MEDFORD - Senior John Uppgren tallied four goals and five assists and the Tufts men's lacrosse team pulled away from Connecticut College in the second half for a 16-10 victory in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Saturday at Bello Field.
The Jumbos (14-2), who are the #1 seed in the tournament field, will host the conference semi-finals and final next weekend (May 7-8). The Camels, led by four goals and two assists for a six-point game from Jordan Foster today, finish their season at 7-9.
Connecticut College had tied the score at 7-7 when PJ Kelleher scored the first goal of the second half at the 11:20 mark of the third quarter. Tufts, however, would get the next five goals and nine of the next 10 to take a 16-8 advantage late.
Uppgren led the Jumbo run with three goals and three assists. The stretch started with a man-up goal by Michael Mattson from Austin Carbone at 2:47 of the third. Tufts would add three more by the end of the quarter, including two by Uppgren. His power-play goal gave Tufts an 11-7 lead after three. Carbone added another man-advantage goal to build a 12-7 advantage early in the fourth. After Foster's man-up goal stopped the stretch, Tufts answered with a four-goal run that included a long-pole score by defenseman Tyler Carbone at 5:10 of the fourth.
Until that point, eight-seed Connecticut College was very much in the game. Tufts senior Jake Gillespie scored three times in the first period, twice assisted by Garrett Clake. However, Derek Bertolini set up three goals by Foster in the first 15 and the Jumbo lead was just 4-3.
The Camels then opened the second quarter by scoring the first two goals. Bertolini's tally at 11:18 gave them a 5-4 lead. The Jumbos would finish the period scoring three of the next four goals. Uppgren and classmate Ben Andreycak had a goal and an assist each during the spurt and the Jumbos led 7-6 at the break.
Gillespie reached 50 goals for the season with four more today plus an assist. Andreycak also had four and one for Tufts. Chris Sawyer caused a pair of turnovers for the Jumbos, who won the groundball battle 32-17 with AJ Enchill one of several Jumbos who came up with a pair. Alex Salazar stopped nine shots in the Tufts net. Connor Helfrich (13-24) and Tucker Mathers (4-5) combined to win 17 of 29 face-offs.
Bertolini assisted four goals and had five points for the Camels, who out-shot Tufts 42-35. Kelleher and Ross Thompson both scored twice. Eli Mitchell created a pair of turnovers for the Camels and John Cunningham scooped up two groundballs defensively. Bobby Bleistein made 11 saves in net.
Both teams were effective in extra-man opportunities. The Jumbos scored on all three of their chances and Conn was 3 for 6.
Middlebury and Bowdoin advanced to the NESCAC semi-finals at Tufts next weekend with quarterfinal victories today. Pairings will be announced once today's Williams at Amherst quarterfinal today is over.
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