May 6, 2009

Courtesy of Tufts University.

MEDFORD -- The Tufts University women's lacrosse team scored its most goals in a game since the 2000 season while posting a 22-15 victory over Drew University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Bello Field. Junior Emily Johnson (Yarmouth, ME) scored five goals with two assists and senior tri-captain Chrissie Attura (Yarmouth, ME) had two goals with five assists to lead the Jumbos.

Tufts (15-2) moves on to the second round of the NCAA's, where they will play St. John Fisher College at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Saturday at 2:30 pm. St. John Fisher defeated Wooster, 17-12, in its first-round match-up today. The Jumbos are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Drew University, which was led by five goals from sophomore Stacie Brown (Upper Marlboro, MD) and four from sophomore Brook Connell (Little Silver, NJ), finished its season at 10-8. The Rangers were selected to the NCAA field for the eighth time.

With 37 goals between the teams, Tufts and Drew combined to score the most goals in an NCAA Tournament game since 1996. It's the third-most goals scored in a game in the history of the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament, which began in 1985.

The host Jumbos, ranked eighth in this week's national poll, jumped out to a 6-1 lead at 16:32 of the first half, with Johnson scoring three times. Drew rallied to score three of the next four and was within 7-4 on Connell's second of the game with 10:21 to play in the first half. Tufts pushed its lead to 10-6 by halftime.

Two goals by Brown in the first six minutes of the second half had the Rangers within three again at 12-9. The teams continued to score at an amazing pace throughout the second half, totaling 21 overall. The Jumbos opened up a 15-10 lead on a connection between first-years Casey Egan (Massapequa, NY) to Stephanie Perez (East Providence, RI) with 20:09 on the clock. Tufts further distanced itself from the Rangers when a free-position goal by first-year Kelly Hyland (Acton, MA) finished a three-goal spurt that put Tufts up 18-11 with 10:45 remaining. Drew goals by sophomore Rebecca Schild (Prinecton, NJ) and Brown closed the gap to 19-13 with 7:18 to go, but it would not get any closer.

Ten players scored goals for Tufts, including seven with multiples. Hyland and classmate Lara Kozin (Suffern, NY) both had three. Junior defender Alyssa Kopp (Hollis, NH) led her team with four ground balls and four caused turnovers. Attura controlled four draws in addition to scoring seven points, and sophomore goalie Sara Bloom (Summit, NJ) finished with 12 saves. She had six in both halves.

Drew's 15 goals tied for the most scored against Tufts this season. First-year Lyndsay Rossi (Pennington, NJ) added three goals and two assists to the Ranger attack. Brown added five draw controls, while Schild led the visitors with three ground balls. Schild and junior Cristina Lanzilotta (Turnersville, NJ) both caused two turnovers. Sophomore goalie Rachel Hanley (Randolph, NJ) made 11 saves.

The teams combined to attempt 75 shots, with 42 of them by Tufts. The Jumbos held a slight edge in ground balls (18-14), but Drew was a little better on draw controls (21-18). The Rangers managed to score on just three of 11 free-position attempts, while Tufts netted three of seven. Turnovers were also relatively equal, with Drew committing 20 and Tufts 17.

Tufts' 22 goals were its most since it recorded the same amount against Western New England College in a 2000 ECAC New England Playoff Quarterfinal at home.