Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – Aaron Mathias '14 and Kane Haffey '16 netted three goals each to lead the Amherst men's lacrosse team to a decisive 17-8 win over Bates College in its 2014 season opener at Pratt Field.
Following a high scoring first quarter, in which the Jeffs held a 6-4 advantage, Amherst outscored its NESCAC counterpart 11-4 the remainder of the way. The Jeffs open the season 1-0 overall and 1-0 in league play, handing Bates (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) its first loss of the year.
Mathias and Haffey led the Jeffs with three goals each while Quinn Moroney '16 dished out a game-high five assists. Devin Acton'14 and Dylan Park '16 added two goals apiece while seven other Jeffs added one goal each.
Leading the way for the Bobcats was Jake Allard '16 with a game-high four goals. Jack Strain '15 tallied two and Will Gilkeson '14 and Charlie Fay '17 each netted a goal. Andrew Melvin '17 recorded the only assists for Bates.
It didn't take long for the Jeffs to score their first goal of the game as well as their first of the season. Within roughly three minutes of action, Park put Amherst up 1-0 off an assist from Quinn Moroney. The lead was short-lived, however, as Fay evened the score 40 seconds later unassisted.
The early goals set the tone for a heavy scoring period. At the 9:29 mark, Mathias put Amherst back up 2-1 and just nine seconds later, Johno Gibbons '15 tacked on another score as the Jeffs took a two-goal advantage. Over two minutes later, Amherst scored its third straight goal with a man-up advantage as Patrick Moroney '14 found the back of the net.
Bates answered with two consecutive goals of their own and trailed 4-3 with 3:17 remaining in the period. Gilkeson and Strain scored for the Bobcats. In the closing minutes, Mathias scored his second of the period but Allard came back seconds later with another Bates score. With just 1:28 left in the opening frame, Action tacked on the Jeffs sixth goal of the period as they held a 6-4 lead after 15 minutes of play.
It was all Amherst the rest of the way. Just 13 seconds into the second period, Butko '16 put the Jeffs up three with an unassisted score as they tacked on three more before the break. After outscoring Bates 4-0 in the second, Amherst held a 10-4 lead at the break.
The Jeffs rallied off four consecutive goals to start the third quarter, all within the first six minutes. Allard added a Bates score at the 2:51 mark as they trailed 14-5 entering the fourth and final quarter.
The final 15 minutes of regulation were even scored at 3-3 but the deficit was too large for Bates to overcome as Amherst held on for the decisive victory.
First-year Cody Tranbarger started the second half in net for Amherst and was very impressive, stopping 12 shots while allowing three in his first career game. Greg Majno '14 made the start and finished with six saves and four goals allowed. Charlie Kazarian '14 started in net for Bates and gave up 10 goals with five saves and Joe Faria '16 played the second half, giving up seven goals with six saves.
Amherst returns to action Saturday, Mar. 8 and will head to Bowdoin for its first away game of the 2014 season. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.