NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.) made six saves between the pipes as the No. 4 Connecticut College men's soccer team played No. 5 Tufts to a scoreless double-overtime tie in a battle for first place in the NESCAC standings on Saturday afternoon at Freeman Field.
The programs entered the day as the top two teams in the standings with the winner having the opportunity to end the day in the driver's seat for the league's regular season title and top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. Instead, the Camels ended the day narrowly ahead of the Jumbos. If Tufts avoids an upset against last-place Trinity tomorrow, the Camels and Jumbos will end the weekend with identical 6-0-2 records in NESCAC action with two league matches left to play.
Most of the match between the nationally-ranked squads, especially the first half, was contested in the middle of the field with each team's scoring opportunities being extremely limited. Through 45 minutes of action, Tufts held a 4-1 advantage in total shots and recorded the only one on target when Marcucci saved an attempt by Brett Rojas in the 20th minute. The Camels got a good look in the 27th minute when a corner kick taken by senior Christian Murphy (Newport News, Va.) found the head of sophomore Liam Donelan (Milton, Mass.), but his attempt was blocked.
Tufts (10-0-2, NESCAC 5-0-2) began controlling play in the second half by outshooting the Camels, 10-2, but nothing was able to get past Marcucci. The sophomore most notably made a stop on another shot unleashed by Rojas in the 80th minute and turned away one more before the end of regulation to keep the match scoreless.
After neither side was successful with getting a shot on frame in the first overtime, Tufts continued to create opportunities in the second extra session. However, Marcucci came away with a save on a Jack Delaney attempt, and the last rush by the Jumbos came to a screeching halt when they were called for being offsides in the waning seconds.
Marcucci turned away six shots, including four in the second half alone, to earn his ninth shutout of the season for the Camels, who honored its seven-member senior class prior to the contest. Tufts' Conner Mieth made one save to pick up his sixth clean of the fall.
Connecticut College (10-0-2, NESCAC 6-0-2) will host Rhode Island College for its final non-conference match of the season on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.