Amherst Upsets Washington & Lee 10-8 in NCAA Round of 16

Senior Maddie Hoeg scored four goals in the
Amherst win today.

LANCASTER, PA – The 11th-ranked Amherst College women’s lacrosse team took on 6th-ranked Generals of Washington & Lee University this afternoon on the campus of Franklin & Marshall in the Second Round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Amherst scored the first goal of the game, and lead nearly the entire game, en route to a 10-8 win. The Lord Jeffs will face Franklin & Marshall tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the National Quarterfinals.

Amherst advanced to today’s second round matchup with a 16-7 win over Endicott College on Wednesday evening, while Washington & Lee received an opening round bye. Today’s game also marks the first time Amherst will have to face W&L head coach Brooke Diamond, who graduated from Amherst in 2003 after anchoring the Lord Jeff squad that won the program’s only National Championship.

Amherst opened the game’s scoring with a nice individual effort from junior Amy Craig (Denver, CO). Craig took on her General defender and put in Amherst’s first shot of the game after spinning past her mark in front of the goal.

W & L responded just minutes later on a nice feed to Kelsi Robinson on the crease. The junior attacker put home a quick-stick finish past Amherst goalie Linda McEvoy (Rochester, NY) to tie the game at 1-1.

Amherst took the lead back at the 20:23 mark in the first half when Mary Noonan (West Roxbury, MA) set up Craig for her second score of the game. Craig took the high feed ten meters from goal, switched the stick to her left hand and finished with a shot under the Generals goalie. The Amherst lead held for just over half a minute, until the Generals tied the game at 2-2 on a tally from Britten Mathews.

Washington & Lee took its first lead of the game at the 13:55 mark on a free position goal by attacker Laura Henson. On a chance from the right hash mark, Henson beat McEvoy to the top left corner. After just 1:06, Craig tied the game at 3-3 on another unassisted tally for the Lord Jeffs.

Junior Amy Craig added four goals of
her own in the effort.

Craig stole the lead back at 4-3, with 9:24 remaining in the half on Craig’s fourth goal of the day. Amherst opened the margin up to 5-3 with 1:30 to play in the opening frame when senior Maddie Hoeg (Shoreham, NY) slotted home her first score of the game.

Amherst was unable to hold the Generals off the board before halftime, as W&L’s Christine Bender scored with just 37 seconds showing on the scoreboard. Hoeg responded with an unassisted goal, six seconds before halftime, after the Lord Jeffs won the ensuing draw. With the pair of tallies from Hoeg, Amherst took a 6-4 lead into the break.

At the half, Amherst held a comfortable 12-7 edge in shots, and was winning both the ground ball and draw control battles. The Lord Jeffs won the opening draw of the second frame, but after a turnover saw Henson score her second of the day to close the gap to 6-5.

After a long offensive set by Amherst, Hoeg scored her third goal of the day on an unassisted effort from the top of the arc. Matthews responded for the Generals with a free position goal at 24:47 in the second half, cutting the margin to 7-6.

Neither team scored for the next fifteen minutes, and after a huge defensive stand for the Lord Jeffs, in which McEvoy stopped a pair of free position attempts, head coach Chris Paradis called for a timeout. Coming out of the break, Amherst had the ball in their offensive zone with 9:42 remaining, still holding a 7-6 lead.

Amherst first-year Kelly Trapp (Monterey, CA) scored with 6:57 remaining off an assist from sophomore Hannah Walker (Greenwich, CT). The combination resulted in the first point of the game for both players. Just over two minutes later, Amherst spread out the Generals defense, allowing Hoeg to swoop in for another goal to put the Jeffs up 9-6.

After a key Washington & Lee defender was sent to the bench with a yellow card, Walker netted her first goal of the day with 2:32 remaining. The score stretched the led to a game-high 10-6.

The Generals added a free position goal with 1:09 to play, cutting the lead down to three. With 22.6 seconds remaining, W & L added another free position goal to close the gap to 10-8. The Generals won the ensuing draw, but were unable to get off another shot, sending Amherst forward in the tournament with the win.

Leading Amherst were Craig and Hoeg who each netted four goals, while Walker had a goal and an assist. The Generals were paced by a pair of goals and a assists from Laura Henson. McEvoy made four saves for Amherst, while Sarah Tilbor turned away five attempts in net for the Generals.

Amherst improves to 15-3 with the win, and will face defending champion Franklin & Marshall tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for a spot in the 2008 National Semifinals. Washington & Lee’s season comes to a close with a superb record of 17-3.