NEW LONDON, Conn.—It was another clash of the titans Tuesday as two of the top dogs in the NESCAC battled it out in a driving rainstorm. The 15th ranked Connecticut College men's lacrosse team rallied behind six goals from Chad Sawyer (Northfield ,Ill.) to hold off the 11th ranked Tufts University Jumbos on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field.
The Camels improve to 2-0 and are a perfect 2-0 in the NESCAC. After dropping consecutive one-goal decisions, the Jumbos have fallen to 0-2 (0-2 NESCAC).
Sawyer sparked the Camels on their 5-0 second half scoring surge, scoring three of his six markers during the run that turned a 13-9 deficit into a 14-13 advantage with 11:49 remaining. Andrew Freedman (Sudbury, Mass.) had three goals and four assist Pat Leary (Troy, Mich.) added three goals and one helper. Senior Tyler Corcoran (Simsbury, Conn.) chipped in with two goals and two assists.
Bobby Bleistein (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) made nine saves over the closing 33:47 of regulation to come away with his first collegiate win, limiting the visitors to just three goals over the final two plus quarters of play.
Brendan Schrader (Annapolis, Md.) won 11-of-16 face-offs to go with four ground balls for the Camels.
Tufts University senior Ben Saperstein (Hewlett, N.Y.) and rookie attackman John Uppgren (Stillwater, Minn.) were impressive as they both had four goals and one assists in the contest. Jack McDermott (Medfield, Mass.) and AJ Enchill (Pittsfield, Mass.) both finished with two goals and an assist.
Connor Bilby (Chatham, N.J.) sandwiched a goal around two assists while junior net-minder Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, Tenn.) contributed five saves and three ground balls in the challenging playing conditions.
The teams were tied at four after one quarter of action. The Camels took a 9-8 lead when Freedman scored on an assist from JR Hartgers (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) with 5:51 remaining. But the Jumbos closed out the half with an impressive 4-0 run. Uppgren forced the sixth tie of the game with his goal at the 5:04 mark. Enchill put the visitors on top with 4:16 remaining. Just 10 seconds later in an unsettled situation, Nate Marchand (Concord, Mass.) was the feeder on another McDermott marker and it was an 11-9 game. Uppgren tacked on one more goal to make it a 12-9 Tufts lead at the half.
But in the second stanza, the Camels were able to slow down the potent Tufts offensive attack. John Lyons (Barrington, Ill.) assisted Sawyer in the crease area for a goal with 2:40 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 13-12.
The Camels kept coming in the fourth, taking their first lead since the opening quarter when Freedman assisted Leary for an extra man goal with 11:49 left. But the Jumbos would not go away and with 6:51 remaining, Uppgren put the visitors back on top when he unloaded for a goal from the top of the box.
The Camels responded though and with 4:01 to play, Sawyer elevated for a nifty looking jump shot from the middle of the box to even things up at 15. With 2:44 left, the Camels took the lead for good. Hartgers made the key play in the sequence when he walked the tight rope on the sideline to save the possession with the ground ball. Freedman pushed the ball ahead to Corcoran who buried the game-winner at the near post side of the goal. Corcoran scored three-game winners last year.
Connecticut College held a 44-to-39 advantage in shots and won the ground ball war by a slim 42-to-40 margin.