No. 5 Tufts Sprints Past the Camels in NESCAC Semifinals

MEDFORD - Tufts advanced to its fourth straight NESCAC final with a 13-2 victory over Connecticut College in the conference semifinals on Saturday at Bello Field. The Jumbos were led by three goals each from senior co-captains Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, NJ) and Kevin McCormick (Laytonsville, MD).

Tufts, which improved to 15-2, will vie for its third consecutive NESCAC title on Sunday at noon against Bowdoin. The Polar Bears defeated Trinity 10-8 in Saturday's other semifinal at Bello. The Jumbos, ranked fifth nationally, have now won nine straight overall and 31 in a row at home.

Connecticut College, which received two goals from junior John Lyons (Barrington, RI), is now 10-6 and will hope for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.

The visiting Camels used a ball-possession approach succesfully early in the game. Lyons' second goal at 10:09 of the second quarter tied the score at 2-2. However, the Camels would not score again and Tufts would run away with the win by scoring the final 11 goals.

The Jumbos led 4-2 at halftime after Kirwan's first goal of the game off an assist from junior Andrew Fiamengo (New Fairfield, CT) with 2:09 remaining in the second quarter.

Four different Jumbos then scored in the third as the hosts took an 8-2 advantage. Freshman Tim LaBeau (Mountain Lakes, NJ) scored his second goal of the season at 6:07 of the period, just 22 seconds after sophomore Beau Wood (Sherwood Forest, MD) had tallied for Tufts.

Kirwan scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter, both assisted by freshman Cole Bailey (Millersville, MD). Freshman Ryan Le's (San Jose, CA) first collegiate goal with 1:21 to go in the fourth capped a 5-0 quarter for the Jumbos.

Tufts finished with a 49-22 advantage in shots and won the groundball battle 31-23. Jumbo senior Nick Rhoads (McLean, VA) was 11 for 18 on face-offs and sophomore goalie Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, TN) finished with nine saves. Bailey posted four assists and Fiamengo had a goal and two assists. Sophomore defender Dan Alles (Rockville Centre, NY) caused three turnovers, while classmate Kane Delaney (Brookeville, MD) scooped up four groundballs.

Senior Rob Moccia (Malvern, PA) made 15 saves in the Connecticut College cage, including seven in the third quarter. Senior co-captain Mike O'Donnell (Winchester, MA) had three groundballs for the Camels.


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