|Beau Wood had the second straight 10-point game for the Jumbos
MEDFORD - The fourth-ranked Tufts men's lacrosse team continued to flex its offensive muscle on Tuesday, defeating Stevens 23-12 in the 2014 home opener at Bello Field. Senior tri-captain Beau Wood led the charge with six goals and four assists.
Tufts (3-0) has now scored 64 goals in its first three games, an average of 21.3 per contest. Junor Cole Bailey added five goals and two assists to the Tufts attack today. Thirteen players in all scored points.
Today's game was a rematch of last year's NCAA second round match-up between the Jumbos and the Ducks at Bello. Tufts had to overcome an 8-4 deficit to win that game 13-9. Today, after a closely played first quarter, Tufts out-scored Stevens (1-4) 8-2 in the second quarter and led comfortably the rest of the way.
The Ducks had a 3-2 lead on the Jumbos when Connor McKeon scored at 7:41 of the first quarter. Tufts scored the next three, including two assisted by sophomore John Uppgren, then Michael Maroon tallied for Stevens and it was 5-4 Jumbos at the first break.
Wood had a goal and an assist as the Jumbos scored the first three goals of the second quarter for an 8-4 advantage. Charlie Cronin and Colin Sawula helped Stevens keep it close at 9-6 with five minutes remaining untiil halftime. However, Tufts scored four times during that span including two man-up goals. With just one second left, they got a Bailey from Wood goal making it 13-6 at halftime.
In all, Tufts had a 9-0 run covering the final 4:45 of the second period and 10 minutes into the third. Bailey scored three of Tufts' five unanswered goals to start the third and the Jumbo lead was suddenly 18-6.
Stevens would rally for the next three, with two scored by Michael Serrante and two assisted by JP Giroux. That closed the gap to 18-9 early in the fourth. Any momentum by the Ducks was stopped as Tufts got the next four, two by Chris Schoenhut, for a 22-9 lead. The Ducks scored three of the last four goals, including Serrante's team-high third of the game, to close the scoring.
Shots went 67-48 in favor of Tufts for a total of 115 in the game. The Jumbos also earned a 43-34 advantage in ground balls. Face-offs were tight at 20-18 Tufts. Both teams took advantage of many man-up opportunities, with Stevens finishing 4 for 8 and Tufts going 3 for 6. Tufts did a fine job containing Stevens' clears, forcing them into 11 fails in 26 chances.
Sophomore Conor Helfrich won 16 face-offs and grabbed seven ground balls for Tufts. Schoenhut collected five ground balls and sophomore defenseman Blake Wood caused two turnovers. Senior goalie Patton Watkins stopped 13 of the 22 shots he faced in 53:52 of action.
Cronin led Stevens offensively with four points on two goals and two assists. Giroux finished with three assists. Brett Incollingo won 17 of his 28 face-offs to go with nine ground balls. Cronin added five ground balls, while Troy Gassaway caused two turnovers. Goalie Kevin Rafferty faced 40 shots on goal and saved 17.
Tufts welcomes Colby College to Bello on Saturday at 1 pm for NESCAC action. The Ducks also play on Saturday at 1 pm against Denison in Towson, Maryland.