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Monday, March 9, 2009


MEDFORD -- In a spectacular debut to the 2009 regular season and New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) campaign, sophomore D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD/St. Paul's) scored four goals with six assists for 10 points to lead the Tufts University men's lacrosse team to a 15-6 victory against Amherst College at home on Bello Field Saturday. The season-opening performance was recognized by NESCAC, which named Hessler Co-Player of the Week today.

It took the Jumbo offense one quarter to get going, but once they did, there was no stopping them. Hessler was the catalyst, scoring three goals with two assists during a 9-0 run over the second and third quarters that put Tufts in complete control. His back-to-back goals at 9:15 and 7:57 of the second quarter opened up a 5-2 advantage for the Jumbos. Tufts, which had trailed 2-1 at the end of the first quarter, led 8-2 at halftime. Hessler then assisted on and scored a goal early in the third as Tufts maintained its dominance and went up 10-2.

The six assists were one shy of the Tufts single-game record. It was the most assists in a game since all-time leading scorer Bryan Griffin had that many against MIT in March 2004. Griffin also had four goals in that game against MIT, which was the last time someone scored 10 points in a contest for the Jumbos. In addition to his offensive production, Hessler also scooped up five ground balls against Amherst. Hessler and classmate Ryan Molloy (Setauket, NY/Ward Melville) hooked up four times for goals on Saturday.

Hessler was an All-NESCAC Second Team selection last spring. He finished tied for sixth in the conference scoring race last year with 46 points on 23 goals and 23 assists. The 23 assists were sixth in the league and his three game-winning goals tied for fourth, as did his four man-up goals.

The first Jumbo to win NESCAC Player of the Week since goaltender Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD/Landon) in April 2007, Hessler shares the P.O.T.W. honor with Bowdoin sophomore goalie Jake McCambell.