Amherst Men's Lacrosse Gets Doubled-Up at Wesleyan, 16-8

Evan Redwood '12 had three goals for Amherst in the
loss at Wesleyan this afternoon.

From a Wesleyan University release

MIDDLETOWN, CT - The Amherst College men's lacrosse team suffered a 16-8 defeat at the hands of NESCAC and Little Three archrivals Wesleyan University this afternoon on the road. The Lord Jeffs gave up the first five scores of the game to the Cardinals, and were never able to climb back into contention. The loss drops Amherst to 6-6 (4-4 NESCAC) on the year heading into the final week of the regular season.

Behind a career-high seven goals from senior Lonny Blumenthal, Wesleyan won its 13th straight game over Amherst.

Wesleyan scored the first five goals of the game for a 5-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter, but Amherst closed to within 5-2 with a pair of goals from sophomore Dan Routh (Allendale, NJ) and leading scorer senior Tom McDonnell (Manhasset, NY) in a 2:20 span. Junior Adam Michael netted an unassisted tally with 59 seconds left in the first for a 6-2 Wesleyan lead. A pair of extra-man tallies by Blumenthal in the second bookended a score from Amherst sophomore Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD) for an 8-3 Wesleyan lead at 4:49, and Michael made it 9-3 with 1:43 left in the half.

Blumenthal netted his fourth goal of the contest 2:25 into the third quarter for a 10-3 Wesleyan lead, but Amherst scored twice to cut its deficit to 10-5 with 7:27 to go. Wesleyan responded with a tally from junior Pete Modera 23 seconds later and added goals from Blumenthal and sophomore D.J. Bernatavitz for a 13-5 lead after three periods.

Wesleyan senior faceoff specialist Matt Ward, who won 18 of 23 face-offs on the afternoon, was called for an illegal stick to start the fourth quarter, a non-releasable penalty that gave Amherst a three-minute extra-man opportunity. The Lord Jeffs scored only once before the penalty expired, as McDonnell netted his 26th goal at the 13:03 mark, but added two more goals for a 13-8 score with 9:57 to play. Blumenthal answered 26 seconds later to make it 14-8, and Wesleyan scored twice more for the final margin.

Blumenthal’s seven goals represented a career high and the highest single-game output by a Wesleyan player in 2010. He became the first Cardinal to score seven times in a game since Grayson Connors ’08, who had seven tallies in a 14-10 win at Bates College on April 26, 2008. He now has 16 on the year, ranking third on the team in that category. McDonnell, who entered the week ranked sixth in the NESCAC with 1.90 goals per game, now stands as Amherst’s leading scorer with 30 points and has netted eight goals in two games this week.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sam Jakimo (Woodbury, NY) had 17 stops in the Amherst cage as Wesleyan dominated play on the offensive end, firing 51 shots to Amherst’s 29. Freshman Mark Simmons, after allowing goals on the first two Amherst shots he faced, tallied 11 saves before giving way to senior Colin Campbell, who had a pair of stops in the final 5:29.

The 16-8 victory was Wesleyan’s largest over Amherst since 1991, when Wesleyan earned a 17-7 road victory that was its last win over the Lord Jeffs prior to its current winning streak. The last four meetings between the two teams had been decided by a single goal. Amherst’s last win against Wesleyan came in Amherst in 1999 by a 9-7 score. Both teams finished 1-1 in Little Three play, as did Williams College, so the three schools will share the crown for the second time in the last three seasons.

The Lord Jeffs will close out the 2010 regular season on Friday afternoon at Trinity, taking on the Bantams at 4 p.m. For Amherst to host a Quarterfinal Round game when the 2010 NESCAC Championship opens next Sunday afternoon, the Lord Jeffs will likely need a win over Trinity, as Colby, Middlebury and Williams all enter the day with identical 4-4 conference records.