WATERVILLE, Maine – Third-ranked Tufts University shook off an upset bid by Colby College and earned a 13-11 road victory in NESCAC men's lacrosse play at Harry Alfond Stadium on Friday night.
|Freshman Kyle Helfrich won 16 of 22 face-offs for Tufts.|
Down 6-1 early, the Mules rallied and led 11-9 in the fourth quarter before the Jumbos finished strong for the victory.
The game marked the second time in a week that Tufts pulled one out in the fourth quarter. They were down 17-14 in the fourth at #9 Stevens last Saturday before rallying to win 19-17.
Colby led 11-9 tonight after senior Colton Michel scored his fifth goal of the game with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter. That's how the frame ended.
Like they did at Stevens, when Tufts outscored the Ducks 5-0 in the fourth, the Jumbos turned it around in the final quarter against the Mules. Senior co-captain Danny Murphy scored his third goal of the game from sophomore Bryce Adam at 11:08 of the fourth and then the Jumbos got a long-stick goal from senior co-captain Ben Connelly at 6:21 to tie the game at 11.
Mules senior goalie C.J. Layton made a pair of saves over the next three minutes before Jumbo sophomore Max Waldbaum scored the go-ahead goal at 3:30 of the fourth. Freshman Kyle Helfrich won the ensuing face-off for Tufts with senior co-captain Stewart Stockdale grabbing the ground ball. Then junior All-American Nick Shanks added an insurance goal just 33 seconds after Waldbaum's tally as Tufts escaped with the win. They outscored Colby 4-0 in the fourth.
The teams had traded goals in the first five minutes of the game with senior John Cordrey scoring for Tufts and Michel netting one for Colby. The scored remained at 1-1 until the Jumbos netted three goals in the final 2:24 of the first by sophomore Garrett Samuelson, Murphy (who assisted on Samutelson's goal) and senior Luke Kurtz.
Tufts then scored twice in the first 1:17 of the second period – by Connelly and Waldbaum - and looked poised to pull away up 6-1.
However, the host Mules turned the tide and were able to narrow the gap to 8-6 by halftime. CJ Hassan and Bret Miller scored early for Colby, but a Murphy goal set up Adam reclaimed Tufts' five-goal lead at 8-3. Then Michel, Charlie Lynch and Hassan scored in the final four minutes of the half for the Mules making it a two-goal margin at intermission.
Colby continued their momentum by extending their run to seven straight goals, scoring the first four of the second half. Hassan's third of the game came at 13:09 and Michel netted his third as well at 10:50 to tie the contest at 8-8. The Mules continued with tallies by Jack Rickards and Michel's fourth at 4:55 of the third to lead 10-8.
Tufts ended the run with a Shanks goal at 3:32 of the third-quarter, but Michel continued to dominate with his fifth of the game putting Colby up 11-9 late in the third. That's when Tufts turned it on, controlling the fourth quarter to come from behind and win.
Murphy finished with three goals and two assists for Tufts, who improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in NESCAC. Connelly and Adam both had a goal and two assists. Helfrich continued to perform well on face-offs, winning 16 of 22. He's at 58.2 percent for the season (46/79). Sophomore goalie Mason Pollack finished with 10 saves.
Michel added an assist to his five goals for a six-point night. Lynch had a game-high three assists along with his goal. Freshman LSM Will Dodge finished with two caused turnovers and four ground balls. Layton made 15 saves in goal.
Tufts earned advantages of 52-39 in shots and 32-16 on ground balls.
The Jumbos pack up and head to Maryland for spring break and play their annual game at Stevenson on Tuesday night. Colby (2-3, 0-3 NESCAC) is off until hosting Conneticut College on March 23.