Western New England Comes up Short in 16-11 Loss to No. 5 Amherst

Sophomore Matt Greer recorded a career-high six points (3G, 3A) in Western New England's 16-11 loss to No. 5 Amherst on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Sophomore Matt Greer recorded a career-high six points (3G, 3A) in Western New England's 16-11 loss to No. 5 Amherst on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Mammoths outscore Golden Bears 6-2 in third quarter

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Western New England University men's lacrosse team fell 16-11 to No. 5 nationally ranked Amherst College in a non-conference battle on Tuesday evening at Golden Bear Stadium.

Top Performers
Western New England was paced by sophomore midfielder Matt Greer (South Windsor, Conn.), who had a career-high 6 points (3 G, 3 A). Senior attackman Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) and junior midfielder John Shahpazian (New Providence, N.J.) both had a pair of goals. Freshman attackman Mike Bannon (Edmond, Okla.), junior midlfielder Nick Gamba (East Islip, N.Y.), freshman midfielder Murphy Hartmann (Anthem, Ariz.), and sophomore attackman Jared Newall (Stratford, Conn.) all added one goal. Newall also had two helpers.

Junior goalkeeper Sean McCusker (Northport, N.Y.) collected 14 saves between the pipes for the Golden Bears.

The Mammoths received four-goal performances from senior attackman Evan Wolf (Wynnewood, Pa.) and junior midfielder Matt Solberg (East Grand Rapids, Mich.). Junior attackman Colin Minicus (Mclean, Va.) tallied five points, while sophomore attackman Dylan Peabody (Ridgewood, N.J.) and freshman midfielder Chase Yager (Virginia, Beach, Va.) both struck the back of the net.

Game Review
Amherst opened up the game with back-to-back goals from Wolf. The first came on a fast break dish from sophomore midfielder James Crovatto (New Canaan, Conn.). At 8:46, sophomore midfielder Jack Hutchinson (Middletown, Del.) found Wolf again out front to make it 2-0 Mammoths. Western New England responded as Ward kicked to Greer on the left wing for a strike making it 2-1. The equalizer came seconds later after senior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.) ripped a groundball and found fellow captain Ward down the right side to make it 2-2. Cocks was 17-29 on faceoffs.  

At 4:55, The Golden Bears would take the lead at 3-2 when Greer found Shahpazian on a backside cut. The Mammoths answered as Minicus roped around the crease and snuck it past McCusker. Western New England took the lead right before the end of the first quarter as Gamba found space past the Amherst defense, putting the Golden Bears up 4-3.  

To open the second quarter, Minicus tied the game off a feed from senior midfielder Brogan Mahon (Garden City, N.Y). At 7:21, Greer would respond once again for the Golden Bears, finding Ward who ripped another goal up high past the goalie. The Mammoths were held scoreless for four minutes courtesy of great protection from McCusker, but Amherst found the back of the net twice before the half and take a 6-5 lead at the break.

Amherst opened up the third quarter with Solberg curling around the crease making it a 7-5 advantage for the Mammoths. Once again, Greer cut the deficit to 7-6 with a strike off a feed from Newall. Then, Amherst benefitted from back-to-back goals. At 4:40, Newall responded for the Golden Bears by faking out the keeper and dumping it in high, cutting the deficit to 9-7. From there, the Mammoths rattled off three unanswered goals to end the quarter to increase their advantage to 12-7.

In the fourth, Bannon capitalized off a feed from Newall to make it 12-8. Amherst would stretch its lead to 14-8 after a pair of unassisted goals coming from Wolf and sophomore Grant Chryssicas (Wellesley, Mass.). After that, the Golden Bears stormed back with three unanswered goals of their own, highlighted by a stumbling Bannon finding Hartmann for the acrobatic finish. The Golden Bears would cut it to 14-11 with five minutes remaining, but Minicus facilitated two more goals for the Mammoths taking the lead and the eventual final score to 16-11.

Notes
• Western New England won the face off battle, 17-13.
• Amherst College outshot the Golden Bears, 52-29.
• Greer leads the team in assists with 11 through three games. 

Up Next
Western New England (2-1) will look to bounce back as the Golden Bears travel to Bates (2-1) for another NESCAC matchup on Tuesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. Amherst (2-0) will host Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon.