Amherst Comeback Effort Falls Short at ECSU, 14-12

Alex Fox scored seven goals and assisted on three others in the loss.

MANSFIELD, CT – The Amherst College men's lacrosse team trailed by five goals late in the fourth quarter at Eastern Connecticut State University, but time ran out on the comeback effort as the Lord Jeffs fell by two goals, 14-12. ECSU goalie Donald Berube recorded double-digit saves for the first time in four collegiate appearances Warriors man-down unit killed eight of nine extra-man opportunities as to down the Jeffs.

The win is the first for Eastern (3-1)  in three tries against Amherst (0-2) and gives Eastern three straight victories at home in seven days by a total of four goals.

Although the final margin was only two goals, Eastern trailed only twice by one goal each time in the first quarter, and was never behind throughout the final three periods. Sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar and senior midfielder Maxim Fantl connected on the team’s third and fourth shots of the game to provide the hosts with an early 2-0 lead and after senior attack Matt Kellman (Wilton, MA) gave Amherst its second and final lead of the game late in the first period, Eastern took the lead for good.

The Warriors tied the game with 57 seconds left in the first quarter on a goal by senior midfielder Zach Malouf, and freshman attack Matthew Janssen and Albertson beat Amherst rookie goalie Steve Levy (Plandome, NY) 13 seconds apart to make it 6-4. Janssen’s goal came in a man-down situation after the Warriors were whistled for a slash with 19.8 seconds left in the first period.

The Warriors carried a three-goal lead into the fourth period and fattened that lead to five, 14-9, with nine minutes left as 6-foot-7 inch transfer Grant Albertston stuck in a man-down goal – his fifth of the game.

Eastern successfully killed the next seven minutes, before Amherst answered with three goals in 57 seconds to knock the lead down to the final two-goal margin. The Warriors turned the ball over with time running out, but Berube made his 14th and final save in the final seconds to keep Amherst from making it a one-goal game.

Eastern’s opponents had converted nine of 20 extra-man tries heading into the game, but the Warriors successfully killed off eight of Amherst’s nine power-play situations. Amherst was 0-for-4 in the first half and couldn’t capitalize on two man-up advantages when it tried to rally in the fourth period.

Amherst was led by a Herculean performance from sophomore Alex Fox (Garden City, NY). Fox contributed to ten of Amherst’s 12 goals by scoring seven and assisting on three, while taking a third of the Lord Jeffs’ shots in the loss.

Amherst will take on Conn. College on Saturday at 1 p.m. in NESCAC action, before facing Mt. Ida on the road next week.