Tufts vs. Amherst
April 21, 2004
The Game Story:
MEDFORD – Tufts University junior Devin Clarke’s (Ridgewood, NJ) laser shot high into the Amherst College net with 4:49 remaining in the fourth quarter was the difference in an 11-10 Jumbo victory over the Lord Jeffs in a dogfight of a men’s lacrosse game at Kraft Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Tufts (9-2, 5-1 NESCAC) moved into a first-place tie with Middlebury College in the NESCAC. Amherst (7-4, 3-3), which has lost three of their last four, fell into a tie for fifth place with Colby.

The visiting Lord Jeffs jumped out to a fast 3-0 lead on freshman Chris Hofmann’s (New Canaan, CT) goal at 10:49 of the first quarter. The Jumbos battled back to take a 4-3 lead by the end of the quarter, led by a goal and two assists from conference leading scorer Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY).

Tufts held the lead in the second quarter, and would never trail again, but the second half was very tightly contested. The Jumbos led 8-6 at the half, but consecutive goals by freshman Derek Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) pulled the Lord Jeffs even at 8-8 with 10:06 remaining in the third quarter. The second half would feature three ties overall as the teams waged a back-and-fourth battle during which the margin never exceeded one goal.

Sloppy turnovers led to goals by both teams. Griffin scored his third of the game at 4:28 of the third quarter when the Amherst defense lost the ball in front of their cage and the All-American was left with his easiest opportunity of the season. The Jumbos led 10-9 after three quarters. Amherst tied the game at 10-10 when Cherney scored his fourth consecutive goal for Amherst on a break-away after picking off a Tufts pass at 10:55 of the fourth.

After Clarke’s game-winner, neither team had a good opportunity to score again as the defenses clamped down.

Griffin finished with three goals and three assists for Tufts, which also got three goals and an assist from freshman Mark Warner (Wading River, NY). Co-NESCAC Player of the Week Luke Chicco (Merrick, NY) had 19 saves in the Tufts goal for another strong performance.

Cherney’s four second-half goals led Amherst. Junior Andrew Syfu (Hobart, IN) had three assists along with a goal. Junior goalie Cushing Donelan (Noroton, CT) stopped 11 shots.

The victory stopped a three-game losing streak against Amherst for the Jumbos.