April 2, 2011

No. 1 Tufts Hammers No. 16 Wesleyan

from press release

MEDFORD, Mass.
 - The Tufts University men's lacrosse team got goals from nine different players and 15 saves from freshman goalie Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, TN) during a 15-8 NESCAC victory over Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field. The Jumbos improved to 7-0 and 4-0 in the league with their 17th consecutive victory.

Tufts scored three goals in 17 seconds in the first period to break an early 1-1 tie and never looked back. The Jumbos were led by three goals from junior Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, NJ) and two goals with two assists from senior D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD).

Wesleyan lost its second straight in the conference, falling to 6-2 and 2-2 in NESCAC. Junior Teddy Citrin (New Canaan, CT), freshman Aidan Daniell (Hopkinton, NH) and junior D.J. Bernatavitz (Orlando, FL) each scored twice for the Cardinals.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the first, the Jumbos got goals from junior Kevin McCormick (Laytonsville, MD) at 6:59, Kirwan at 6:52 and senior Alec Bialosky (Moreland Hills, OH at 6:42 to take a 4-1 lead. Junior face-off man Nick Rhoads (McLean, VA) had three of his 15 wins in the game to begin the scoring plays.

Trailing 5-2 at the end of the first, Wesleyan opened the scoring in the second with Daniell's first goal at 12:35 to pull within 5-3. However, the Jumbos scored the next four and led 9-3 after senior Matt Witko's (Chappaqua, NY) goal at 7:52. Wesleyan scored a man-up goal by freshman Chris Walsh (Bronxville, NY) to make it 9-4 at halftime.

Tufts turned it into a rout by scoring five of the six goals in the third period to take a 14-5 advantage. They capped the quarter with a beautiful feed from senior Ryan Molloy (Setauket, NY) to Kirwan goal with a half-second remaining on the clock.

Jumbo sophomore Sam Diss (Ridgewood, NJ) scored a man-up goal one minute into the fourth to make it 15-5 before Wesleyan scored three in the final six minutes to close the final margin to seven.

Watkins, making his first collegiate start, was impressive with 15 saves. Diss and sophomore defenseman John Heard (Greenwich, CT) joined Rhoads in leading the hosts with four ground balls each.

Junior Grant Covington (Gloucester, MA) started in goal for the Cardinals and made 14 saves in 55:07 of action. Senior Gabe Kelley (Bethesda, MD) scooped up a game-high six ground balls for the visitors.

The Jumbos welcome Bates College for a night NESCAC game at Bello on Tuesday at 7 pm. Wesleyan hosts Trinity on Wednesday at 4:30 pm. The Bantams, coached by former Tufts assistant Mike Higgins, and the Jumbos are the only unbeaten teams in NESCAC.


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