May 30, 2010

Today marked the first official meeting between the Sea Gulls and the Jumbos. It is the fourth time that the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship has been held at M&T Bank Stadium (2003, 2004 and 2007). Tufts won its first-ever national title in any sport in school history.

The Jumbos began the season with a 10-0 record before falling at Connecticut College, 8-6, on Apr. 17. Tufts then won its next 10 games en route to becoming the National Champion.

Tufts now owns a 5-2 record in the NCAA Championship. The Jumbos came from behind in their two previous games to advance to today's title game. Tufts outscored Middlebury, 7-2, in the final 34:16 of play to earn an 11-9 victory in the quarterfinals, and then turned a 7-3 deficit into a 10-9 win over Cortland State in the semifinals. The Jumbos have played in 11 games this season decided by three goals or fewer, posting a 10-1 record in those contests.

Tuft's 6-1 lead in the first quarter marked the largest deficit for Salisbury this season in a single quarter. The Sea Gulls were held to their lowest first-quarter output this season. Salisbury had scored two goals in the first quarter five times this season.

The six goals scored by Tufts in the first quarter tied for the second most goals scored in the first quarter in Division III Championship game history. Salisbury scored seven goals in the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship game against SUNY Cortland. The five-goal lead after the first quarter by Tufts matches the largest in Championship Game history. In 1988, Hobart led Ohio Wesleyan, 6-1, after the first quarter.

Tufts went on a 6-0 run for 22:44 before Salisbury senior attack Mike Winter ended the scoring drought for the Sea Gulls when he scored his lone goal of the day at 5:47 in the second quarter. Salisbury responded with a 4-0 run over the course of next 16:18, concluded by Tufts' sophomore attack Sean Kirwan's 49th goal of the season at the 4:29 mark in the third quarter. The Sea Gulls were then held scoreless once again for 23:59. Prior to today, Salisbury had not gone without a goal for no more than 15 minutes this season.

Tufts junior attackman D.J. Hessler, the 2010 Most Outstanding Player, was the leading scorer of the 2010 NCAA Championship with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists). With his one goal and four assists today, Hessler broke his own single-season point record with 37 goals and 54 assists for 91 points (2009 - 89 points on 42 goals and 27 assists). His four assists today is the most by an individual in a single Division III game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Salisbury is 4-1 all time at M&T Bank Stadium, including a non-conference win against Washington (Md.) College on April 29, 2006. The Sea Gulls had advanced to the Division III Championship Game four times when the title game was held in Baltimore, winning three of those contests. Salisbury tied its lowest point total in a single game this season (lost 10-6 to Stevenson on Apr. 24).

Winter scored 12 goals during the 2010 NCAA Championship, including two game winners (17-4 second-round victory over Springfield on May 15 and 14-13 overtime win over Stevenson in the semifinals on May 19). It ties him for eighth place for most goals scored during an NCAA Championship (eight others - most recent: Jake Bergey, Salisbury, 1995).