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NESCAC Semifinals: #3 Tufts University 14, #2 Connecticut College 11

NESCAC Semifinals: #3 Tufts University 14, #2 Connecticut College 11

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. --(Middlebury Athletic Communications) Tufts defeated Connecticut College 14-11 in the second NESCAC semi-final hosted by Middlebury at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Jumbos (13-4) will face Wesleyan, a 9-8 winner over Middlebury, in the championship game at noon on Sunday.

Tufts took a 1-0 lead just 1:14 into the game with John Uppgren made a nice catch on a feed from Beau Wood, converting for his 16th of the year. Peter Bowers scored on a quick turn-and-shoot move to make it a 2-0 game at the 10:04 mark.

Connecticut College (12-4) got on the board early in the second when JR Hartgers scored with a low shot to the back of the net. Tufts answered with a man-up goal by Uppgren on the doorstep with a couple quick moves after a feed from Wood to make it a 3-1 game. Wood found Bowers at 9:46, before scoring a goal of his own with just 19 seconds left in the first half to give his team a 5-1 lead at the break.

The Camels came out flying in the third quarter, scoring four goals in the first 3:16 to tie the game at 5-5, as John Lyons bookended the run with his second and third of the game. The Jumbos answered with a 3-0 run in a 2:15 span to gain an 8-5 lead with 6:15 remaining.

Connecticut College scored a man-up goal at the 4:01 mark as Barton scored after picking up a ground ball near the crease. Tufts followed with a pair in 33 seconds to take a 10-6 lead with 2:31 left in the second quarter. John Uppgren netted the first on a nice cross field pass from Cole Bailey, while Bailey netted a goal of his own moments later. Conn. scored the final goal of the 11-goal quarter with 51 seconds remaining, as John Lyons ripped a laser for a man-up tally to cut the deficit to 10-7 after three.

Tufts took an 11-7 lead early in the fourth before a pair of Connecticut College goals brought them within two at 11-9 with 10:04 remaining. Andrew Berry scored the first goal in transition with a feed from Lyons while Lyons scored on his own with a lefty dodge.

Andrew Fiamengo increased the Jumbos cushion with a righty transition goal at the 8:07 mark before Jeff Bailey scored for the Camels with a shot to the top right corner to make it a 12-10 game with 7:13 remaining in the fourth. Tufts responded with two goals, building a 14-10 advantage, capped by Chris Schoenhut's tally at 4:42. Connecticut College managed one goal in the final minutes, as Kevin Dachille scored on a cross-crease feed from Lyons, setting the final at 14-11, for Tufts.

Uppgren and Bailey had matching three goal, two assist games, while Wood finished with a game-best four assists and one goal for Tufts. Bowers netted a hat trick, while Fiamengo added two helpers. Brian Ruggiero won 12-25 face-offs and collected a team-best six groundballs. Brian Droesch earned the win in goal, playing the final 15 minutes, making two saves, while allowing four goals. Starting goalie Patton Watkins played three quarters, making five saves and allowed seven goals.

Lyons paced the Camels with four goals and two assists. Lyons, who played in five games all season, entered the game with six goals. Tyler Corcoran ended with a goal and two assists, while Brendan Schrader gobbled up a game-best nine ground balls while winning 15-27 face-offs. Bobby Bleistein finished with nine saves in net for the Camels.