Tufts moves on to NCAA semifinals with 15-5 victory vs. Cortland
MEDFORD, Mass. -- Down 4-3 at the end of the first quarter, Tufts scored the next 12 goals and ran away with a 15-5 victory against Cortland in the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship Wednesday afternoon at Bello Field.
Head coach Mike Daly's Jumbos (19-2) advance to the national semifinals for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Cortland finished its season with a 17-4 record. The loss was the Red Dragons' worst since a 15-2 defeat against Gettysburg during the 2000 season.
Senior tri-captain Beau Wood scored five goals and the Jumbos received a stellar defensive effort backed by 14 saves from senior goalie Patton Watkins today. Defensemen Kane Delaney, Cem Kalkavan and Garrett Read all caused two turnovers as Cortland committed 18 overall.
The Red Dragons had the early momentum, led by sophomore face-off man Pat Baldwin. He won all eight of the first-quarter draws. Tufts was fortunate to be down just one after 15 minutes, as Cortland's Cody Consul scored with three seconds left in the period to give the visitors a 4-3 lead. Sophomore John Uppgren scored all of the Jumbo goals in the first.
Baldwin would go on to win the first 12 face-offs, but it was Tufts who would dominate the second quarter overall. The Jumbos scored six times while Watkins stopped all six of Cortland's shots on net. Wood, junior Cole Bailey and junior Peter Gill each scored twice for Tufts and the hosts led 9-4 at halftime.
Tufts would blank Cortland again in the third quarter and add four scores to take a 12-4 advantage. Red Dragon junior goalie Scott Tota made seven saves in the third quarter or the margin could have been more. Wood had two of the Jumbos goals in the period.
Tufts would extend its lead to 15-4 before Cortland would score again. The Red Dragons ended a scoring drought lasting 39 minutes and 26 seconds with Matt Rakoczy's goal at 5:37 of the fourth to finish the scoring.
Uppgren added four goals and an assist to the Tufts attack, while Bailey finished with three goals and two assists. Gill had two goals and an assist. The Jumbos posted a slight 45-41 advantage in shots.
Tota finished with 15 saves in the Cortland net. Senior defenseman J.T. Foltz caused three turnovers and senior Stephen Burke finished with two caused turnovers and three groundballs. The Red Dragons had one more ground ball than the Jumbos with 26. Cortland was led offensively by a goal and an assist from Joe Slavik, and a pair of assists from MIke Cantelli. Baldwin finished 15 for 23 on face-offs.
This was the fourth all-time meeting between the teams, all in the NCAA tournament. Tufts has now won three. The win was Tufts' 12th in a row overall and ended a 12-game winning streak by Cortland.