MEDFORD – Fifteen different players scored points, including seven by freshman Cam Kelleher (3 goals, 4 assists), as the Tufts University men's lacrosse team opened 2019 NCAA Tournament action with a 24-7 victory over New England College (NEC) Wednesday night at Bello Field.
|Senior Torin Ottaway contributed three goals and an assist to the victory.|
The Jumbos (18-1) advance to play Stevenson University in the third round at Bello Field on Saturday at 5 pm. The Mustangs (13-7) won their second-round game at Franklin & Marshall 12-9.
Tonight, heavily-favored Tufts led 10-1 at the end of the first quarter. The Jumbos went deep into their roster for scoring production as freshmen Duke Alf (3 goals, assist) and Mac Bredahl (2 goals, 2 assists) along with senior Torin Ottaway (3 goals, assist) all had the biggest games of their careers. Jumbo seniors James Firpo and James Gilbert also scored the first goals of their careers this evening.
Senior Connor Fries scored a goal, caused two turnovers and collected five ground balls for New England College, whose season ended with a 10-9 record.
Tufts took its 10-1 lead in the first behind three goals and an assist from senior co-captain Ben Connelly as well as two goals each by sophomore Max Waldbaum and Kelleher. Sophomore Bryce Adam tallied a goal with three assists in the period. Tufts out-shot NEC 18-8 in the first period with the lone Pilgrims' goal scored by Fries.
Firpo netted his first career goal on a man-up situation to start the second quarter giving the hosts an 11-1 lead. The visiting Pilgrims would score four of the next five goals though to get the score down to 12-5. Sophomore Patrick Storie scored twice 45 seconds apart late in the second quarter as the Jumbos led 12-3 at the break. New England College then scored the first two goals of the second half by sophomore Reilly Parker and junior Jacob Blanchette.
However, the Jumbos would get the next 10 goals to take a 22-5 advantage at 6:26 of the fourth quarter. Ten players contributed points to the run including three goals by junior Darian Matini and two goals with an assist from Bredahl. Gilbert's first career goal came during the stretch and freshman defenseman Trevar Hall earned his first collegiate point with an assist.
Junior Ryan Powers and sophomore Connor Smith scored the Pilgrims' final two goals and then Alf netted the last two tallies of the game for Tufts.
Freshman Matt Lane caused a pair of turnovers and grabbed five ground balls for Tufts. Sophomore Joe Theuer (six saves) and senior Ben Shmerler (two saves) each played a half in goal for the Jumbos. Senior Henry Hollen won 17 of 22 face-offs.
Junior Max Danis had two caused turnovers and two ground balls for the Pilgrims, who saw senior goalie William Platt make 10 saves.
The Jumbos had wide advantages of 67-29 in shots and 53-22 in ground balls.
Tufts played upcoming NCAA third-round opponent Stevenson during the regular season and won 19-7.