Winners of eight NESCAC Championships, more than any other team in the conference, the Tufts University men's lacrosse teams begins the post-season hosting Trinity College in the conference quarterfinals on Saturday.
Head coach Casey D'Annolfo's Jumbos finished the 2019 regular-season as the #1 seed in NESCAC with a 9-1 record (14-1 overall). Tufts is the top seed in NESCAC for the sixth time. Trinity earned the eighth seed with its 3-7 conference finish (8-7 overall).
The Jumbos are defending the conference title which they won for the eighth time last spring in a 12-9 final against Wesleyan. Tufts won seven consecutive league championships from 2010-16. The Jumbos are the only team in the league who have qualified for all 18 previous conference tournaments and their 31-10 record in the tourney represents both the most victories and the best winning percentage (.756) in the league.
Trinity is making its first conference tournament appearance since 2012. The Bantams advanced to the semi-finals that season and in 2011. They will be playing in their eight conference tournament overall and have a 2-7 record all-time.
For 2019, Tufts is second in NESCAC averaging 17.67 goals per game while Trinity's 13.8 goals per contest is the fifth-best mark in the league. Defensively, the Jumbos allow an 11.09 goals against average (fourth) and Trinity's 13.32 GAA is 10th in the league.
Jumbo sophomore Max Waldbaum's 51 goals are second-most in NESCAC entering the tournament. Senior Danny Murphy has assisted on 36 goals, fourth-most in the league, and has 76 points to rank third in the conference scoring race. Junior goalie Mason Pollack's .554 save percentage is the fourth-best mark in NESCAC.
Senior Ben Knaus leads the Bantams in scoring with 48 points while sophomore Drew Kozub with 33 goals and freshman Connor McCulloch with 32 are both in the conference top 20. The Bantams have a pair of goalies who have played more than 400 minutes each this spring, though senior Greg Barletta (.491 save percentage) has seen the bulk of recent action.
Tufts tied a program record for goals in a NESCAC game with their 25-12 victory over the Bantams when the met during the regular-season on March 23. Murphy scored a career-high 11 points as he matched his all-time high with seven goals and added four assists. The Jumbos have won eight straight in the series between the teams and 17 of the last 19 dating back to 2002.