OWINGS MILLS, Md.—Second-ranked Denison suffered a 19-13 loss to No. 10 Amherst on Friday at the Mustang Classic, hosted by Stevenson University. The loss drops Denison to 5-1 on the year while Amherst improves to 4-0.
In the first-ever meeting between Denison and Amherst in men's lacrosse, the Mammoths jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. It wasn't the first time the Big Red had trailed early in 2018. On February 25, Stevenson took a 4-0 lead only to see Denison storm back for an 11-10 victory.
At numerous points in this game, it was looking as if the same thing could happen once again. Trailing 5-0, Denison scored four-straight goals in a span of four minutes. Owen Armstrong started the run with an unassisted goal with 1:20 left in the first quarter. Peter Pittroff scored the next three goals and with 11:49 left in the second, Amherst responded with a 4-0 run of their own, pushing their lead back to 9-4.
DU charged back as Jake Waxter found the back of the cage off a pass from Spencer Butler with 6:28 left in the first half. On the ensuing faceoff, Richie Bartozzi caused a turnover that sparked a transition attempt for Denison. Senior defensive midfielder Josh Happ scored with 6:02 remaining. Over the final six minutes of the first half, each team scored twice to give the Mammoths an 11-8 lead. The second quarter saw the two high-powered offenses combine for 12 goals.
In the third quarter, Denison inched closer. A man-up goal by Brooks Davy on a pass from Peter Pittroff got DU back to within one goal at 12-11. The biggest goal of the game for Amherst happened seconds later as Jimmy McAfee scooped up the ground ball after the faceoff and scored to put his squad back up by two.
In the fourth, the Mammoths scored the first three goals of the quarter to open their lead back to five with 10 minutes to play. Denison's Sam Asman and Butler scored the next two to get within three but that is as close as the Big Red would get.
Amherst scored the final three goals of the game to set the final at 19-13.
Reeves McKenney made his first career start in goal for Denison and finished with three saves in 30 minutes of action. Stephen Paras played the second half and posted five saves. Henry DeCamp was 12-for-30 when facing off. Amherst sophomore Dylan Finazzo was 21-of-34 and led his squad with 10 ground balls.
Tommy McMaster led the Denison defense with four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Pittroff continued his torrid pace on offense with four goals and four assists on only six shot attempts. Butler scored three goals and two assists while Davy finished with two goals and a pair of helpers.
Jon Coffey and Evan Wolf led Amherst with three goals apiece.
Denison will return to Mustang Stadium on Saturday for another premier matchup against 16th ranked Dickinson University at 5:30 p.m. This will mark the fifth nationally ranked opponent for Denison in 2018.