AMHERST, Mass. -- Sophomore Margaret Smith gave the No. 22 nationally ranked Bates women's lacrosse team an early lead but No. 11 Amherst clamped down on defense to defeat the Bobcats 13-4 Saturday afternoon.
The Bobcats (8-6, 4-5 NESCAC) took a 1-0 lead over the Mammoths (10-4, 5-4 NESCAC) when Smith (Wilton, Conn.) scored a free position goal with 27:11 left in the first half.
But four different Mammoths found the back of the net in the midst of a 4-0 run to grab the lead for good. Smith connected with senior Katie Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) with 17:11 left in the half to cut the Amherst lead to 4-2.
With 12:32 remaining in the opening 30 minutes, Claire Dunbar scored on a free position goal for her second tally of the afternoon, extending the Mammoths' lead to 5-2. Then with 10:03 left, Leah Ritterband found Becky Kendall to make the score 6-2.
Bates answered when senior Sydney Howard (Ashland, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal with 6:56 left in the half.
Strong defensive play was on display by Amherst in the second half, as the Mammoths outscored the Bobcats 6-1.
Kendall tallied her second of the contest and first of three in the half at the 28:41 mark, before Smith picked up her third point for the Bobcats with an unassisted goal with 25:42 on the clock.
That goal stood as the Bobcats' last score of the game as Amherst closed out the contest with a 5-0 run in the final 23:23. Amherst owned the edge in shots (30-13) and ground balls (26-16) and finished 3-for-7 on free position shots, while the Bobcats held a 12-7 advantage in draw controls and went 1-for-1 free position opportunities.
Kendall finished with a game-high four goals for Amherst.
Turnovers were an issue for Bates on Saturday. The Bobcats turned the ball over 30 times to the Mammoths' 18.
Bates is back in action Wednesday when the Bobcats visit Colby. The game is set to begin at 4:30pm.