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Tufts 10, Williams 9

At Medford, MA
Saturday, March 27, 2010

Game Box Score

Junior Matt Witko scored the game-winner with 5:58 left in the fourth

MEDFORD -- Junior Matt Witko (Chappaqua, NY) scored four goals, including the game-winner with 5:58 remaining in the fourth quarter to decide an outstanding NESCAC men's lacrosse game in favor of ninth-ranked Tufts over Williams by a 10-9 score on a brisk Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.

Tufts remained undefeated (5-0, 3-0 NESCAC) with their second straight 10-9 win in NESCAC, including last Saturday's final at Colby. The Jumbos never trailed against Williams (3-2, 2-1 NESCAC), but they never led by more than two goals. Junior D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD) added three goals to the Tufts attack, while senior co-captain Richard Reuter (Ridgewood, NJ) finished with two goals and two assists for Williams.

The hosts led 2-1 after one quarter, and pushed the lead to 4-2 on Hessler's first at 7:50 of the second quarter. The Ephs tied it at 4-4 with back-to-back goals, including Reuter's on a man-up situation at 2:27. Tufts senior tri-captain Mike Droesch (Setauket, NY) scored with 58 seconds remaining until halftime to put the Jumbos up 5-4 at intermission.

Hessler, who won last week's game at Colby with a man-down goal, scored another to put Tufts up 6-4 early in the third. Williams came back to tie it again, with junior Corey Jacobs (Somers, CT) scoring his second of the game at 6:21 for a 6-6 deadlock. The Jumbos hit back, netting the next two as senior Jamie Atkins (Concord, MA) scored and assisted for an 8-6 lead at the end of three.

After Tufts went up 9-7 on Hessler's goal at 11:55 of the fourth, Williams junior Matt Cranshaw (Atlanta, GA) set up consecutive goals by Reuter and Mike Ryan (Darien, CT) making in 9-9 at the 10:07 mark. Witko's game winner at 5:58 stood up after Tufts junior goalie Bryan Petillo (Holbrook, NY) made three key saves in the close minutes.

Petillo finished with 14 saves, as did Williams senior goalie Stephen Vrla (Paradise Valley, AZ). The evenly matched contest was further proved by the final statistics. The shots were even at 35-35, Tufts held a slim 39-36 edge in ground balls, and face-off wins favored Williams 12-9. Both team scored twice on extra-man opportunities, with Williams getting seven chances and Tufts four.

Jumbo senior defenseman Eytan Saperstein (Hewlett, NY) had five ground balls, including one that led to Hessler's man-down score. Freshman Ryan Jorgenson (Ridgewood, NJ) won four out of seven face-offs in spot duty. Williams junior Tommy Murray (Alexandria, VA) collected five ground balls, while Jacobs was 12 for 20 on face-offs.

With Connecticut College's 8-7 win over Middlebury today, the Camels joined the Jumbos as the only unbeaten teams in NESCAC. Tufts is back at it on Monday at Babson, while Williams next travels to Endicott for a Tuesday afternoon contest.