MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Christian Barker scored the game-winning goal with 2:17 remaining as the No. 6 Wesleyan men's lacrosse team handed No. 4 Tufts its first loss of the season Saturday afternoon on Jackson Field, 10-9.
The game went back-and-forth throughout in yet another thriller between the two NESCAC rivals, who have now met seven times in the past two and a half seasons. Ronan Jacoby and Tom Martello led the Cardinals with three goals each as they improved to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in league play. The Jumbos, who were ahead 9-8 with 12:32 remaining, received four goals from Max Waldbaum and five points (3g, 2a) from Danny Murphy as they fell to 10-1 and 5-1.
- Wesleyan scored the first goal of the game at the 13:12 mark, but Tufts responded with back-to-back goals from Murphy to go ahead 2-1 with 9:26 remaining.
- However, the Cardinals closed out the first with a 3-0 run.
- Barker fond Martello who sent one to the bottom left corner of the net, tying the game at 2-2 with 6:15 on the clock, and Jacoby put Wesleyan on top just under a minute later.
- With 1:10 remaining in the quarter, Jacoby received a pass from Colin Uyeki and rifled one into the back of net as the home team led 4-2 entering the second.
- After nearly seven minutes of scoreless action, Matt Chase extended the Wesleyan lead to three, but the Cardinals wouldn't score again the rest of the half.
- Tufts rallied with four unanswered goals beginning at the 4:45 mark with a score from Waldbaum.
- Ben Connelly cut the deficit to one with 2:50 to play, and 44 seconds later, Matt Treiber stood behind the goal and found an open Murphy to tie the game up at 5-5. It was Treiber's third consecutive assist – he finished with a game-high four.
- Tufts added one more goal before the break as Murphy assisted on a Waldbaum goal to give the visitors a 6-5 advantage at the half.
- The third quarter featured three ties as the teams exchanged goals from start to finish.
- Martello scored just 31 seconds into the second half but Waldbaum put Tufts back on top two minutes later.
- After both teams exchanged goals yet again, Martello found the back of the net with just 32 seconds remaining to even the score at 8-8 entering the fourth.
- Waldbaum put Tufts on top 9-8 at the 12:32 mark, but Wesleyan's defense wouldn't allow another goal.
- With 9:28 remaining, Kotsen wrapped around the goal and sent in the tying score. Just over seven minutes later, Barker scored the eventual game-winner with a low shot past the Tufts' keeper.
- Wesleyan goalie Otto Bohan made a great save with 1:42 remaining and Sean Penney made an incredible defensive play to force a Tufts' turnover with just over a minute remaining to help seal the victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Six different Cardinals scored on Saturday and four players led the team with four groundballs each – Thomas Clejan, Colin Malarchuk, Penney, and Zach Zavalick. Penney also caused a game-high five turnovers and Malarchuk caused four, and Zavalick was terrific on faceoffs going 10-12. Bohan was excellent between the posts and finished with 13 saves against a prolific Tufts' offense.
- Five Jumbos factored into the scoring for Tufts, while Brian Powers led the team with two caused turnovers. Treiber recorded four ground balls and Mason Pollack made 10 stops in net.
- The stats were nearly identical with Wesleyan winning 13-of-23 faceoffs and Tufts holding a slight 41-37 edge in shots. Both teams were scoreless on man-up opportunities.
- Wesleyan has a quick turnaround and will play in-state NESCAC rival Trinity on Tuesday, April 9 at 4:30 p.m.