WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Trailing 8-7 after three quarters the Amherst College (18-3) offense and defense went to another level as the Mammoths’ offense scored the only five goals of the final quarter to notch a 12-8 win to send Amherst to next Sunday’s NCAA DIII championship game in Philadelphia.
Williams (18-4) took its only lead of the game with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Kevin Stump converted off a feed from Jake Haase. The Stump tally was answered 55 seconds into the final quarter when Jon Coffey scored off a feed from Matt Solberg at 14:05 to tie the game at eight all.
Solberg was back 53 seconds later to net what would prove to be the game-winner when he scored unassisted at 14:05. The Mammoths final three goals came from Brogan Mahon, Jon Coffey and Colin Minicus. The Coffey score came off a pass from Evan Wolf.
Amherst opened the game with four goals in the first 8:11 and it took Williams until 2:04 remaining in the first quarter to get on the scoreboard. Amherst got unassisted goals from Grant Chryssicas and Colin Minicus and then Minicus assisted on goals from Stolberg and Jackson Herrick, before Brendan Hoffman got Willlams on the scoreboard with Jake Haase assisting.
At the half Williams had narrowed the Amherst lead to 6-4 with two goals from Kevin Stump and one more from Brendan Hoffman.
The momentum then shifted to Williams in the third quarter when the Ephs out scored Amherst 4-1 to take the 8-7 lead into the fourth quarter. The Ephs’ other three goals in the third quarter came from John Hincks, Jake Haase, and Stump with Jared Strauss assisting on two goals.
“We didn’t have very many possessions in the third quarter and that got Williams back into the game,” said Amherst head coach Jon Thompson. “Even when we went up 4-0 at the start I knew it would be a battle. I just thought in the end the winner would be the one who outlasted the other team.”
The Amherst offense got the lead back in a hurry in the fourth quarter and the Mammoth defense caused several turnovers creating more possessions for Amherst and denying Williams the chance to claw their way back into the game.
“I’m very proud of my team for the historic season (most wins in a season and first team to win two NCAA games) they had this year and how they have played for and with each other,” Williams coach George McCormack said. “They gave me everything they had today and as a coach you cannot ask for more.”
Colin Minicus led the Amherst attack with three goals and two assists. The Ephs were led in scoring by Kevin Stump with three goals and one assist.
Amherst goalie Gib Versfeld stopped eight Williams’ shots and allowed eight goals. Williams’ goalie Harry Gahagan stopped 12 Amherst shots and allowed 12 goals. Amherst scooped up 38 ground balls to 26 garnered by the Ephs.
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