Endicott vs. Tufts
April 14, 2009
The Game Story:
BEVERLY, Mass. - Seventh-ranked Tufts University outscored No. 15 Endicott 7-3 in the fourth quarter to blow open a one goal game, as the Jumbos outlasted the Gulls, 18-13, in a top-15 showdown on Tuesday night in Beverly, Mass. The win improves Tufts to 10-2 overall while Endicott falls to 10-3.

The Jumbos were quick out of the gate as Matt Witko (Chappaqua, N.Y.) notched a man-up goal followed by a D.J. Hessler (Monkton, Md.) tally to give Tufts a 2-0 lead just 4:55 into the first quarter. The two sides would trade goals for the remainder of the frame as the visitors led 4-2 after one.

A wild second quarter saw a combined nine goals scored between the two teams as Endicott was able to cut the deficit to one heading into halftime, trailing 8-7. Both Dan Cain (Billerica, Mass.) and Brandon Dube (Danvers, Mass.) struck twice for the Blue and Green in the second. Tufts countered with a balanced attack as the Jumbos had eight different goal scorers in the first half.

The two nationally-ranked teams scored three goals apiece in the third quarter, sending Tufts into the final frame leading by one, 11-10. Clem McNally (Far Hills, N.J.) put the guests ahead 12-10 as he took a feed from Kevin Williams (Merrick, N.Y.) just 33 seconds into the fourth and beat Endicott goalie Eric Hagarty (Sudbury, Mass.) with a crank shot from 12 yards out. Matt Witko then scored his second of the game on an overhand snipe that caught the upper corner, pushing the Jumbos out in front by three.

The Gulls kept their chances alive less than a minute later as senior Nick Cosco (Londonderry, N.H.) beat his man off goal line extended and planted a shot under the crossbar to make it a two goal game. However the Jumbos smothered any comeback thoughts as Tufts rattled off four unanswered to put the game out of reach. Two late goals were not enough for the Blue and Green, as Tufts held on for the 18-13 decision.

Both D.J. Hessler and Matt Witko ended the night with three goals and an assist for Tufts. Kevin Williams had two goals and four assists while Ryan Molloy (Setauket, N.Y.) had two and two. Clem McNally ended the night with two goals and one helper. Senior goalie Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, Md.) made 12 saves in the winning effort.

Endicott got a monster effort from seniors Brandon Dube and Dan Cain, as the duo each had four goals for the Gulls. Sophomore Jack Curtis (Chelmsford, Mass.) had two goals and three assists while Nick Cosco had two goals. Junior midfielder Brad Lipkvich (Madison, Conn.) ended the night with a goal and three assists.

A statistically even game with the exception of two categories, Tufts controlled the midfield X by winning 21 of the 34 face-offs. The Jumbos also made the Gulls pay on the man-advantage, scoring on five of their seven attempts.

Tuesday's outcome could have huge implications on the two team's respective playoff destinies, as both Endicott and Tufts could be vying for At Large bid(s) into the NCAA Tournament due to particularly tough conference opponents. The Gulls will step back into TCCC play on Thursday when they travel to the University of New England, while Tufts gets set to host Connecticut College on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.