No. 2 Tufts tops men’s lacrosse

MEDFORD, Mass. — Undefeated host Tufts on Saturday dealt the Middlebury men’s lacrosse team its first loss of the season, 19-15. The Jumbos, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III, scored the game’s first six goals and were never headed, although the Panthers scored three straight goals late in the fourth quarter to put some pressure on Tufts. 

The Panthers (7-1 overall, 4-1 NESCAC and ranked No. 7 last week) were set to host Hamilton on Wednesday afternoon (after the deadline for this section) before Wesleyan (6-1, 3-1 NESCAC) visits at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Their 7-0 start was their best since 2008, when the Panthers started 9-0. 

On this past Saturday, the Jumbos opened with their 6-0 run over the game’s first 12:15 before William Ryan broke the ice for Middlebury late in the first period. 

The Jumbos and Ryan traded goals early in the second period, but the Jumbos pushed their lead to 11-4 at the break despite goals by Cooper DeMallie and Patrick Jamin late in the period.

Tufts stretched its advantage to 17-9 after three periods despite two goals in the third by Panther Will Zink and one each by Ryan and J.D. Farkas. 

Ryan made it 17-10 with his fourth goal early in the fourth, and goals by Farkas and Zink later brought Middlebury within 18-12. But the Jumbos got the next goal, and late strikes by Jamin, Jack Sheehan and Billy Curtis were too little too late. 

Ryan added two assists to his four goals, and Zink had a hat trick. DeMallie added an assist to his two goals, while Curtis finished with a goal, three assists, and four ground balls. Luke Simpson and Finn Muldoon led Middlebury with six ground balls each, and goalie Hayden Kern made 15 saves. 

Jack Boyden sparked the Jumbos with four goals and seven assists, while Kurt Bruun, Charlie Tagliaferri and Cam Delcristo each scored three times. Tufts goalie Connor Garzone made 19 saves. 

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