BRUNSWICK, Maine - Seniors Michael Mattson and Zach Richman along with junior Frank Hattler all scored three goals to lead the Tufts University men's lacrosse team to a 12-11 win at Bowdoin College in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship on Saturday.
The fifth-seeded Jumbos (12-4) advance to the semi-final round next Saturday at Bates College, where they will play second-seed Wesleyan University. The host Bobcats and sixth-seed Middlebury College meet in Saturday's other semi-final. The NESCAC final is set for Sunday.
Tufts sophomore face-off man Henry Hollen won 19 of 26 draws this afternoon, while goalies Ben Shmerler and Robert Treiber combined for 13 saves. The Jumbos, who have won seven straight conference championships, won their 22nd consecutive NESCAC Tournament game.
Bowdoin (10-6), led today by three goals from Brett Kujala, will wait to hear if they receive an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The host Polar Bears led the Jumbos 7-5 at the half after out-scoring Tufts 4-0 in the second quarter. However, after Bowdoin scored the first goal of the second half to lead 8-5, the Jumbos would turn the game in their favor by scoring seven of the next eight goals. Mattson, Richman and Hattler all scored twice during the run, while sophoore Ben Connelly contributed a goal and two assists. Tufts led 12-9 after Connelly assisted a Richman goal at 8:50 of the fourth.
The Polar Bears narrowed the margin to one (12-11) with a pair of goals 26 seconds apart late in the fourth. Daniel Buckman tallied at 3:48, then Bowdoin's Oliver Sippel won the face-off and a penalty for a push was called on Tufts. Matthew Crowell scored man-up off an assist from Tim Bulens and Bowdoin was within 12-11 at 3:22 of the fourth.
The final three minutes were back-and-forth. Hollen won the next face-off for Tufts, but his shot was saved by Bowdoin keeper Peter Mumford. Bowdoin's Shawn Daly picked up the groundball. At the other end, Treiber saved a pair of Polar Bear shots and Jumbo Luke Kurtz grabbed the groundball after the second. Three consecutive turnovers by the teams gave Bowdoin the ball in the Tufts end with 34 seconds remaining following a time-out. Crowell shot high before the Polar Bears turned it over, with Connelly taking the ground ball. Tufts cleared and ran out the clock.
The Jumbos had taken a 5-3 lead in the first as five different players scored goals. Senior Lucas Johnson tallied a goal and an assist in the period. Jimmy Young did the same for Bowdoin. Hollen won seven of nine face-offs in the first 15 minutes.
Bowdoin turned the tide by scoring four times in the first five minutes of the second period. Buckman, Kujala, Nick Conway and Crowell all scored giving the hosts a 7-5 advantage. Mumford made six second-quarter saves for Bowdoin helping them take the lead. Pat Broughton had three of the Polar Bear's four face-off wins in the second. The Polar Bears stopped Tufts on four man-up situations in the quarter.
Kujala scored at 12:35 of the third quarter giving Bowdoin an 8-5 lead. However, Mattson netted one for Tufts just nine seconds later and the Jumbo comeback surge was on.
Connelly finished with two goals and two assists to lead Tufts with four points. Richman also caused three turnovers to go with his three goals. Freshman Nick Shanks assisted on two goals.
Crowell and Buckman both had two scores for the hosts. Young finished with three points (goal, 2 assists). Mumford caused three turnovers in addition to finishing with 13 saves.
Shot were 40-39 in favor of Bowdoin, while the Jumbos took groundballs 28-19.
Bowdoin had defeated the Jumbos 19-15 on Wednesday in the regular-season finale.