MEDFORD – Tufts erased an 8-4 deficit early in the second half with a seven-goal run that paved the way to a 13-9 victory over Stevens in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship second round on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.
The Jumbos (16-4) will play in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Wednesday (May 15) at RIT, which was a 22-13 winner over Cabrini in the second round on Saturday. Stevens, making its third straight NCAA appearance and ninth overall, finished at 13-5.
The Ducks out-scored Tufts 4-1 in the second quarter to lead 7-4 at halftime. The game was tied 3-3 after the first period, but a five-goal Stevens stretch from late in the first until late in the second put them ahead. Freshman Griffin Rock (Bay Shore, NJ) tallied twice during the Ducks’ run and freshman Connor O’Shea (Ridgewood, NJ) assisted on two goals.
Stevens extended its lead to 8-4 5:15 into the third period on senior Rich Dupras’ (Hillsborough, NJ) 40th goal of the season. However, that’s where the tide turned. Jumbo junior Beau Wood (Sherwood Forest, MD) scored to start a five-goal barrage in the final 8:43 of the third for Tufts. Sophomore Cole Bailey (Millersville, MD) had three assists, sophomore Chris Schoenhut (Mil Neck, NY) scored twice, and senior defenseman Matt Callahan (Acton, MA) capped the swing by scoring with 11 seconds left in the quarter to put Tufts up 9-8.
Wood and Bailey had goals in the opening seven minutes of the fourth quarter as Tufts continued to control play, leading 11-8. O’Shea stopped the run at 7:37 for Stevens, cutting the margin to two goals (11-9). However, Tufts finished off the win with three goals in the final 4:15 including Bailey’s fourth of the game with 1:18 remaining for the 14-9 finish. The Jumbos out-scored the Ducks 10-2 overall in the second half.
Junior goalie Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, TN) was outstanding in goal for the Jumbos making 16 saves. Callahan corralled six groundballs for the hosts, while seniorSam Diss (Ridgewood, NJ) added four. Bailey had a seven-point game for Tufts (4g, 3a), while Wood finished with three goals and senior Ben Saperstein (Hewlett, NY) added a goal and two assists.
Stevens, which dominated possession in the first half, received nine face-off wins from freshman Jeff Wyckoff (Summit, NJ) and eight by freshman Brett Incollingo (Yardley, PA) for the game. Defensemen Tim Culloty (Mahwah, NJ) and Brian Fahy (Eastchester, NY) led the Ducks with three groundballs apiece. Sophomore goalie Matthew Deiner (Millstone Township, NJ) made 12 saves.
Senior Harrison Dorne (Morristown, NJ) had two goals on two shots for Stevens before he had to leave the game with an injury. Dupras and Rock also scored twice for the Ducks, with Dupras adding two assists for a four-point game. O’Shea finished with a goal and two assists.
The action featured 100 shots, with Stevens holding a 55-45 advantage. Tufts won groundballs 30-25. Turnovers were close too, with the Jumbos committing 18 and the Ducks 16. Neither team scored on two extra-man opportunities.
Photo courtesy Kelvin Ma/Tufts University