NESCAC Quarterfinal Preview: Amherst vs. Colby
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst women’s lacrosse team begins its postseason run on Saturday, Apr. 27 with a NESCAC quarterfinal matchup against Colby. Posting a 9-5 (5-5 NESCAC) record, the Jeffs locked up the tournament’s fifth seed despite an 11-6 loss to No. 1 Trinity in its regular season finale. Edging out Bates in double overtime (11-10), the Mules (11-3) finished with a 7-3 league record to earn the fourth seed and home field advantage in the first round.
LIVE STATS: Saturday’s quarterfinal will feature live stats and a webcast courtesy of Colby Sports Information.
SERIES HISTORY: Downing Amherst 10-7 in the season opener, Colby has won each of the last nine meetings dating back to 2007. Winless in three trips to Waterville during that span, the Jeffs’ last triumph over the Mules came during the 2006 regular season (12-11).
POSTSEASON HISTORY: Amherst is 0-2 all-time against Colby in NESCAC Championship play. Falling 8-7 (OT) in the 2010 semifinals, the Jeffs also lost in the 2007 semis, 10-8.
LAST MEETING: Colby topped Amherst in the 2013 season opener on Gooding Field, 10-7. Tied 6-6 midway through the second half, Dana Swaffield ’16 broke the deadlock, giving the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.
Priscilla Tyler ’15 netted four goals to pace the Jeff attack, while Marta Randall ’13 had a pair of scores. Lindsay McKenna ’14 turned in a hat-trick for the Mules, while Swaffield and Abby Hooper ’16 each had two goals. Amherst goalkeeper Christy Forrest ’16 made two saves in the first half, while Katelyn Salerno ’16 collected six stops after playing the final 30:36. Colby netminder Michelle Burt ’14 picked up 12 saves in the win.
SCOUTING AMHERST (9-5, 5-5 NESCAC)
Averaging 10.29 goals-per game, the Jeff attack features four players with at least 20 points. Tied for the second-most helpers in the league (25), Hillary Densen ’13 leads the pack with 43 points, having factored into the scoring in all but one outing this season. Recently garnering NESCAC Player of the Week honors, Densen tallied six goals and nine assists in a pair of home games against Skidmore and archrival Williams.
Recording 29 points apiece, Tyler and Randall help give the Purple & White added options up top. Finding the back of the net in each of the team’s first five games, Tyler leads the team in goals (27), having registered a career-high eight scores against Wesleyan on Apr. 2. Scoring in all but two contests, Randall has netted 25 tallies in 2013, including a season-high seven against Elizabethtown.
Midfielder Alex Philie ’14 also sits among the squad’s leaders in points (18 G, 10 A), while Elizabeth Ludlow ’14 and Meghan Mills ’15, who scored twice in the finale against Trinity, have combined for 32 points. Krista Zsitvay ’14 has made her presence felt since returning from injury, netting eight goals in five games.
Anchoring Amherst’s efforts in the back is Forrest. Splitting time with Salerno earlier this season, the first-year has logged the majority of the minutes between the pipes of late. Posting a 5-4 mark, Forrest ranks second in the NESCAC in save percentage (.548) with a 7.67 goals-against average.
SCOUTING COLBY (11-3, 7-3 NESCAC)
The league’s third-highest scoring offense (12.29 gpg), Colby has relied on a balanced attack that features 11 players with double digit points. One of five Mules with at least 20 points, McKenna sits third in the conference in goals (36). Tied for second in the NESCAC in helpers, Katharine Eddy ’14 leads the team in scoring (25 A, 17 G). Swaffield has also given opposing defenses trouble with 24 points on 16 goals and eight assists, while Katie Griffin ’14 has also been a factor offensively (16 G, 5 A).
Going to overtime in three of its final four league games, Colby has often leaned on the solid play of Burt in net. Logging 536:44 minutes, the junior carries a 7.60 GAA into Saturday’s showdown, while ranking third in the conference in save percentage (.521).
2013 NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship
Saturday, April 27 at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Trinity – 12 p.m.
No. 7 Bates at No. 2 Middlebury – 12 p.m.
No. 6 Hamilton at No. 3 Bowdoin – 12 p.m.
No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Colby – 12 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinals – game times at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed
Remaining first round winners
Sunday, May 5
Final – 12 pm