Tufts-Stevenson Men's Lacrosse Game Voted as 2011's Best by Lacrosse Magazine

Jumbo goalie Steven Foglietta made 24 saves in Lacrosse Magazine's "Game of the Year."

MEDFORD – Lacrosse Magazine has selected the Tufts University men's lacrosse team's game against Stevenson University played last March 23 as its Best Game of 2011.

"It almost didn't happen," wrote Matt DaSilva of LaxMagazine.com. "Torrential downpours flooded Stevenson's home field and forced the game to nearby Towson. Lightning delays then pushed the game back to a 9:30 pm start time. There was no public address announcer, because noise would keep the neighbors up. But when these two NCAA Division III juggernauts finally took the field, the game was an up-tempo barnburner (neither team ever met a possession it did not like) worth the price of admission."

The Jumbos, ranked #1 in the nation and the defending NCAA champion at the time, earned a 14-13 win against #2 ranked Stevenson in a wild out-of-region contest. Jumbo junior goalie Steven Foglietta (Oceanside, NY) made 24 saves in the game as the Mustangs attempted 76 shots overall. Junior Kevin McCormick scored three goals with three assists for Tufts, who also received four goals from junior Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, NJ). The Jumbos improved to 4-0.

The game was chosen as 2011's best ahead of a 12-11 Division I game between Johns Hopkins and Maryland, and a Major League Lacrosse game between the Boston Cannons and Denver that set an attendance record.

Stevenson (8-1) was led by four goals and an assist from senior Neal Barthelme. Returning First Team All-American Jimmy Dailey had a goal and three assists for the Mustangs. Goalie Ian Bolland made eight saves in the Stevenson net.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Stevenson beginning at 4 pm. However, during the day the site was changed to Towson University and the time was moved back to 8 pm due to weather. Lightning delays forced the starting time back to 9:45 pm. The teams played until 11:30 pm.

Tufts struck first on a goal by senior Matt Witko (Chappaqua, NY), but Stevenson scored the next two including Dailey's tally at 11:03 that put SU up 2-1. The Jumbos finished the first quarter with a four-goal run, including two goals and an assist by McCormick, to lead 5-2.

The Mustangs produced their own four-goal run to start the second quarter, with two scores by Kyle Moffitt helping them take a 6-5 lead with 2:02 remaining until halftime. However, the Jumbos scored three goals in the final 1:28 of the quarter - two by senior D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD) - and led 8-6 at the break.

Tufts stretched its unanswered goals streak to five early in the third and led 10-6 at 10:51 following a goal by Witko. SU scored three of the next four to pull within 11-9 on Barthelme's goal from Dailey at 4:36. Hessler regained a three-goal margin for Tufts by scoring 29 seconds later, and 12-9 was the score at the end of the third.

A Kirwan goal at 12:47 of the fourth put the Jumbos up 13-10, but the Mustangs made it a one-goal game (13-12) with 8:34 remaining  on a pair of Barthelme goals assisted by Dailey. Witko's goal at 4:32 made it 14-12 Tufts, but Stevenson's Tyler Reid scored with 2:34 on the clock for a 14-13 score.

Barthelme hit the post as the game wound down to a minute remaining. Tufts got the rebound, but turned it over and Foglietta had to make a clutch save. The Jumbos were able to run out the last minute with the help of two Stevenson penalties in the final 55 seconds.

Game Box Score

Lax Magazine's 2011 Game of the Year:


Read LaxMagazine.com's coverage of the game: