Mass. College Lax: Tufts 14, Middlebury 13

Chris Schoenhut's diving goal helped spark a Tufts first half run! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for
Chris Schoenhut’s diving goal helped spark a Tufts first half run! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for

By Matt Noonan 

MEDFORD, MA – If there were one word to describe Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team it would be resilient.

Trailing Middlebury College for a majority of the first half, the Jumbos rallied to even the score at the break before netting seven strikes in the second, which was just enough to defeat the Panthers, 14-13.

“The guys…they’re tough,” explained Tufts coach Mike Daly. “Up at Colby and in a tough situation we go down 6-0, and the Babson game (we were) down 3-0, and we’re down today, 4-1, (but) they just keep rolling and they really have a lot of trust and respect for each other and we just keep grinding on the game plan.

“We just got a great group of guys and we believe in each other and we stick together too.”

Middlebury wasted little time securing a three-goal advantage thanks to their defense, which forced seven turnovers in the opening session before Tufts’ offense came to life following a diving strike by Chris Schoenhut that sparked a 3-0 run, which spanned into the second quarter and tied the game at 4-4.

Andrew Metros and Jon Broome each recorded an unassisted strike early in the second, which halted the Jumbos run and pushed the Panthers ahead by two, but Peter Bowers sliced the deficit three minutes later to bring Tufts within one.

Joel Blockowicz registered his team’s third consecutive unassisted goal roughly two minutes later, but Tufts answered with Bowers and Andrew Fiamengo to tie the game at 7-7 heading into intermission.

“We were just really struggling with some of that pressure, so more of a credit to them and their speed, their tempo and they were making the plays and we weren’t,” Daly said of Middlebury’s first half effort.

Cole Bailey echoed his coach by saying, “Yeah, stick skills got us in trouble.”

Bailey extended Tufts run from the second into the third when he dodged by his defender at the top of the half circle and whipped a shot past Nate Gaudio (11 saves) before Dan Leventhal and Beau Wood registered back-to-back strikes.

Mike Giordano halted the 5-0 run with a goal midway through the third, but Tufts answered with a 4-0 run that went into the fourth and provided the Jumbos with a six-goal edge with 9:43 remaining.

“We came out firing and I think a bunch of people got in the point column, so that’s good, but that was huge and it ended up making the difference in the end of the game,” Bailey said of his team’s third quarter effort.

Middlebury stormed back with five goals – two on the man-up – but after Stew Kerr netted the Panthers 13th tally on the left side of the half circle with 24 seconds remaining, Tufts’ Brian Ruggiero won his 16th face-off, which sealed the win.

“We knew there were going to be runs back and fourth, knew it was going to be a game like that, but we just honestly get frustrated when we’re helping those teams make those runs at us, but they’re a good team and it’s in the win column and we’ll take it,” said Daly.

Leventhal led all scorers with four strikes, while Bailey and Wood combined for nine points (five goals, four assists).

“It’s awesome playing with (Beau),” stated Wood. “When he’s open I try to find him and just have trust in him throwing it into the back of the net.”

This afternoon’s victory marks Tufts’ eighth consecutive win since Mar. 16 against Stevens.

Tufts will return the grass on Tuesday when they travel to Endicott College for a 7 p.m. face-off, while Middlebury returns to action Saturday against Trinity College at home.

Mass. College Lax: Middlebury Stops Springfield’s Second Half Rally


Courtesy of the Springfield College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s lacrosse game against Middlebury College:

Middlebury, Vt. – March 13, 2013 – The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team’s second-half rally fell short as it lost to host Middlebury, 18-12, on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. Ryon Lynch led the way for the Pride with a game-high seven points.

The Panthers improved to 2-0 with the win, while the Pride dropped its third-straight to fall to 1-3.

Lynch finished the day with four goals and three assists, while Bryce Serriello tallied a hat trick to go along with an assist. Connor Nash started for the first time this season and was charged with the loss as he posted just five saves. Branden Fernandez won 18-of-33 face-offs and scooped up 11 ground balls.

For Middlebury, Mike Giordano had four goals and two assists, while teammate Jon Broome added four goals and an assist of his own. Stew Kerr netted a hat trick and Darric White picked up a team-best eight ground balls. Between the pipes, Nate Gaudio recorded 12 saves in the victory.

Middlebury opened up the game scoring nine of the first 11 goals to own a 9-2 advantage with 4:49 to go in the first half. The Pride answered back with three-straight goals of their own, using a strike from defenseman Matt Giannelli 1:32 into the second half to get within four a 9-5.

The hosts responded with three of the next four goals to regain a six-goal cushion with 6:25 left in the third on another goal from Broome, only to have Springfield use another three-goal spurt to make it a three-goal contest. Lynch scored back-to-back goals in the burst, the final one coming with 33 seconds on the clock in the third.

However, Middlebury’s offense erupted for six goals in the fourth quarter to run away with the game. Sean Carroll scored a pair of man-up goals in the run to pace the Panthers to victory.

The Pride held a 50-44 edge in shots, a 37-36 advantage in ground balls, and both teams committed eight penalties in the contest.

Springfield will try to snap its three-game skid when it hosts 18th-ranked Union on Saturday at 1:00 pm.