Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. – The top-seeded Tufts men's lacrosse team began its conference title defense with a 17-8 victory over No. 8 Trinity on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field in a NESCAC Quarterfinal game. Four different Jumbos recorded four points or more in the game.
With the win, Tufts improves to 15-1 overall and 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 won each of the past eight meetings against the Bantams dating back to 2012, including a 25-12 victory earlier this season.
Tufts will host No. 7 Middlebury at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 in the NESCAC Semifinals. The Panthers upset No. 2 Wesleyan, 11-7. No. 4 Amherst and No. 3 Williams will play at 3 p.m. on Bello in the other semifinal game, with the winners of the semifinal contests playing for the league title on Sunday at Bello.
Danny Murphy got Tufts on the board less than a minute into the game off a pass from Bryce Adam. Trinity 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's Ben Ferrucci and Andrew Collins had great chances in front of the goal, but Tufts goalie Mason Pollack recorded two key saves.
Tufts responded with four unanswered goals over the final 9:04 of the quarter. Max Waldbaum started the run by beating Bantam goalie Greg Barletta to tie the game at 2-2. The Jumbos then got a non-releasable man-up opportunity and scored two goals. 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 John Cordrey scored the final goal of the first quarter as Tufts took a 5-2 lead.
Trinity Drew Kozub ended the Jumbo run with a goal to cut the deficit to two. The Jumbos responded with goals from Waldbaum and Ben Connelly off a pass from Adam. Tufts Kyle Helfrich kept getting the offense more possessions by winning two faceoffs early in the quarter. The Jumbos offense continued to press, but 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. Luke Kurtz got it started with a pass to Connelly, who put the ball in the back of the cage. Murphy and Jack Walton scored the next two Jumbo goals with assists to Cam Kelleher and Connelly, respectively. Shanks closed out the half with a goal after a ground ball was scooped up by 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's Connor McCulloch then netted a man-up goal less than two minutes later for two unanswered goals by the Bantams. Connelly and Wood traded goals within a minute span in what became a 13-7 game. After two Pollack saves on Wood, Cordrey buried a shot with 0:23 left in the quarter and the Jumbos took a 14-7 lead into the fourth.
The Jumbos 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 opportunities on Pollack early in the fourth but were denied by the goaltender. Wood scored a goal with 10:33 left in regulation. Tufts 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.
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. 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.