Men's Lacrosse Opens with 14-13 4th Quarter Comeback Win at Stevens

HOBOKEN, NJ - Trailing 12-10 at the end of the third quarter, the top-ranked and two-time defending NCAA champion Tufts men's lacrosse team came from behind for a 14-13 win in their season-opener today at Stevens.

Austin Carbone scored the go-ahead goal for Tufts

Senior Kyle Howard-Johnson scored back-to-back goals at 14:50 and 6:49 of the fourth to tie the score at 12-12. Junior Austin Carbone then scored at 3:38 and assisted senior Connor Bilby's goal at 1:52 as the Jumbos took a 14-12 lead.

Stevens senior Matt Ferentini cut the deficit to 14-13 with just 53 seconds left, but Tufts senior Conor Helfrich controlled the ensuing faceoff and the Jumbos ran out the clock.

Tufts won in its season opener, while Stevens dropped to 3-1. The Ducks are also receiving votes in this week's USILA national poll.

The Ducks tallied the first two goals of the afternoon, as senior Connor O'Shea and junior Connor McKeon netted markers. Tufts would even the score with a pair of unassisted goals by senior Garrett Clarke and Howard-Johnson, but Stevens scored a trio of unanswered goals to close out the first period, with freshman Max Bailey adding a man-up goal during the run. The hosts led 5-2 after 15 minutes.

The Jumbos scored 11 seconds into the second frame by sophomore Nico Pollack and would add one more two minutes later by senior co-captain Ben Andreycak, but senior Michael Serrante scored to reestablish the two-goal margin for Stevens. The teams would trade goals through the rest of the period, sending Stevens into the half with an 8-6 edge.

Bilby and Jake Gillespie scored for the visitors 20 seconds apart to ring in the third quarter and bring the match all square, but sophomore Tommy Dawson and Bailey would counter with markers 20 ticks apart as well for the Ducks. In a game of runs, both sides would add two more goals each before the end of the third, as Stevens senior Andrew Scrutchfield completed his hat trick.

Tufts capitalized with the man-advantage to open the fourth, as Howard-Johnson scored 10 seconds in. He would score the equalizer with just under seven minutes left, and finished as Tufts' scoring leader with three and two.

Carbone also had three goals for the Jumbos, while Gillespie finished with two goals and an assist. Alex Salazar made 15 saves in the win. Senior Blake Wood and junior Tyler Olney both had three groundballs defensively. Helfrich won 20 of 28 face-offs.

Scrutchfield had three goals and an assist, with Dawson tallying a pair of goals and three assists for Stevens. Ferentini and Serrante each a goal and an assist, while freshman Carson White made 14 saves, several from point-blank range.

Tufts, which opens the year on a four-game road swing, plays at Keene State on Wednesday at 3:30 pm. The Ducks will be back in action also on Wednesday, hosting Springfield College at 4 pm.

Part of this recap courtesy of Stevens