Balanced attack propels Tufts
Nine different Jumbos notch goals in win against Trinity (Conn.)
MEDFORD, Mass. -- Nine players scored goals, including four by Sean Kirwan, as Tufts opened NCAA tournament play with a 17-8 second-round victory against Trinity (Conn.) on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.
Tufts out-scored the Bantams 7-2 in the second quarter to blow the game open. Beau Wood and Peter Bowers each scored twice in the period as the Jumbos turned a 3-1 advantage at the end of the first into a 10-3 halftime lead.
Trinity had scored the first goal of the game when Matt Cohen converted a feed from Steve Manning at 12:37 of the first. Tufts netted the next three though, including Kevin McCormick's goal while falling in front of the goal with 35 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Jumbos capped a five-goal run with Wood's first at 9:50 of the second quarter for a 5-1 lead. Trinity's Rob Nogueras made it 5-2 at 8:24, but the Jumbos reponded with a goal by Kirwan at 6:47 followed by a face-off win by Nick Rhoads and his assist on Wood's goal 12 seconds later for a 7-2 Tufts advantage.
Jack Castelli scored to pull the visitors within 7-3, but the Jumbos finished the quarter with three consecutive goals including Bowers from Wood with 13 seconds remaining. Rhoads won seven of 10 face-offs in the second and Tufts finished with big first-half advantagaes of 29-13 in shots and 24-11 in groundballs.
Play was more even in the second half, but it was too far for Trinity to come back. In the third quarter, long-stick Kane Delaney scored for Tufts at 10:01 and Manning tallied a man-up goal for the Bantams at 7:55. The Jumbos won the period 3-2 and led 13-5 heading into the fourth.
Tufts would lead by as many as 10 goals -- at 16-6 -- on Kirwan's fourth tally from Geordie Shafer at 9:03 of the fourth. Trinity scored back-to-back goals for the first time in the game when Jeff Hebert and Chris Sweitzer connected less than a minute apart late in the period.
Five players had multiple goals for the Jumbos, including three with an assist from Wood. Shafer's pair of assists gave him three points for the game. Sam Gardner caused three turnovers, while Delaney nabbed five groundballs and Matt Callahan took four. Rhoads won 15 face-offs and goalie Patton Watkins made six saves on the afternoon.
The Bantams, who had given Tufts its only NESCAC loss of the season, 9-8 in overtime back on March 31, were led by Nogueras' goal and two assists. Hebert scored a pair and both Manning and Sweitzer finished with a goal and an assist. Alex Gottsch caused two turnovers and grabbed three groundballs on defense. Will Benjamin was 8-for-14 on face-offs and goalie Peter Johnson finished with 11 saves.
Tufts had a 49-33 lead in shots for the game, and also a healthy 45-23 margin in groundballs. They have now won 12 in a row overall, 33 consecutive at Bello and are 9-3 in five NCAA tournament appearances overall.