MEDFORD – Tufts Men's Lacrosse began their conference title defense as the No. 1 overall seed with a 17-8 victory over No. 8 Trinity College on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament. The Jumbos had four different players record four points or more in the game.
|Bryce Adam recorded a game-high six points.|
With the win, Tufts improves to 15-1 overall and now has 32 all-time NESCAC Tournament victories, which is the most in the league. Trinity falls to 8-8 overall following the loss. Tufts has now won each of the past eight meetings dating back to 2012, including a 25-12 victory earlier this season.
Tufts will host seventh-seeded Middlebury at noon next Saturday in the NESCAC Semifinals. The Panthers upset two-seed Wesleyan 11-7 oday. Amherst and Williams will play at 3 pm on Bello in the other semifinal game, with the winners of the semifinal contests playing for the league title on Sunday at Bello.
The Jumbos came into the game second in the NESCAC averaging 17.67 goals and started quickly. Senior Danny Murphy got Tufts on the board less than a minute into the game off a pass from sophomore Bryce Adam. Trinity freshman Jackson Wood responded with a goal to tie the game less than a minute into the action. After a stop from the Bantam defense, senior John Caraviello scored the game's next goal to give the Bantams a one-goal advantage. Trinity juniors Ben Ferrucci and Andrew Collins then had great chances in front of the goal, but Tufts junior goalie Mason Pollack recorded two key saves.
Tufts responded with four unanswered goals over the final 9:04 of the quarter as both the offense and defense got in sync. Sophomore Max Waldbaum started the run by beating Bantam senior goalie Greg Barletta to tie the game at 2-2. The Jumbos then got a non-releasable man-up opportunity and scored two goals. Sophomore Garrett Samuelson and Adam netted the goals for a 4-2 lead. Adam and Waldbaum also dished out assists on the two goals. After a nice save from Pollack on Caraviello, Tufts senior John Cordrey scored the final goal of the first quarter as Tufts took a 5-2 lead.
Trinity sophomore Drew Kozub ended the Jumbo run with a goal to cut the deficit to two. The Jumbos responded with goals from Waldbaum and senior Ben Connelly off a pass from Adam. Tufts sophomore Kyle Helfrich kept getting the offense more possessions by winning two faceoffs early in the quarter. The Jumbos offense continued to press, but junior Nick Shanks and Samuelson had shots saved by Barletta. Wood scored the contest's next goal to get the Bantams back within three (7-4).
The Jumbos again ended a quarter on a 4-0 run to take an 11-4 lead into halftime. Senior Luke Kurtz got it started with a pass to Connelly, who put the ball in the back of the cage. Murphy and sophomore Jack Walton scored the next two Jumbo goals with assists to freshman Cam Kelleher and Connelly, respectively. Shanks closed out the half with a goal after a ground ball was scooped up by junior Evan Kulpan. Pollack made two saves during the Jumbo run on shots from Caraviello and Kozub.
Waldbaum and the Jumbo offense picked up where they left off to start the third as the sophomore scored off a pass from Adam to extend the lead to eight goals (12-4). Caraviello ended the Jumbo stretch in which they scored five unanswered goals with 8:04 remaining in the third. Trinity freshman Connor McCulloch then netted a man-up goal less than two minutes later for two unanswered goals by the Bantams. Connelly and Wood trade goals within a minute span in what was now a 13-7 game. After two Pollack saves on Wood, Cordrey buried a shot with 0:23 left in the quarter as the Jumbos took a 14-7 lead into the fourth.
The Jumbos then scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter off the sticks of Adam and Helfrich to take a 16-7 advantage. Caraviello and Kozub again had looks on Pollack early in the fourth, but were denied by the goaltender. Wood scored a goal with 10:33 left in regulation. Tufts sophomore Joe Theuer entered the game at goalie in the fourth quarter and made four saves. Shanks scored the contest's final goal with 7:09 left in the game.
Tufts scooped up 36 ground balls and Trinity collected 34. The Jumbos recorded 29 shots on goal and 49 in total. The Bantams attempted 51 total shots and 26 shots on goal. Trinity won 16 faceoffs and Tufts collected 13 faceoffs.
Waldbaum and Connelly each recorded a hat trick and an assist for the Jumbos. Adam recorded a game-high six points with two goals and four assists. Shanks tallied two goals and two assists. Murphy and Cordrey also recorded two goals apiece. Senior defenders Stewart Stockdale and Arend Broekmate each scooped up five ground balls. Pollack stopped 14 Bantam shots.
Wood scored a game-high four goals for the Bantams and had six shots on goal. Caraviello also rifled six shots on goal and had a pair of goals. Trinity senior Scott Morgan scooped up a game-high eight ground balls. Kozub and McCulloch also scored for the Bantams. Barletta tallied 12 saves on 29 Jumbo shots on goal.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello