MEDFORD, MA – Tufts University sophomore Beau Woodknew that once the second-overtime in Sunday’s NESCAC championship commenced, the Jumbos needed to score.
“They got the ball first [in the] second overtime, [but] we have all [the] faith in our defense, we knew they were going to make a stop, and knew that we had to just end it, so we got it,” said Wood. “Obviously in that two slide area, and finally got one to fall, that’s about it.”
Wood collected a pass from senior teammate Geordie Schafer on the left side of the Bowdoin zone, and rocketed a shot past the Polar Bears senior netminder Christopher Williamson, (13 saves) for the clincher at 1:50, which propelled the Jumbos to a 9-8 victory at Bello Field.
“Getting one for the seniors this year, especially – it’s just terrific, great feeling,” Wood said of his team’s third consecutive conference crown.
“It’s so simple. We’re a second a way, a goal away from being a donkey, and we don’t want to take that one for granted [because] we have a ton of respect for Bowdoin, and they gave us 60 minutes and then some and [I’m] just happy to be out on top,” said Tufts University head coach Mike Daly.
Tufts began the game with two back-to-back strikes from senior co-captains Kevin McCormackand Sean Kirwan, (four goals)before Bowdoin rallied to tie the game with two unassisted tallies by senior Keegan Mehlorn, (three goals)and sophomore Franklin Reis, (two goals, one assist).
Mehlorn provided Bowdoin with their first lead of the contest two minutes after the Polar Bears evened the score, but Tufts answered when Kirwan crashed the net for his second strike at 2:58 in the opening quarter.
Bowdoin retained the lead halfway through the second frame with a tally by Reis, which gave the Polar Bears a 4-3 advantage at the break.
Entering the second half, both squads swapped leads until Kirwan sparked a three-goal rally halfway through the third frame, which provided Tufts with a two-goal advantage that was erased late in the fourth quarter by Melhorn and sophomore Will Wise.
“They did a terrific job getting it around, and getting really good lucks,” Wood said of Bowdoin’s fourth quarter rally. “Definitely credit to them, and their defense did a good job making us settle four outside shots and their goalie made a lot of saves.”
Wise, who tied the game at 8, capitalized on a forced turnover by senior Greg Pierce to force two additional sessions after he sent the ball past sophomore goaltender Patton Watkins, (sevens saves) at 1:19.
“We knew they were going to make adjustments, we knew they were [going] to be there and make plays, and thankfully we made one more play than them [on Sunday],” said Daly.
Tufts recorded two shots in the first overtime, while Bowdoin mustered one, but the Jumbos eventually found the back of Williamson’s cage after a Polar Bears turnover and out of bounds clear in the sixth frame, which set up the game-winner by Wood.
“Honestly that goal was exactly everything we’re looking for,” said Daly. “We dodged in the middle, and then they slid to us and we made a good decision to get it to Beau and Beau was the open man and he hit his shot and we expect that of all six offensive players out there, so Beau’s had a tremendous year and he works his rear end off.”
MEDFORD, MA – For the fourth consecutive year, Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team will attempt to earn some additional NESCAC hardware, as the Jumbos defeated the Connectuicut College Camels, 13-2 on Saturday at Bello Field.
“I’m really proud of our entire team, and freshman [Ryan Le], who scored a goal at the end of the game,” said Tufts head coach Mike Daly. “He’s a freshman, like I said, they just keep showing up, working every day, and just real happy that he got that goal, got that opportunity and I think that’s why we won because we’ve just got so many guys on our team, top to bottom, who just show up, work and get it done.”
Added Daly, “I’m real proud of our entire team, it’s a team win and I’d never bet against these guys any day of the week.”
Following the opening draw, Tufts needed roughly six minutes to earn their first lead of the contests, as McCormick rifled a shot past senior goaltender Rob Moccia, (15 saves) before Conn. College evened the score with a ‘man up’ strike by junior John Lyons, (two goals) at 5:24.
The Jumbos regained the lead late in the opening period when junior Andrew Fiamengo notched his only goal of the afternoon, which provided Tufts with a one-goal advantage heading into the second quarter.
Lyons once again evened the score at 10:09 in the second frame before the Jumbos produced an 11-0 run, which started after the Camels final strike and concluded with an unassisted tally by Le at 1:21 in the fourth quarter.
“We [needed] to make plays on both sides of the field, [but] at the end of the day we kept winning face-offs, we kept competing and we just needed a little bit of that breathing room to get going, and luckily we got it,” said Daly. “Even in that first 30 minutes, they scored a ‘man up’ goal, and a goal right after a ‘man up’ had released, so we felt pretty good about hanging in there and doing what we do defensively and not letting them get away from what we wanted to do.”
Tufts’ Second Half:Entering the second half with a 4-2 advantage, Tufts ballooned their lead with four additional tallies by McCormick, sophomores Peter Bowers and Beau Wood, and freshman Tim LaBeau, which preserved their second conference tournament victory.
“I guess we start a little slow, and then we’re able to rally at halftime and learn from what we’ve done in the first half,” McCormick said. “We were just able to come out firing and keep it going [because] we’ve got the right people and we get it done.”
Coach Daly agreed with McCormick, and complimented his senior co-captain by saying, “We’ve got unbelievable senior leadership, great freshmen, great sophomores, great juniors, and it helps when you win face-offs, you get great goalie play, and we’re blessed [because] we’ve got a lot of great parts.”
Tufts padded their lead in the third and fourth quarters with 28 shots, 20 ground balls, 13 clears and seven face-off wins.
Kirwan’s Fourth Quarter: Once the fourth quarter commenced, freshman Cole Baileyconnected with Sean Kirwan twice in a span of two minutes, which resulted in two back-to-back strikes.
“We knew that if we just kind of stuck to the game plan the whole game, [we knew] that we’d ware them down, they’d get a little lazy, and we’d get some good looks, and that’s what happened,” Kirwan said of his team’s offensive strategy.
The senior co-captain continued by saying, “Credit to everybody on our team for getting us ready – scout team getting us ready for practice, guys on the field today executing our game plan – it was great, it was great to see things click at the right time.”
Next Up:On Sunday, Tufts will attempt to earn its third consecutive conference crown against Bowdoin College, who defeated Trinity College on Saturday, 10-8.
Following the conclusion of Saturday’s NESCAC men’s semi-final match between Connecticut College and Tufts, senior co-captains Sean Kirwanand Kevin McCormicktalked about the Jumbos, 13-2 victory.
Both players recorded a hat trick in the team’s 15th win of the season, which helped the men sporting the blue and white punch their ticket to their fourth conference final on Sunday against Bowdoin College.
MEDFORD, MA – After an enormous non-conference victory earlier this week, Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team continued their winning ways on Saturday by defeating Amherst College, 15-5.
Sophomore Beau Wood paced the Jumbos with four goals, while senior Kevin McCormick added two goals and two assists.
“We didn’t necessarily see this coming today [because] we have great respect for them, [Amherst] and their entire program, and we just put together a pretty complete effort today, and it went our way most of the days, so like I said, we didn’t really, really see this coming,” said Tufts University head coach Mike Daly.
Tufts (10-2) needed less than five minutes to earn the lead for good, as McCormick connected with senior Ben Saperstein, (one goal, one assist) during a ‘man up’ opportunity, which helped the Jumbos earn a 1-0 advantage.
The Jumbos increased their lead midway through the second when Wood, senior Geordie Schafer, sophomore Peter Bowers, (two goals, two assists), and freshman Cole Bailey each fired shots past the Lord Jeffs’ senior netminder Samuel Jakimo, (nine saves).
“We felt early on, we were getting shots, and we were generating what we want to generate, so we [made sure not to panic],” said Daly. “[We] just stayed with what we were doing [following the opening draw].”
Amherst (8-4) eventually netted their first goal late in the second frame when Cole Cherney whipped the ball past Tufts’ sophomore goaltender Patton Watkins, (14 saves).
The Lord Jeffs then attempted to double their goal total during the closing minutes, but missed opportunities forced them to enter halftime trailing the Jumbos, 5-1.
Entering the third quarter, Tufts exploded for seven unanswered goals, as Wood and freshman Chris Schoenhut each notched two strikes, while Bowers, McCormick and senior Sean Kirwan registered one tally.
“We just really built off what we did in the second quarter,” said McCormick. “It was really just moving the ball a lot, and just taking what the defense gave us. We always say, let the defense decides who scores and not try to force anything, so I think we did a great job of taking what they gave us, and just executing on all cylinders.”
“We were lucky to find [Beau and Kevin] when they were open, and they finished them and it’s a pretty simple game when it’s going your way,” added Daly. “It’s not rocket science.”
McCormick recorded his final goal early in the fourth, which padded the lead for the Jumbos before Amherst tallied an additional three strikes.
“We’ve been having some flashes of a performance like this and like I said, it just all came together today and we can enjoy it for about two seconds and then we’ve got to go to Bates on Tuesday and if you don’t show up with the schedule we play, [then] you’re going to be sorry at the end of the day,” said Daly. “We’ve got to keep the momentum, and the energy and emotion trending how we’ve had it.”
Tufts have now defeated Amherst eight consecutive times dating back to 2005.
“They’re just one of our NESCAC rivals, and there’s something about certain games like playing Amherst – it really gets us going, especially on Alumni Day,” said McCormick. “It wasn’t hard to get up for this game, [but] I guess we always do well against Amherst.”