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Tufts 9    Wesleyan, CT 6

At Middletown, CT
Saturday, March 24, 2007

Game Box Score

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- In a battle of two nationally ranked, undefeated Division III teams, Tufts University (4-0, 1-0 NESCAC) stormed back from a 4-2 halftime deficit with four unanswered goals in the third quarter as part of a five-goal run and walked away from a visit to Wesleyan University (5-1, 0-1 NESCAC) with a 9-6 NESCAC victory on Saturday afternoon. Wesleyan came into the game ranked third in this week's USILA poll while Tufts, fresh off a victory at #18 Roanoke midweek, held the #15 spot.

After senior Mark Warner (Wading River, NY) scored to tie the game for Tufts at 2-2 at the 5:07 mark of the first period, Wesleyan held the Jumbos scoreless for a span of more than 21 minutes as junior Alex Kaufman had a goal and an assist for Wesleyan en route to a 4-2 bulge at halftime. When Tufts broke the drought at 13:43 of the third period on a behind-the-back shot by senior Chris Connelly (Wilton, CT), it opened the door for the Jumbos as sophomore Clem McNally (Farhills, NJ), who leads Tufts with 11 goals on the season, scored twice in a span of 1:56 to put Tufts ahead for good, 5-4 at the 9:11 mark.

Sophomore Chase Bibby (Marblehead, MA) added the fourth goal of the run at 3:31 with a shot from the left side, making it 6-4 at the end of three periods. Warner opened the fourth-period scoring with his second goal of the game, coming at 12:46, for the game's largest lead, 7-4. The teams traded goals to the end with McNally completing his hat trick into a virtually empty net at 0:26 to lock up the win.

Sophomore goalie Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD) finished the game with 11 saves for Tufts, five of those in the third period as Tufts took over at both ends of the field. Wesleyan keeper senior Charlie Congleton made 10 stops. Tufts senior Matt Lanuto (Duxbury, MA) was outstanding in winning 12 of 18 face-offs he took for the Jumbos and led all players with 10 ground balls in the contest. Senior defender Wiley Dornseif (Littleton, CO) also had a strong effort for Tufts with nine grounders. Sophomore Spike Malangone led the Cardinals with six ground balls.

Tufts broke a four-game losing streak to Wesleyan while making the series record 22-17 in Wesleyan's favor. It also marked the fourth year in a row that Wesleyan, which played in the NCAA tournament in both 2005 and 2006, reaching the national semi-finals last year, has dropped its conference opener. Bates had beaten Wesleyan each of the last three years in the Cardinals' NESCAC opener.