No rust shows on Tufts in late opener
Notes: Freshman goaltender making quick impact at Albany
The defending NCAA Division III Champions from Tufts University had a long time to watch and wait before beginning their title defense.
By the time the Jumbos took the field on Saturday to face Amherst in their first game of the season, teams like No. 2 Stevenson, No. 3 Salisbury and No. 7 Haverford had played five games apiece, with teams like No. 4 Cortland, No. 6 Dickinson and No. 9 Roanoke not far behind.
However, the Jumbos showed little sign of rust in their first outing of the year, beating Amherst, 13-9 to start their season off with a victory against a NESCAC rival. No one showed himself to be in midseason form more than junior attackman Sean Kirwan.
After leading the Jumbos with 49 goals in their NCAA championship season, Kirwan scored six goals in the victory against the Lord Jeffs, earning NESCAC Player of the Week honors in the conference’s first weekly release. Three of those goals came within a span of 3:20 in the third and fourth quarters, as Kirwan turned a 10-7 Jumbos lead into a six-goal advantage, easing the pressure on goaltender Steven Foglietta and putting the game out of reach for the Lord Jeffs.
The reigning champs also got a combined 10 points from returning All-Americans D.J. Hessler and Matt Witko. Hessler was a catalyst for the Jumbos offense with a goal and four assists, while Witko contributed a hat trick and two assists.
Tufts won’t have to wait nearly as long for its next game, hitting the road to face Lassell on Tuesday. From there, it’s back into NESCAC action, as Colby comes to visit on Saturday.
Need to Know
• It hasn’t taken freshman goaltender Edmund Cathers to make an impact at Albany. Cathers, a Syracuse native, backstopped the Great Danes to back-to-back victories against ranked opponents en route to America East Rookie of the Week honors. The first victory came against then-No. 5 UMass, as Cathers made 17 saves, including eight in the fourth quarter, to lead the Great Danes to a 9-8 win. Then, against then-No. 13 Ohio State, Cathers made 12 stops and picked up seven ground balls in an 11-9 win. Cathers heads home on Tuesday, as he’ll go into the Carrier Dome and try to help the Great Danes upset No. 1 Syracuse.
• Chestnut Hill College made its first victory as a member of the East Coast Conference a memorable one Sunday. The Griffins hosted then-No. 2 Mercyhurst in Philadelphia, and freshman midfielder Mike Landau scored his second goal of the game 1:14 into overtime to lift the Griffins to an 8-7 victory against the Lakers. Landau also added an assist in the win, and his performance, combined with a four-goal effort against American International earlier in the week, earned him ECC Rookie of the Week honors. Sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Maurer, meanwhile, was named the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Week after making 13 saves and scooping up four ground balls in the victory against the Lakers, following up on 15 saves and eight ground balls against the Yellow Jackets. The Griffins received votes in the USILA Division II poll after the win, while the Lakers dropped from No. 2 to No. 6.
• The Red Devils of Dickinson College will head to Orlando on Wednesday to face Skidmore, and with a five-game win streak to start the season, it’s fair to say that the Red Devils have earned the trip. Roanoke College became Dickinson’s latest victim on Sunday, as Brian Cannon completed his hat trick with the eventual game-winner with 10:24 left in the fourth quarter in a 14-13 win against the then-No. 5 Maroons. Cannon, who also scored twice and handed out four assists in a 15-6 victory against Kenyon, was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week.
• Hamilton junior attackman Jon Leanos and Rensselaer senior attackman Devin Arnold were named the Co-Offensive Performers of the Week by the Liberty League. Leanos tied his career high with five goals – the fifth to win the game in overtime – against Babson on Saturday, while Arnold scored four in the No. 12 Engineers’ 16-10 victory against Oneonta State.
• Assumption picked up a pair of Northeast-10 weekly honors following the Greyhounds’ season-opening win against Clark on Saturday. Senior attackman Will Langevin was named the NE-10 Player of the Week after scoring three goals and assisting on two more in the 12-6 win, while senior Scott Vogel was named the Goalkeeper of the Week after making 12 saves in the win.
• North Carolina junior attackman Thomas Wood has been named the ACC Offensive Player of the Week. Wood scored three goals and picked up three ground balls to lead the Tar Heels to a 12-6 victory against previously unbeaten Penn, then scored three more goals and handed out an assist in a 9-5 victory against Princeton.
• St. Andrews Presbyterian College freshman Alex Tindall was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Week after scoring eight goals in three games for the Knights, including two goals and an assist in a victory against Dominican (Calif.) and three goals in a loss to Pfeiffer. Against Wheeling Jesuit, Tindall scored two goals in the fourth quarter to help St. Andrews force overtime, then scored the game-winner in a 9-8 Knights victory.
• After a week where Harvard defeated Bellarmine and then-No. 20 Georgetown, the Crimson saw two players pick up Ivy League weekly awards. Senior attackman Dean Gibbons, who scored seven goals and added six assists in the two wins, shared Player of the Week honors with Cornell’s Rob Pannell, while freshman midfielder Daniel Eipp was named Rookie of the Week after scoring two goals and assisting on the game-winner against Georgetown and scoring four goals with an assist against Bellarmine.