Men’s Lax Loses Little Three Title
On Saturday, April 23, the men’s lacrosse team traveled to Amherst to face the 10th-ranked Lord Jeffs. Because both teams had already beaten Williams, the game would decide the Little Three title, not to mention heavily influence the NESCAC standings with the postseason tournament rapidly approaching.
Since losing their first game, against recently crowned conference regular season champion Tufts, Amherst had won 12 straight games. It looked as though the Cardinals might break that trend, as leading scorer Teddy Citrin ’12 scored the first two goals of the game. But Amherst quickly responded, notching a first-quarter goal of its own, before both defenses locked down. Over the course of the next 37 minutes, from the last five minutes of the first period through the first two of the fourth, neither team could find the back of the net.
That changed when the Lord Jeffs evened the score at two apiece just after the fourth quarter began. With 6:38 to go, Amherst finally took the lead, and they added an insurance goal with just four minutes left to preserve a 4-2 victory.
Even though the Cardinals outshot their hosts by a 45-25 margin, they were only able to score twice due to the outstanding performance by Amherst junior goalie Sam Jakimo, who won NESCAC Co-Player of the Week honors for his 18-save performance. He held the Cardinals scoreless for the final 55 minutes of the game while saving 90 percent of their shots on goal.
Wesleyan had won the previous 13 games against Amherst, in a stretch reaching all the way back to 1999. Since they were unable to extend that streak of dominance, they will need to win their final regular season game, and hope Middlebury loses theirs, to secure the fourth seed in the NESCAC tournament. If they lose, they will lose home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Thus, next Saturday’s game against Connecticut College is a crucial one for the Cardinals.