Men's lacrosse downed by Tufts in NESCAC quarterfinals
Tufts University's John Uppgren scored three goals and added four assists, and the Jumbos held off the Hamilton College Continentals for a 15-12 win in a 2015 NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship quarterfinal at Tufts' Bello Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Jumbos (14-2 overall) are the second seed for the championship and are ranked sixth in this week's Division III Top 20 coaches poll. Tufts moves on to the NESCAC Championship semifinals, which will be played at Amherst College on Saturday, May 2. The Jumbos are aiming for their sixth straight conference title.
Hamilton (8-8) was the No. 7 seed for this event. The Continentals were making their third NESCAC quarterfinal appearance in their fourth year in the conference for men's lacrosse.
Cole Bailey chipped in two goals and two assists and Peter Gill scored three times for Tufts. Garrett Clarke and Ben Andreycak tallied two goals apiece, and Jake Gillespie added one goal and one helper. Alex Salazar made 13 saves, including nine in the second half. Conor Helfrich scooped up seven ground balls and Cem Kalkavan caused three turnovers.
John Zimmerman '15 paced Hamilton's offense with two goals and three assists, and Sam Sweet '16 was credited with a career-high four assists. Connor Morgan '15, Pax Anthos '15 and Ryan McCausland '16 notched two goals each. Joe Ricciuti '16, Dan Cahill '17, Matt Hrvatin '15 and Jack Gaul '18 scored one goal each.
The Continentals' faceoff specialist Eric Zurmuehle '18 won 17 of the 25 face-offs he took and picked up a season-best 15 ground balls. Dylan Lahey '15 finished with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Will Driscoll '15 stopped 17 shots, including seven in the third quarter, and finishes his Hamilton career in second place on the team's all-time list with 540 saves. Driscoll is 18th in Division III with 14.50 saves per game.
The Jumbos defeated the Continentals 25-6 at home just two weeks ago and they started fast in this postseason contest. Tufts jumped out to a 5-0 lead less than six minutes into the first quarter and led 9-2 after one. Gill and Uppgren both scored twice during the opening blitz.
Hamilton clawed all the way back to within a goal at 10-9 midway through the third quarter. Gaul scored with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter to initiate a stretch during which the Continentals scored eight of the next nine goals. The Jumbos responded with four straight goals for a 14-9 advantage through three, and Hamilton didn't get closer than three goals in the fourth quarter.
The visitors outscored the Jumbos 5-1 in the second quarter, including two goals by Morgan and a goal with an assist by Zimmerman. The Tufts lead was down to 10-7 at the break.
Intermission didn't stall Hamilton's momentum, as Zimmerman and Ricciuti scored the first goals of the third quarter, and pulled the Continentals within one at 10-9 with 8:22 left.
The Jumbos stopped the bleeding with four straight goals as Uppgren assisted on the first three and scored the fourth to put Tufts ahead 14-9. All four goals were scored in the final five minutes of the quarter after the Jumbos had found the back of the net just once in the previous 28 minutes.
Anthos scored twice early in the fourth to pull Hamilton within 14-11, but that's as close as the Continentals could get despite winning the quarter three goals to one. Hamilton's McCausland closed out the scoring on his fifth goal with 1:44 remaining.