Tufts men’s lacrosse added another NESCAC win to their record after beating Trinity College 21–10 on Saturday, March 26. However, Tufts suffered its first loss of the season on March 29 in a home matchup against seventh-ranked Union College with a 17–12 final game score. Tufts also lost to Middlebury on Saturday, April 2, 21–14. The Jumbos’ record now sits at 6–2 overall and 3–1 in conference play.
In their game against Trinity College, the Jumbos’ offensive play was unstoppable, scoring 21 goals throughout the entirety of the game. The Tufts defense was also impressive, holding Trinity to 10 goals in the game and only two in the second half.
The Jumbos had a bit of a slow start to the game, trading goals in the first quarter and going into the second quarter leading only 7–6. However, the offense picked up, scoring nine unanswered goals with the help of three goals from senior attacker Mac Bredahl.
“Once we got going, we didn't slow down. It just took until about a minute left in the first quarter to really get moving with those three goals to take the lead which kind of got our energy back and our bench going, and at that point, we weren’t going to get stopped,” first-year defensive midfielder Cam Delcristo said.
First-year attacker Max Ettinghausen also contributed to the Jumbos’ successful second quarter by scoring two goals, marking his first multi-goal game of his career. Ettinghausen hopes to continue to play a larger role in the Jumbos’ offense in the future, filling the space left by junior attacker Kurt Bruun, who is out of play this season due to injury.
In the first three games of the season, Bruun was a significant part of the Jumbos’ offense, playing the left lower attack position and tallying 13 points. However, Delcristo said the team is not afraid of this setback, as the depth of the Tufts bench is promising and underclassmen like Ettinghausen are ready to step up to help the team overcome this challenge.
“A big part of our team is the next man up mentality," Delcristo said. "Injuries happen, there is nothing we can really do about that. What we can control is how we react to that … especially young guys. Max came in and scored two goals which were huge for us. We can't look back when someone gets hurt, we have to look forward."
Tufts finished the second quarter with a 14–8 lead over Trinity and continued this momentum into the second half, scoring seven more goals while holding the Bantams to only two goals in the third quarter and shutting them out in the fourth quarter.
A large part of the lights-out Tufts defense was sophomore goalie Conner Garzone. The goalie has been spectacular throughout the season, and last week, he earned a spot on the weekly United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association national team. Against the Bantams’ offense, Garzone tallied 18 saves in the three quarters he played, giving him an impressive save percentage of 64.3% on the game. Junior goalie Cody Weibe also impressed when given his opportunity in the fourth quarter, saving six shots.
Tufts defense also contributed multiple goals on the offensive side of the field. Delcristo tallied a goal as well as graduate student and co-captain Taggart Eymer and redshirt first-year Joey Waldbaum, both long-stick midfielders.
The team prides itself on having depth all over the field, which allows defensive-focused players to have an impact on the offensive end as well.
According to Delcristo, the Jumbos debuted their 1930s inspired throwback jerseys over the weekend.
“A large part of the culture here is just being thankful for those who came before us, and I think [wearing the jerseys] is a great way of honoring the program and everyone who played before us, everyone who built this [program] allowed us to be where we are today,” Delcristo said.
In Tufts’ game against Union, it was a battle of two undefeated teams coming into the game. However, Tufts’ offensive play did not have as much firepower as usual, with Tufts ultimately turning over the ball 31 times to Union’s 26 turnovers. A large part of slowing down the Tufts offense was Union’s goalie Dan Donahue, who had 16 saves in the night.
The greatest lead for the Dutchmen came late in the third quarter when they led by five goals for a score of 13–7. Tufts was able to bring the game back into reach by the end of the third quarter with a score of 13–10. However, these goals were not enough to kick-start a full comeback, and Union outscored Tufts in the fourth quarter 4–2, leading to the 17–12 win.
Despite the loss, a few Jumbos had noticeable performances. Junior attacker Jack Boyden had a game high of four goals. Boyden continues to be one of the largest assets on the Tufts attacking end this season, with 30 points thus far.
For first-year faceoff specialist Parker Merril, this was his first game not splitting reps with senior Aidan Hesse due to injury. Merril proved himself by winning 23 of 31 total faceoffs and leading the team in ground balls with 15 total.
On Saturday, April 2, Tufts dropped a conference matchup to Middlebury College, losing 21–14. In a game with high expectations, the Jumbos fell short. The Panthers shot the ball 52 times to the Jumbos’ 49 and grabbed 11 more ground balls than the Jumbos. With much tougher competition ahead, the Jumbos will look to rally and finish the season strong in NESCAC play.