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Tufts 12, Connecticut College 9

At Medford, MA
Saturday, April 18, 2009

Game Box Score

Junior Eytan Saperstein scored a goal, had an assist and was a key part of the Tufts defensive effort

MEDFORD -- The #7 Tufts University men's lacrosse team overcame a spirited effort by a Connecticut College squad that was fighting for a berth into the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, as the Jumbos put the Camels away with a three-goal run in the fourth quarter that led to an eventual 12-9 victory.

Tufts (11-2, 6-2 NESCAC) was led by four goals from senior tri-captain Clem McNally (Far Hills, NJ) and two goals with an assist from sophomore D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD). Junior Steve Dachille (Garden City, NY) scored a game-high five points with four goals and an assist for the Camels (6-8, 1-7). Junior Mark Moran (Greenwich, CT) made 17 saves in the CC goal.

Goals by Hessler and junior Jamie Atkins (Concord, MA) to start the second half gave the Jumbos an 8-4 lead. However, the Camels responded by scoring four of the next five to pull within 9-8 on a goal by junior Sean Driscoll (Peabody, MA) with 7:52 remaining in the fourth quarter. Dachille scored twice during the stretch for Connecticut College.

The visitors won the ensuing face-off, but Tufts goalkeeper Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD) made a save on a shot by CC sophomore Ryan Hayes (Darien, CT). Jumbo junior defender Eytan Saperstein (Hewlett, NY) took the clear to the Camel goal, where he passed to McNally for a Jumbo tally at 6:33. In the next 83 seconds, the Jumbos added goals by sophomore Ryan Molloy (Setauket, NY) and senior Kevin Williams (Merrick, NY) to lead 12-8. The Tufts defense allowed just three Camel shots the rest of the way, one a goal by Driscoll with 35 seconds remaining.

After Tufts took a 2-0 lead early, the teams were tied 3-3 on Dachille's second goal at 11:12 of the second period. Tufts scored the next three to lead 6-3, two by McNally and one by the long-stick Saperstein, just the second of his career. Tufts led 6-4 at intermission before the teams slugged it out in the second half.

Harrigan finished with 14 saves in the Tufts cage. Face-off men Mike Droesch (Setauket, NY) and Nick Rhoads (McLean, VA) combined to win 15 of 25, with each scooping up seven ground balls. Senior tri-captain Jordan Yarboro (Herndon, VA), senior Dan Biolosky (Moreland Hills, OH) and Saperstein had three ground balls defensively. Hessler's assist on Molloy's goal that made it 11-8 was his 36th of the season, setting a new Tufts record. The previous mark of 35 was established by Bryan Griffin in 2004.

Senior Jesse Stevenson (Marshfield, MA) finished with two goals and two assists for CC. Senior Ben Eischen (Brookfield, NH) had five ground balls and freshman Chuck Czerkawski (Cohasset, MA) won 10 face-offs.

Tufts, which did not draw a penalty in the game, won the ground ball battle 44-28 overall. Likewise, they had a 44-39 advantage in shots.

The Jumbos finish their regular season next Friday (Apr. 24) at Bowdoin. The Camels are at Wesleyan next Friday. The NESCAC Tournament begins on Sunday, April 26.