JUMBOS TO 7-1 IN NESCAC WITH 10-7 VICTORY AT WESLEYAN
COLLEGE MEN'S LACROSSE FINAL SCORE
Tufts 10 Wesleyan 7
At Middletown, CT
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
|Tufts (11-2, 7-1 NESCAC)||4||2||2||2||=||10|
|Wesleyan (11-3, 5-3 NESCAC)||1||3||2||1||=||7|
Goals: T: Bryan Griffin 3, Michael Hughes 3, Devin Clarke 2, Billy Granger 1, Mike O'Brien 1; W, Mike Vitulano 2, Chris Knacke 2, Glenn Adams 2, Chris Meade 1.
Assist: T: Griffin 3, Mark Warner 2, Granger 1; W, Vitulano 2, Knacke 1, Meade 1, Jordan Funt 1.
Saves: T: Luke Chicco (60:00 - 7 GA) 11 saves; W: Matt Wheeler (60:00 - 10 GA) 10 saves.
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- In a battle of nationally ranked NESCAC teams, Tufts, ranked 12th in Division III, got off to a quick start and never allowed Wesleyan, ranked 15th, to gain momentum in pulling away for a 10-7 victory on Wednesday afternoon. The victory allowed Tufts to keep pace with Middlebury, which defeated Williams today to improve its NESCAC record to 7-1. Tufts, at 7-1, lost to Middlebury by a goal earlier this season. The top team in NESCAC after Saturday's regular-season finales will serve as host for the post-season tournament.
Tufts junior Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY) showed why he is the top scorer in NESCAC as he posted three goals and three assists in the contest with five of those points coming in the first half when Tufts moved out to a 6-4 edge at intermission. Griffin, who tied the team's single-season record for points with 64 in his 13th game, had two goals and an assist in the opening 15 minutes of play, leading the Jumbos to a 4-1 lead after one period. Wesleyan got second-period goals from sophomore Glenn Adams and Mike Vitulano as well as junior Chris Knacke in narrowing the gap to two.
Each of those Cardinal players finished the game with a pair of goals. Vitulano, who also had two assists, picked up his second goal at 9:36 of the third period, bringing Wesleyan within a goal at 6-5. Tufts countered with goals from sophomores Mike Hughes (Branford, CT) and Mike O'Brien (Concord, MA) to open up an 8-5 lead. For Hughes, it was his third goal of the game and eighth in the last two. Knacke made it 8-6 before the end of the quarter.
The teams played scoreless for the opening seven minutes of the fourth period before Tufts sophomore Billy Granger (Setauket, NY) snapped in a shot off a feed from Griffin with 7:39 to go to make it 9-6. Less than two minutes later, junior Devin Clarke (Ridgewood, NJ) made a strong run down the right side for his second goal of the contest, giving Tufts its largest lead at 10-6 with 5:46 to go. Junior Chris Meade added a man-advantage goal for Wesleyan on the only Tufts penalty of the contest with 4:39 to play. Wesleyan had just three penalties in the game and Tufts capitalized on the first one with Griffin scoring six minutes into the contest. Griffin went on to tie the single-season Tufts scoring record that he holds along with current assistant coach Dan Kollar.
Tufts finishes the regular-season on Saturday against Connecticut College at Kraft Field. Unless Middlebury loses on Saturday and Tufts wins to become the #1 seed in the NESCAC Tournament, the Jumbos will host a first-round NESCAC Tournament game on Sunday at 1:00. Wesleyan can clinch the #3 seed and a first-round home game with a win over Colby at home on Saturday.