No. 3 Tufts Outruns Camels in NESCAC Quarters

MEDFORD - The third-ranked Tufts University men's lacrosse team scored six unanswered goals during the second half to break open a tight game and earn an eventual 12-6 victory over Connecticut College in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Championship on Sunday afternoon at Bello Field.

The Jumbos (13-2), seeded #1, will host the conference semifinals and final next weekend (May 7-8) at Bello Field. Tufts will face seven-seed Bowdoin in the semifinals, while #3 seed Middlebury and #4 seed Trinity will play in Saturday's other semifinal. Game times have not been announced. The championship game in on Sunday at noon.

Eighth seed Connecticut College finishes its season with a 6-10 record.

Senior Ryan Molloy (Setauket, NY) had two goals and two assists during Tufts' six-goal run covering a 5:22 span from late in the third quarter into early in the fourth. Connecticut College had pulled within 6-5 on a goal by Mike Giambanco (Massapequa, NY) at 4:54 of the third quarter. Molloy assisted D.J. Hessler's (Monkton, MD) goal at 3:50 for Tufts, beginning a stretch that saw the Jumbos surge to a 12-5 advantage with 13:28 remaining in regulation.

The visitors had struck first at 7:36 of the first quarter on a goal by sophomore Stephen Eicher (Northport, NY). The Jumbos tallied the next three, including the first career goal by Will Duryea (Beverly, MA). Tufts led 4-2 at halftime after the first of two goals by junior Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, NJ) with 5:09 remaining in the second. His 52 goals overall this spring are one shy of the Tufts single-season mark of 53 held by current assistant coach Clem McNally from 2009.

Camels senior tri-captain Eric Doran (Pennington, NJ) scored early in the third quarter to make it a 4-3 game. A Hessler goal, followed 13 seconds later by junior Nick Rhoads' (McLean, VA) tally from a face-off win, put Tufts up 6-3 at 10:43 of the third. However, the Camels battled back on goals by John Lyons (Barrington, RI) and Giambanco to get within one before Tufts pulled away.

Molloy finished with two goals and four assists, while Hessler added three goals with an assist for Tufts. Freshman Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, TN) was sharp in goal with 13 saves, including seven in the fourth quarter while Tufts maintained its healthy lead. Rhoads won 13 of 22 face-offs, while Molloy was also the team's ground balls leader with four.

Sophomore Andrew Berry (Moorestown, NJ) was the only CC scorer with multiple points, recording a goal and an assist. Junior goalie John Lenehan (Hingham, MA) finished with 12 saves, while sophomore Mike Brennan (Chester Springs, PA) was one of four Camels with two ground balls.

The Jumbos finished with a slight advantage of 42-39 in shots, but were on ground balls better with a 33-20 final count.


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