On Tuesday, both of the NESCAC’s top two teams found themselves in tight games against hungry conference opponents. The difference was that while Trinity floundered in the final quarter, Tufts finished strong.
The Bantams were outscored 4−1 in the fourth by the Wesleyan Cardinals, suffering a 12−8 loss. The fifth−ranked Jumbos, on the other hand, saved their best for last against the Bates Bobcats, winning the second−half battle 8−4 and taking the game 16−11. With the victory, Tufts improved to 7−1 in the NESCAC to grab sole possession of first place with just two regular−season games remaining.
The Jumbos were led offensively by four goals from senior co−captain midfielder Kevin McCormick, three goals and an assist from senior midfielder Geordie Shafer and two goals and two assists from freshman attackman Cole Bailey. McCormick took 12 shots, more than twice as many as anyone else on the team.
Though the host Bobcats entered the game at just 2−5 in conference play, they hung with the Jumbos for most of the game. Tufts barely won the ground ball battle, 39−35, and held only a slight edge in shots, 36−31. The Jumbos trailed 4−1 in the first, but climbed back into the game and played stellar defense, allowing two goals apiece in each of the final three quarters. Sophomore goalkeeper Patton Watkins also came up big, making 10 saves to help the Jumbos extend their winning streak to six games.
For complete coverage of the first−place Jumbos’ most recent victory and their upcoming game against the Cardinals, see tomorrow’s Daily.