MEDFORD - For the third straight year, the Tufts men's lacrosse team will host the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) semi-finals and final at Bello Field this weekend (May 5-6).
The top-seed Jumbos (14-2/9-1 NESCAC) will play four-seed Connecticut College (10-5/6-4) in Saturday's first semi-final at 12 noon. Second-seed Trinity (10-5/6-4) plays three-seed Bowdoin (12-4/6-4) in the other semi-final on Saturday at 3 pm. The winners will meet for the conference title on Sunday at noon.
JumboCast, Tufts University's student webcasting outfit, will provide live video coverage of all three games at http://www.jumbocast.net/index.php. Live stats for each game will also be available at http://livestats.prestosports.com/tufts.
The Jumbos are the two-time defending NESCAC champions. They are the only team in the 2012 "final four" who has won a league title. Tufts, Bowdoin and Trinity are returning conference semi-finalists. Tufts is in its eighth conference semi-finals, including four straight. Bowdoin is also in the NESCAC "final four" for the eighth time, including each year since 2008 (five in a row). Trinity is making is second semi-final showing, as is Connecticut College. The Camels haven't advanced to the semi-final round since 2001, the first year of the tournament. Tufts has played in the finals four times (2003, 2009-11), while Bowdoin has been in two championship games (2001, 2008).
Tufts is the top offensive team in NESCAC by a long way, scoring 12.19 goals per game compared to 9.94 by second-place Amherst. Connecticut College features the league's best man-up attack with 19 goals in 47 attempts for .404 success. Trinity plays take-away defense tops according to the stats, with 11.20 caused turnovers per game. Bowdoin is the #1 face-off team in NESCAC at .591 (188 wins, 130 losses).
Jumbo sophomore Beau Wood (Sherwood Forest, MD) is the league's leading scorer with 55 points on 44 goals and 11 assists. Jumbo Cole Bailey (Millersville, MD) and Kevin McCormick (Laytonsville, MD) are also among the top 10 scorers. Connecticut College's John Lyons is tied for seventh in NESCAC with 43 points (29 goals, 14 assists). Billy Bergner from Bowdoin is ninth with 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points. Trinity's leader is Rob Nogueras, 11th overall at 34-4-38.
Tufts defeated Connecticut College 16-9 early in the regular-season back on March 13. Trinity won 7-4 over Bowdoin when they met on April 7. Tufts' only NESCAC loss was at Trinity 9-8 in overtime on March 31. The Jumbos defeated Bowdoin 15-7 on April 25. Trinity had an 11-7 victory against Connecticut College on March 28. Bowdoin defeated Connecticut College 7-5 in the season-opener for both teams on March 10.
Admission to all three of this weekend's NESCAC Championship games is free.