MEDFORD – The Tufts University men's lacrosse team scored 11 of the first 12 goals on their way to a 19-4 victory over Stevenson University in the third round of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday at Bello Field.
The Jumbos (19-1) move on to the quarterfinals on Wednesday when they will host NESCAC rival Amherst College. The Mammoths defeated fellow conference foe and defending national champion Wesleyan University 16-13 in the third round today. Wednesday's game time has not yet been announced.
The Mustangs (13-8) came into today's game with some momentum after winning on the road in the second round at Franklin & Marshall 12-9 last Wednesday. However, the Jumbos started fast today and never looked back. The hosts were led by five goals with an assist from sophomore Max Waldbaum and four goals from senior tri-captain Ben Connelly. Sophomore Joe Theuer got the start in net and saved 10 of the 14 shots on goal he faced.
Walbaum tallied four goals with an assist as Tufts rushed out to its 11-1 lead with 1:52 to go until halftime. Stevenson senior Gray McKee had scored to interrupt the Jumbo run and make it 4-1 at 4:32 of the first quarter. However, with Connelly and freshman Cam Kelleher both scoring twice and senior co-captain Danny Murphy adding a goal and an assist during the 11-goal outburst the Jumbos put the game away early.
Stevenson senior JT Thelen scored a man-up goal with 1:28 to go until halftime to make it an 11-2 game at intermission.
Theuer stopped six of the eight shots he faced in the first half and Tufts sophomore Kyle Helfrich won nine of 13 face-offs. The Jumbos had a 27-14 ground ball advantage in the first 30 minutes.
Tufts had the first two goals of the second half to push their advantage to 13-2 before Stevenson tallied two late third-quarter goals by sophomores John Harrington and Jacob Tatum for a 13-4 score heading into the fourth.
The Jumbos capped the win by out-scoring Stevenson 6-0 in the fourth quarter with Connelly scoring twice, Murphy assisting two goals and Kelleher tallying a goal and an assist. Freshman Mac Bredahl and senior Nick Katz added the final two goals.
For Stevenson, Thelen finished with a goal and an assist and junior Marc Poust stopped 16 shots in goal. Senior defenseman Dominic DeFazio caused three turnovers and picked up three ground balls.
The Jumbos finished with a 45-39 edge in shots and nearly doubled the Mustangs in ground balls (45-23). Tufts was able to hold the visitors to 1 for 7 on man-up opportunities.