Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Behind sophomore Quinn Moroney's career-high 10 points, the third-seeded Amherst men's lacrosse team secured a 13-6 NESCAC quarterfinal victory over sixth-seeded Bowdoin College on Pratt Field.
Having a hand in 10 of the team's first 11 scores, Moroney finished with three goals and seven assists as the Jeffs improved to 13-3 (7-3 NESCAC) on the season and 2-2 against the Polar Bears (9-7, 6-4 NESCAC) in conference tournament play.
Staking Bowdoin to an early lead, Franklin Reis '14 carried the ball behind the net before finding Will Wise '14 alone in front for the game's first tally. Five minutes later, Amherst pulled even as Moroney found a cutting Devin Acton '14 for the equalizer with 7:57 on the clock.
Coming out of a Bowdoin timeout, Moroney gave the Jeffs their first lead with a wrap-around score just over two minutes after Acton's marker. Moroney then fed Kane Haffey '16, who quickly turned and fired a high shot past junior goalkeeper Connor Laughlin.
Tallying his second of the afternoon, Moroney momentarily extended the margin to three, but Brandon Lee '17 linked up with Dan Hanley '14 to put the brakes on a 4-0 Jeff run. Coming right back, Dylan Park '16 bounced in a shot less than a minute after Hanley's goal to make it 5-2. Continuing the spark the Amherst attack, Moroney notched his third assist, this time finding Aaron Mathias '14 to pad the Purple & White's cushion.
Hoping to change the momentum at the start of the second, Bowdoin's Conor O'Toole '14 dodged a defender before slipping a shot past Amherst goalie Greg Majno '14. Just 39 seconds later, O'Toole recorded another unassisted tally to suddenly pull the visitors within two.
Haffey stemmed the tide with a goal at 11:39, but Reis came right back with a score to trim the deficit to 7-5. Operating behind the net, Moroney came around the right post before backhanding a try into the Polar Bear cage at 8:59. Adding to the Amherst lead, Moroney then assisted on consecutive Haffey tallies over a span of 3:16. Converting yet another Moroney feed, Mathias capped off a 5-1 Amherst spurt over the final 11-plus minutes of the third to put the home team up 11-5.
Keeping Amherst rolling, Haffey scored the first two goals of the final frame to give the Jeffs an eight-point margin they would not relinquish. Winning 13-of-23 face-offs and going 20-for-21 on clears, Amherst finished with a decisive 53-31 shot advantage and a 45-30 edge in ground balls. Haffey paced Amherst with six goals, while Mathias added a pair of scores. Matt Virgilio '15 had four ground balls and three caused turnovers playing in front of Majno, who collected 12 saves.
Making 20 stops in the teams' regular season tilt, Laughlin added 18 more in the quarterfinal match-up, while Reis tallied three points on two goals and an assist. O'Toole also had a pair of scores with Wise and Hanley accounting for the other two markers.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday, May 3 with a NESCAC semifinal game against No. 2 Wesleyan at top-seeded Tufts. Opening face-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.