-10 in the league in points per game. Senior attack Rachel Romanowsky has shouldered a fair share of the Bantams’ offensive load this season, tying for second in the conference in assists (29), while ranking fourth in points per game (4.00). A consistent and well-rounded threat out of the midfield, sophomore Megan Leonhard leads the NESCAC in ground balls (45), while sitting tied for second in goals (34) and sixth in points per game (3.23).

Anchoring an opportunistic Trinity defense that leads the NESCAC in caused turnovers (7.08) is junior midfielder Liz Bruno, the conference’s individual leader in that category with 34. Bruno, who also has the second-most ground balls in the conference thus far this year, will look to complement sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Whitney, who enters Friday’s showdown with the league’s third-lowest goals-against-average (7.32), while ranking seventh overall in both save percentage (.463) and stops (62).

Jakimo
Reigning NESCAC Co-Player of the Week Sam Jakimo made 18 saves in a win over Wesleyan, improving to 12-0 on the year.

MEN'S PREVIEW
Live Coverage:
The opening face-off for Friday’s men’s lacrosse showdown has been set for 4:30 p.m. For those unable to make it to Gooding Field, be sure to follow all the action live via JeffCast courtesy of Amherst Sports Information.

Winners of 12-straight following a season-opening loss to defending national champion Tufts University and poised to make the program’s 10th appearance in the NESCAC Championship, the ninth-ranked Amherst College men’s lacrosse team (12-1, 7-1 NESCAC) can lock up the conference’s No. 2 seed – the squad’s highest ever – with a win over 13th-ranked Trinity College (11-2, 6-2 NESCAC) on Friday, Apr. 29 at Gooding Field.

Hoping to play the role of spoiler, the Bantams, currently third in the league standings, could knock Amherst down a slot with their first win over the Lord Jeffs since 2008. Amherst holds an 11-4 mark against Trinity in their last 15 meetings, having won last season’s showdown 11-10 in overtime, after earning an identical 11-10 triumph in 2009. The winner of Friday’s crucial match-up would secure the Championship’s No. 2 seed with the loser falling to the third slot.

Closing out the regular season with a match-up against Trinity for the third-consecutive year, Amherst will rely on a balanced attack that features six players with double-digit points and at least 12 goals. Headlining the Lord Jeffs’ offense are a trio of talented attackers in first-year Devin Acton (Sudbury, MA) and juniors Cole Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) and Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD).  Acton has made an immediate impact during his first season in the Pioneer Valley, sitting fourth in the NESCAC in points per game (3.31) and fifth in goals (31). Cherney currently ranks first on the team and tied for the third in the league in goals with 34, while Redwood places fourth in the NESCAC in assists (21) and points per game (2.85).

Amherst is scoring 10.6 goals per game, but the defense has stolen the show as of late thanks to the play of reigning NESCAC Co-Player of the Week, junior goalkeeper Sam Jakimo (Woodbury, MA).  The Woodbury native has enjoyed a breakout season in net for the Lord Jeffs, currently ranking fourth in Division III in save percentage (.660) and 24th in stops per game (13.0). With at least 16 saves in three of his last four games, including a career-best 20 in a win over Williams, Jakimo has ridden a 7.09 goals-against average (third in the league) to an unblemished 12-0 record.

Looking to test Jakimo and unseat the Lord Jeffs in Friday’s showdown is a Bantams’ offense that ranks second in the conference in shot percentage (.317) and has scored 12 or more goals in six games. Leading the charge for Trinity are a pair of standout sophomores in Nick Shaheen and NESCAC Co-Player of the Week Rob Nogueras. Shaneen currently sits tied for sixth in the league in assists with 17, while standing tied for 13th in points per game with 2.58.

Nogueras, who ranks 10th in goals per contest with 1.92, is coming off one of his most productive weeks to date, in which he posted seven scores and a pair of helpers en route to a NESCAC Co-Player of the Week honor. Hoping to complement the Trinity offense by slowing down the Amherst attack is Bantam junior goalie Peter Johnson, who ranks third in the league in stops per game (11.83) and is fourth in save percentage (.607).