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Monday, April 30, 2008


MEDFORD -- With victories at Amherst College and at home against Middlebury College last week, the 2007 Tufts University men's lacrosse team earned its first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) regular-season title. Sophomore goaltender Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD/Landon) was the steadying force behind both wins, and he has been named the conference's Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Both were must-win games for the Jumbos, and Harrigan was at his best in the second half of both contests when the outcomes were decided. At Amherst on Tuesday, Harrigan made nine of his 15 saves in the second half when Tufts came back from a 7-5 halftime deficit to win 11-9. On Saturday versus Middlebury, the Jumbos defeated the Panthers for the first time in 40 years, 7-6 in overtime, to clinch first place in NESCAC. Harrigan's 16 saves (10 in the second half) were a critical factor, allowing sophomore Chase Bibby (Marblehead, MA/St. John's Prep) to score the winning goal 1:45 into overtime. Tufts finished 8-1 in league play.

For the week overall, Harrigan had a stellar .674 save percentage with 31 stops and 15 goals allowed in 121 minutes, 45 seconds of action. He was also the conference's choice as the Co-Player of the Week on March 26.
Currently, the 5'11�, 175-pounder is second in the conference with 12.57 saves per game and fifth with his .613 save percentage and 7.86 goals against average. The two victories lifted Harrigan's career record at Tufts to 23-8. He's played every minute in the Jumbo cage since arriving at Tufts and has a save percentage over 60-percent (.604) in his two seasons.

By virtue of winning the regular-season NESCAC race, Tufts will host the conference tournament semi-finals and championship game this weekend (May 5-6) at Bello Field. The Jumbos will play Middlebury again on Saturday in the first semi-final at 12:00 pm. Wesleyan and Williams will meet in the other semi-final at 3:00 pm. The championship game is slated for Sunday at 1:00.

Head coach Mike Daly's Jumbos are 12-2 overall and ranked seventh nationally this week.