The Other Gulls: Endicott Stuns No. 1 Tufts
from press release
BEVERLY, Mass. – No. 18 Endicott outscored No. 1 Tufts 5-2 in a decisive second period en route to a 9-8 win in men's lacrosse action under the lights at Endicott Stadium. The top-ranked Jumbos lost for the first time since April 17, 2010 - ending a string of 19 straight wins which included last year's NCAA Division III National Championship.
Senior Chris Cotter (Lordship, Conn.) led the Gulls with two goals and a pair of assists while sophomore Connor McCormack (Norwalk, Conn.) added two goals and one assist in the win. Sophomore Mike Klein (Darien, Conn.) made 14 stops including four in the final 15 minutes of play. Senior attack D.J. Hessler (Monkton, Md.) led the visitors with a goal and four assists while three others chipped in two goals.
Endicott's Brendan Eppley (Darien, Conn.) opened the scoring 70 seconds in with an unassisted tally. Reigning The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) offensive player of the week Brian Estes (Derry, N.H.) doubled the lead 30 seconds later after taking a feed from McCormack on a man-up opportunity.
The Gulls (10-2) controlled much of the first period possession, evidenced by a 12-7 advantage in shots. The Jumbos (9-1) were able to respond with two straight goals with a man advantage to level the game at two. Junior Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, N.J.) and senior Ryan Molloy (Setauket, N.Y.) each scored on feeds from Hessler in the final eight-plus minutes.
Estes found Cotter less than four minutes into the second frame to give the hosts a slim 3-2 lead. Cotter then found classmate Jack Curtis (Chelmsford, Mass.) with 9:28 to go in the half to double the advantage.
The two sides each scored twice in the final six minutes of the second period to give the hosts a 7-4 lead entering the break.
Kirwan trimmed the deficit to two (7-5) just over two minutes into the third before Kyle Jordan (Falmouth, Maine) answered with an unassisted effort two minutes later.
Sam Diss (Ridgewood, N.J.) cut the deficit to two for the second time in the period thanks to a Molloy assist as the Gulls took a 8-6 lead into the final quarter.
McCormack put Endicott on top by three with just under nine minutes to play in the game off a nice feed from Cotter.
Tufts refused to lie down as Hessler and Molloy connected with 4:34 to go to trim the deficit to two. Matt Witko (Chappaqua, N.Y.) pulled the visitors within one with 21 seconds to go, leaving an all-important face-off to decide the game.
Junior face-off specialist and reigning TCCC defensive player of the week Sam Ozycz (Cheshire, Conn.), who finished 13-of-21 on the night, outmuscled Nick Rhoads (McLean, Va.) to the ball and the Gulls ran out the final 20 seconds.
After the Jumbos' two man-up goals in the opening frame, they went 0-4 with a man advantage the rest of the way.
Endicott returns to action on Tuesday (April 14) when it travels to Bowdoin for a 7:00 pm game. Tufts rests until Saturday (April 16) when it plays Connecticut College at 1:00 pm.