Amherst vs. Tufts
March 29, 2006
The Game Story:
AMHERST, MA – The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team earned a clutch 9-8 victory over host Amherst College in their NESCAC opener on Wednesday afternoon. The 17th ranked Jumbos improve to 5-1 with their first NESCAC win, while the Lord Jeffs drop to 1-3 overall and remain winless in conference play (0-3).

The two squads traded scores through the first 28 minutes of play as seniors Joaquin Walker (Denver, CO) and Kevin Boova (Summit, NJ) and juniors Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) and Chris Hofmann (New Canaan, CT) each tallied unassisted scores for the Jeffs, while junior Mark Warner (Wading River, NY) added a pair of goals and fellow junior Chris Connelly (Wilton, CT) and freshman Clem McNally (Farhills, NJ) each scored once for Tufts en route to a 4-4 tie midway through the second session.

Warner broke the pattern, notching this third score of the game with 2:40 left in the half, but Walker answered for Amherst with just 20 seconds left in the frame to reknot the count at 5-5 at the break.

Tufts pulled ahead in the third quarter with a pair of unanswered goals from Connelly and senior co-captain Billy Granger (Setuaket, NY) to make it 7-5. Cherney responded 6:07 into the fourth period, finishing a slick feed from Hofmann, but senior Michael Hughes (Branford, CT) bounced back for the Jumbos to regain the two-goal advantage. The teams would trade scores again as senior quad-captain Sean Murray (Madison, NJ) sniped an unassisted score for Amherst, and Granger used a Warner feed to make it 9-7 Tufts with 6:21 left to play.

Sophomore Will Ferrer (Greenwich, CT) kept Amherst’s hopes alive, firing home a man-up score from the right wing off a dish from classmate T.J. Jackson (Worcester, PA) at the 3:29 mark. Amherst continued to push down the stretch, but couldn’t find the net. Hofmann had a near score with just under two minutes to play, and freshman Tim Thornton (Rockville Centre, NY) bulled his way to the cage in the waning seconds, but both times Jumbo freshman Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD) came up with clutch stops to hang on to the win.

Warner led Tufts with three goals and three assists, while Granger had two goals and an assist and Connelly had a pair of tallies. Harrigan had nine saves and five ground balls, while senior Rory Doucette (Merrick, NY) collected five ground balls.

Cherney and Walker finished with two goals apiece to lead Amherst, while Walker added a team high five ground balls. Freshman Matt Pietroforte (Brooklyn, NY) finished with nine saves and three ground balls in defeat.

The Jumbos next play at Trinity on Saturday at 2:30 PM, which is a new game time from the original schedule. Amherst returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. against visiting NESCAC foe Colby College.