MEDFORD - Junior Austin Carbone scored eight goals and added an assist as the Tufts University men's lacrosse team posted a 19-7 win over Ithaca College in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championship Wednesday afternoon at Bello Field.
The Jumbos (19-2) will host an NCAA semi-final for the first time in program history on Sunday against St. Lawrence University. The Saints defeated Amherst 16-12 in another NCAA quarterfinal game today. Game time for Sunday's semi-final at Bello has not yet been set.
Ithaca, who came into today's game as the #1 ranked team in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, saw their season end with a 20-2 record. The Bombers were led by by three goals from freshman Josh Della Puca.
Tufts has now outscored its three NCAA opponents 63-18. The Jumbos defeated Emmanuel 25-5 in the first round, SUNY Cortland 19-6 in the second round, and now Ithaca by a 12-goal differential.
Carbone's eight goals tied an NCAA Division III Tournament record for a game. In addition to his nine points, John Uppgren scored five goals with an assist for Tufts and Zach Richman tallied four times. Senior Conor Helfrich won 19 of 26 face-offs for the Jumbos, while senior Alex Salazar saved 17 of Ithaca's 23 shots on goal.
The Jumbos scored the game's first three goals, including Zach Lesko's second of the season for a 3-0 advantage. Jake Cotton converted a pass from Kaelan Fitzpatrick to put Ithaca on the scoreboard at 5:19 of the first. Carbone's first of the game at 4:29 and another Jumbo goal by Garrett Clarke made it 5-1 before Jack Shumway scored at 13:14 following an Ithaca face-off win on a violation.
Tufts' biggest run of the game came next as they scored six straight to lead 11-2 at halftime. Carbone heated up with three goals and an assist during the stretch while Richman scored twice. Tufts out-shot Ithaca 34-14 in the first half and won the groundballs battle 24-14 during the first 30 minutes.
Della Puca scored twice in the opening seven minutes of the second quarter for Ithaca, but Uppgren and Carbone had goals during that span as well to keep Tufts' lead at nine (13-4). The hosts then ran off five straight, including the first three by Carbone, and led 18-4 with 1:21 left in the third.
The Bombers outscored Tufts 3-1 in the final quarter. Della Puca had this third of the game, while Michael Walker and Stephen Morrell finished off the scoring.
Ithaca's Eli Gobrecht, the Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year as a defenseman, finished with four caused turnovers and six groundballs. Keith Morrissey also scooped up four GBs. Jake Cotton finished with a goal and an assist for the Bombers. Scott Sidnam made 10 saves in goal.
The Jumbos, who have won 17 straight NCAA games at Bello Field, as well as 13 straight NCAA games overall, finished with a 55-39 advantage in shots. They killed all six of Ithaca's extra-man opportunities.