Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – For the eighth time in program history, the fifth-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team is headed to the NCAA Quarterfinals following a decisive 12-3 win over No. 13 York (Pa.) Saturday at Pratt Field.
Amherst improved to 18-2 overall and 21-9 in tournament play, and will face fourth-ranked TCNJ tomorrow, May 18 at 2 p.m. in the 'Elite Eight'. The two teams are no strangers when it comes to NCAA Championship play, as Sunday's matchup marks the seventh postseason meeting between the non-conference rivals. The Jeffs and Lions are an even 3-3 against each other, until tomorrow, when the winner will advance to the semifinals in Gettysburg, Pa. for a shot at the national title. Following the loss, York's (Pa.) impressive season comes to an end with a 15-5 overall mark.
Leading the way offensively for the Jeffs was Caroline Holliday '14 with a game-high three goals, adding two ground balls and a draw control. Elizabeth Ludlow '14, Krista Zsitvay '14 and Meghan Mills '15 all scored twice while Sarah Spector '15 dished out a game-high three assists. Christy Forrest '16 was terrific in net, stopping 11 shots her way.
Three different Spartans scored for York (Pa.), Sarah Castle '15, Megan Stine '16 and Melissa Ritchey '14. Ashley Smith '14 started in net and made 11 stops.
Amherst tacked on the first goal of the game in just under three minutes as Mills received a pass from Zsitvay to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Just minutes later, Ludlow took advantage of a free position shot with the Spartans down a player, giving the Purple & White a two-goal lead.
After an unassisted goal by Castle cut the deficit to one at the 22:20 mark, Holliday increased the lead back to two when the senior caught a ricocheted shot off the goalie and sent it to the back of the net.
Holliday's goal sparked a 5-0 run by the Jeffs to close out the first half. With under three minutes to play before the break, Zsitvay found the back of the net twice including an unassisted marker with 19 seconds to go as Amherst held a decisive 7-1 lead at halftime.
The Jeffs scored the first goal of the second half when Kerry Fusco '15 sent it past York net minder Smith on a free position shot. Just over a minute later, Amherst found the net once again to take an eight-goal lead. Spector stood behind goal and dished it to Holliday as the senior netted her second of the game.
Shortly after, York scored on an unassisted tally by Stine but another goal from Ludlow just over two minutes later put the Jeffs back up by eight, 10-2. Amherst added two more goals before the horn blew as the Spartans tacked on one en route to the nine-goal margin.