No. 12 Tufts Outguns Wesleyan for Fourth Straight Win

MEDFORD -- The 12th ranked Tufts University women's lacrosse team continued its run of victories and high-scoring offense with an 18-13 win over Wesleyan University in a NESCAC contest played under gorgeous conditions at Bello Field on Saturday afternoon. Senior Emily Johnson (Yarmouth, ME) led Tufts with six goals and an assist.

The Jumbos (5-2, 3-2 NESCAC) have now won four straight games during which they have scored 72 goals. After an 0-2 start in league play, they have since earned three straight victories. Wesleyan remained winless in NESCAC at 0-4 and dropped to 2-6 overall with their fifth straight loss. Junior Jess Chukwu (Evanston, IL) led the Cardinals with three goals.

Tufts pulled away for the win in the second half. The visiting Cardinals had taken a 5-2 lead early on. Sophomore Eileen Gaffney (Manhasset, NY) scored two during that stretch. Tufts recovered to lead 8-7 at halftime. Back-to-back goals by sophomore Steph Perez (East Providence, RI) got them going, and then the second tally of the first half by first-year Kaitlyn Leidl (Califon, NJ) with 4:59 remaining gave the Jumbos the lead for good at 8-7.

Perez scored her third goal 18 seconds into the second half, but Wesleyan's Allie Lynch (Greenwich, CT) answered exactly a minute later and it was 9-8 Tufts. From there, the hosts scored the next four goals to go up 13-8 at the 19-minute mark. Senior co-captain Jenna Abelli (Framingham, MA) scored twice during the run.

Wesleyan didn't fade away, scoring three of the next four goals, and four of the next six to make it a 15-12 game with 9:16 on the clock. Chukwu had two of those goals. However, Johnson ripped off three straight goals to give Tufts a healthy 18-12 margin with 3:16 remaining. Wesleyan scored the final goal, but the Jumbos were able to drain the clock for most of the final two minutes to take the win.

Tufts won the ground ball battle 24-16, led by three apiece from four different players. Perez was one of them, also adding five draw controls and two assists to her game. Senior co-captain Alyssa Kopp (Hollis, NH) contributed three draw controls to her three GB's. First-year Kerry Eaton (Norfolk, MA) caused two turnovers to go with a goal and three assists. Junior Sara Bloom (Summit, NJ) played 42:21 in goal and earned the win with eight saves.

Defensively for Wesleyan, sophomore Liz Chabot (Rye, NY) finished with three caused turnovers and two ground balls. First year Kaylin Berger (Farmington, CT) also had three caused turnovers along with scoring two goals and controlling three draws. Lynch led Wesleyan with four points on two goals and two assists. Sophomore Maggie Drowica (Glen Head, NY) finished with 12 saves, including seven in the first half.

The Jumbos play a big non-conference game at #11 Babson on Tuesday afternoon (Apr. 6). Wesleyan hosts in-state NESCAC rival Trinity on Wednesday (Apr. 7).


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