NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament: Owls fall to Amherst 19-1
AMHERST, MA 5/9/11 – An unexpected successful season came to a disappointing end for the Keene State College women's lacrosse team which lost 19-1 to sixth-ranked Amherst College in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III tournament at Gooding Field in Amherst, Mass on Wednesday night.
All the growing pains expected during the season caught up to the Owls (15-4), who had trouble getting the ball up field and sustaining an offense against a menacing Lord Jeffs (13-4) defense ranked fourth in the country.
A smart and mobile Amherst defense negated the Owls speed and pounced on every ground ball caused by misfired passes the few times KSC had possession in the offensive side if the field.
Despite the score, the Owls made the Lord Jeffs work for all their goals. "They had to work to score the entire time," said KSC Coach Katie Arsenault. "Our young players weren't used to the pressure and out attack couldn't get any shots off. They're a very good team. We're not used to seeing teams like that."
Keene State's only goal was scored by junior Lauren Brown (Agawam, Mass.) on a quick, bad-angle shot that tied the game at 1-1 at the 24:09 mark of the first half. Senior Caitlin Corace (Mahopac, N.Y.) had an assist on the play.
Falling behind 5-1, KSC sophomore goalie Erin Taylor (Brewster, N.Y.), temporary stopped the assault with a couple of sparkling saves, stopping a wide-open freshman Meghan Mills (Far Hills, N.J.) and a free-position bouncing shot by junior Wyatt Davis (Concord, Mass.).
The Lord Jeffs added three more unanswered before the end of the half to go up 8-1 in the break.
The second half was a duplication of the second half as Amherst wore down the Owls' defense and continued to have no problem finding the back of the net, scoring 11 more goals.
Sophomore Alex Philie (East Sandwich, Mass.) led a balanced Amherst offense with five goals. Junior Marta Randall (Monkton, Md.) had three goals and junior Hillary Densen (Summit, N.J.) finished the game with a goal and four assists.
Taylor had a busy game in goal for the Owls, stopping 10 shots. Senior Lamia Harik (Rye Brook, N.Y.) played the first 56:49 in goal for Amherst and made three saves. Freshman Taylor Wallace (Clarksville, Md.) finished up and was not credited with a save.
The statistics demonstrated the dominance of Amherst. The Lord Jeffs outshot the Owls 34-6 and had a wide 17-5 advantage in draw controls.
Amherst, which won the NCAA championship in 2003, moves on to face the College of New Jersey in a second-round game on Saturday.
Arsenault said the loss didn't put a damper on the Owls' season. "This team doesn't have to hang their heads, she said. They grew together as a team and had a very good season."
The Little East champion Owls were making their third appearance in the NCAA tournament. They lost opening-round games to Middlebury College (18-2) in 2009 and Cortland State (21-3) in 2011.