NCAA Third Round: Tufts 19, Stevenson 4

NCAA Third Round: Tufts 19, Stevenson 4

Courtesy Tufts Sports Information


MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's lacrosse team scored 11 of the first 12 goals on its way to a 19-4 victory over Stevenson University in the third round of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday at Bello Field.

The Jumbos (19-1) move on to the quarterfinals on Wednesday when they will host NESCAC rival Amherst College. The Mammoths defeated fellow conference foe and defending national champion Wesleyan University, 16-13, in the third round today. Wednesday's game time has not yet been announced.

The Mustangs (13-8) came into today's game with some momentum after winning on the road in the second round at Franklin & Marshall, 12-9, last Wednesday. However, the Jumbos started fast today and never looked back. The hosts were led by five goals with an assist from Max Waldbaum and four goals from tri-captain Ben Connelly. Joe Theuer got the start in net and saved 10 of the 14 shots on goal he faced.

Walbaum tallied four goals with an assist as Tufts rushed out to its 11-1 lead with 1:52 to go until halftime. Stevenson's Gray McKee had scored to interrupt the Jumbo run and make it 4-1 at 4:32 of the first quarter. However, with Connelly and Cam Kelleher both scoring twice and co-captain Danny Murphy adding a goal and an assist during the 11-goal outburst the Jumbos put the game away early.

Stevenson's JT Thelen scored a man-up goal with 1:28 to go until halftime to make it an 11-2 game at intermission.

Theuer stopped six of the eight shots he faced in the first half and Tufts' Kyle Helfrich won nine of 13 face-offs. The Jumbos had a 27-14 ground ball advantage in the first 30 minutes.

Tufts had the first two goals of the second half to push its advantage to 13-2 before Stevenson tallied two late third-quarter goals by John Harrington and Jacob Tatum for a 13-4 score heading into the fourth.

The Jumbos capped the win by outscoring Stevenson, 6-0, in the fourth quarter with Connelly scoring twice, Murphy assisting two goals and Kelleher tallying a goal and an assist. Mac Bredahl and Nick Katz added the final two goals.

Helfrich finished 11 for 17 on draws for Tufts while Brian Powers caused four turnovers and Stewart Stockdale collected four groundballs.

For Stevenson, Thelen finished with a goal and an assist and Marc Poust stopped 16 shots in goal. Defenseman Dominic DeFazio caused three turnovers and picked up three ground balls.

The Jumbos finished with a 45-39 edge in shots and nearly doubled the Mustangs in ground balls (45-23). Tufts was able to hold the visitors to 1-for-7 on man-up opportunities.