MEDFORD - Senior Kyle Howard-Johnson scored four goals in the first quarter as #3 Tufts darted to an 8-1 lead and went on to a 16-11 victory over #6 Amherst in NESCAC men's lacrosse action Saturday at Bello Field.
|Tyler Olney totaled 11 groundballs in the game|
In a rematch of last year's conference final, Amherst would get no closer than five goals after the Jumbos' quick start. Tufts improved to 11-1 overall with their sixth straight win and remained unbeaten in the league (7-0). Amherst fell to 10-3 overall and 6-2 NESCAC.
Senior John Uppgren scored five goals with three assists to lead the Jumbos, while classmate Ben Andreycak tallied two goals with four assists. Junior Tyler Olney was everywhere defensively for Tufts picking up 11 groundballs. Senior Conor Helfrich won 19 of 30 face-offs.
Nine different players scored goals for Amherst, led by two each fromn Quinn Moroney and Evan Wolf. Senior Thomas Gilligan relieved starter Cody Tranbarger in goal to start the second period and made 10 saves as the visitors out-scored the hosts 10-8 in the second through fourth quarters.
In addition to Howard-Johnson's four strikes in the first quarter, Andreycak had a goal and two assists and Uppgren scored twice for Tufts. The lone Amherst goal by Wolf made it 2-1 Tufts before the Jumbos ran off seven in a row to lead 9-1 early in the second quarter.
Amherst would get within five three times, including 9-4 at 7:30 of the second after goals by Wolf, Sam Lawlor, and Connor Crump. Uppgren would score and assist back-to-back goals by the Jumbos respectively, before Kane Haffey and Moroney scored for Amherst making it 12-6 Jumbos at halftime.
Tufts would push the advantage to 14-6 early in the third quarter with Uppgren again assisting and scoring consecutive goals. Amherst's last push came with three goals in a row to finish the third down 14-9. Moroney, Dylan Park and Andrew Ford had the tallies.
Tufts goals by Uppgren and Garrett Clarke made it 16-9 before Amherst finished the scoring with Matt Killian and Michael Litner goals.
Senior Alex Salazar made 15 saves in the Jumbo net, including five in the second quarter. Olney, Howard-Johnson, Connor Lansdale, and Tucker Mathers all caused two turnovers for Tufts. Tyler Carbone scooped up five groundballs.
Daniel Annino and Ryan Cassidy caused two turnovers apiece for Amherst. Cassidy added five groundballs to that total while Gilligan the goalie had six.
Shots were nearly even with Tufts taking a 52-51 edge. The Jumbos were +17 on groundballs (54-37) and went 2 for 4 on man-advantages compared to 0 for 3 by Amherst.
Tufts travels to Bates for conference action on Tuesday at 7 pm. Amherst is off all week until hosting Williams next Saturday at 1 pm.