Amherst to Host Middlebury Saturday in NCAA Round of 16
Contact: Justin Long
AMHERST, MA – Fresh off the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, the Amherst College men’s lacrosse team will continue its postseason run when the Lord Jeffs host Middlebury College this Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship.
Saturday’s game will begin at 1 p.m. on Gooding Field. Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for students and will go on sale 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. Amherst students with a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.
Fans unable to attend the game will be able to follow all of the action online courtesy of JeffCast.
Amherst used a dominant 7-1 run in the second half to earn
the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history.
This Saturday will be a rematch of the Apr. 6 meeting that featured four lead changes and resulted in a thrilling 9-7 win for Amherst. Middlebury took a 7-6 lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Lord Jeffs scored three times in a span of 1:07 to pull off the upset. The Panthers entered the game having won 25 straight against the Jeffs, as Amherst had not gotten the best of Middlebury since 1989.
Middlebury (13-4)—ranked ninth in the latest USILA Coaches Poll—has posted an 8-2 record since that game, with both of its losses coming at the hands of Tufts. The Panthers kicked off their postseason with a 10-9, double-overtime win against Colby in the NESCAC Championship quarterfinals, followed by an 11-10 win over Trinity in the semifinals. Middlebury strung together five consecutive goals to take an 11-10 lead over Tufts in the title game, but the Jumbos used some late-game heroics and held on for a 13-12 victory in overtime.
Fresh off three consecutive one-goal decisions, Middlebury left the late-game drama at the door before beginning its NCAA Tournament run, cruising to a 24-7 win over Castleton State in yesterday’s opening-round game. Castleton won the face-off and ground ball battles, but the Panthers scored eight goals in the first period and added six in the second, six in the third and four in the fourth. All-NESCAC First Team selections David Hild and Andrew Conner combined for eight goals and five assists to lead the way.
Amherst (14-2)—ranked 10th in Division III—trailed Keene State early in Wednesday’s game and held only a one-goal lead at halftime (5-4), but the Lord Jeffs built a 12-5 cushion by holding the Owls to a single goal over the first 29 minutes of the second half. Keene State would score three times in the final minute, but Amherst had already done enough to secure the first NCAA Tournament win in program history.
Evan Redwood ’12 scored four goals and put on quite the show for the Amherst fans, while Cole Cherney ’12 added three goals and an assist to help lead an exceptional offensive performance by the Lord Jeffs. Redwood and Cherney each bumped their season point total to 45, but first-year Devin Acton maintained the team lead by recording a goal and four assists against Keene State, giving him 52 points (35-17-52) on the season.
Amherst has a chance to continue what has been a record-breaking season, as the Lord Jeffs have already won the most games in school history. Middlebury, meanwhile, is in the midst of its 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and is looking to advance to the quarterfinal round for the fourth time in as many years. The Panthers are 32-11 all-time in tournament play, having won three national titles and finished as the runners-up on three occasions.
Helping Amherst and Middlebury represent the NESCAC is defending national champion Tufts, which will host Union this Saturday. Check out the rest of the tournament field with the NCAA’s interactive bracket.