For the first time in history, the Jumbos have improved to 11-0 after two conference wins against the Williams Ephs and Hamilton Continentals last week. Tufts remains tied for first in the NESCAC with Bates (7-0 NESCAC), and No. 2 in the country behind Salisbury (14-0).
“We are definitely excited about it but our goal is not to [let up]. We have a lot more lacrosse going into this season, and a couple of big games coming up,” senior defenseman Tyler Carbone said. “There isn’t anything different from past years. It’s in the culture of working hard and wanting to compete every day. We’re happy with being here, but we aren’t satisfied.”
On Saturday the Jumbos celebrated Senior Day by doubling up on the Continentals with a final score of 18-6 after they established a dominant 13-2 lead in the first half. Neither team scored in opening offensive possessions, with the ball transitioning from end to end several times before senior attackman Michael Mattson capitalized on a man-up opportunity. It was more than five minutes before sophomore attackman Danny Murphy rolled the crease to score the Jumbos’ second goal. Murphy added another goal and an assist in the quarter, and senior midfielder Lucas Johnson scored another to establish a three-goal advantage.
The second quarter saw the Jumbos pick up the pace, and they scored nine goals to the Continentals’ one. Seven different Jumbos scored, among them two long poles who ran the ball in from the defensive end, with sophomore defenseman Arend Broekmate even scoring a Jumbo goal while the team was a man down.
In the second quarter, Murphy scored three and assisted two, adding up to seven points in the first half alone. Junior midfielder Zach Lesko notched his first goal of the season, while junior attackman Frank Hattler, sophomore attackman Ben Connelly and Mattson each got on the scoresheet once.
Tyler Carbone opened the scoring 16 seconds in the second half, but that would be the only Jumbo goal of the third quarter. Hamilton added their own goal with 8:51 in the quarter, but failed to reduce the deficit.
In the final quarter, the teams were more closely matched, with four Tufts goals to three of Hamilton’s. It was an important quarter for first-year midfielders Evan Kulpan and Jack Carbonari, as they recorded their first career goals for the Jumbos, as well as junior midfielder Jake Geppert who tallied his first of the season.
On April 5 the Jumbos marked the fourth time this season they have scored over 20 goals in one game in their 22-13 win over the Ephs. Sophomore attackman John Cordrey returned to play after a week out due to injury to score the first goal of the game. Five further goals were scored by Tufts in the first quarter with only one in retaliation. A strong second quarter brought five more goals for the Jumbos and an 11-3 advantage into the second half.
The third quarter was the highest scoring overall, with a 7-4 goal difference. Murphy added his third, fourth, fifth and sixth goals of the game, while Mattson grabbed a pair and senior attackman Zach Richman added the seventh.
Two first-years scored in the final quarter — midfielder Nick Shanks and attackman Matt Treiber. Junior attackman Nico Pollack and sophomore midfielder Will Pasik who recently switched to play with a long pole, also tacked on a point each.
The Ephs scored six goals in the final quarter, two of which were in man-up situations. Tufts gave away seven man-up opportunities, of which Williams capitalized on three total.
There were four long-pole goals over these two games, a result of the “ten-man ride” style of play that Tufts has adopted. A “ten-man ride” utilizes the goalie as a reliable field player in the defensive unit, meaning that a long-pole can push up into the offensive unit and sometimes score.
“We love our ten-man ride because it creates a lot of fast break opportunities in the offense but also brings chaos to the opponent’s clear,” said Pasik. “If they see [long-pole player] Broekmate running in their face, he’s a big guy and they’re going to tend to throw it away or panic.”
Against Hamilton, junior goalie Robert Treiber saved six of seven shots that came his way, while sophomore goalie Ben Shmerler saved four of six. In the Williams game, Robert Treiber allowed seven of 14 while Shmerler only allowed three of 10. Shmerler now tops the NESCAC with a save percentage of 61 percent and fewest goals against after nabbing the top spot from Robert Treiber himself, who topped the leaderboard last week.
“We came out firing in both games, which we always want to do against a conference team,” said Pasik, who was named Player of the Game against Williams. “When we play well enough that we get to play more freshman and sophomores who don’t play as much, it’s always a good thing. Mid-April going into May we want to be at our best.”
Murphy dominated the field in both games, scoring 17 points total with 11 goals and six assists, increasing his lead on highest point scorer in the NESCAC to eight, with 61 total in the season. His performance in the pair of games led to him being named NESCAC Player of the Week — the first Tufts player this season to receive the honor. Murphy’s dominant showing earned him United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/BSN Sports (USILA/BSN) Div. III North Offensive Player of the Week honors.
The Jumbos only have one game this week — a conference match up away against the Amherst Mammoths (9-3, 5-2 in the NESCAC). A 16-11 win last season over Amherst, paired with the 11-game unbeaten streak this season suggests a positive outcome this weekend for the Jumbos.