March 12, 2011

Kirwan, Tufts Down Amherst, 13-9

from press release

– Junior Sean Kirwan scored six goals as the top-ranked Tufts University men's lacrosse team opened its defense of the 2010 NCAA title with a 13-9 victory over Amherst College in a NESCAC game on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.

First-year Aaron Mathias (Ridgefield, CT) had two goals and an assist for Amherst (0-1), with junior Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD) adding a goal and two assists for the Lord Jeffs. Tufts (1-0) also received a combined 10 points from returning All-Americans D.J. Hessler and Matt Witko. Hessler had a goal and four assists, while Witko tallied three goals with two assists.

The Jumbos scored the game's first four goals and led 5-1 after the first quarter. Five different players scored the goals, with Hessler and Witko each recording a goal and an assist in the first 15 minutes.

Amherst netted a pair of scores 14 seconds apart early in the second quarter to close the margin to 5-3 on Cole Cherney's (Chappaqua, NY) goal with 13:35 on the clock. A pair of Kirwan tallies set up by Hessler initiated a four-goal Tufts run that put the hosts up 9-3 with 5:34 remaining until halftime. Mathias and Redwood scored for Amherst in the final five minutes of the half and Tufts led 10-5 at the break.

The Lord Jeffs controlled possession in the third quarter, posting a 16-4 advantage in shots. The Jumbos killed a locked-in, two-minute man-up situation for Amherst early in the quarter. However, goals by Ramsey Bates (McLean, VA) and Cherney pulled the Lord Jeffs within 10-7 with 54 seconds to go in the third.

With momentum in the visitors' favor, Kirwan scored the next three goals to hand momentum back to the Jumbos. The Lord Jeffs scored the final two goals for the 13-9 final.

Kirwan, who led the Jumbos with 49 goals last season, had a game-high 13 shots. Tufts won the ground-ball battle, 44-34, as senior Alec Bialosky and sophomore Sam Gardner both had five. Junior Nick Rhoads was 15-of-25 on face-offs and collected seven ground balls. Junior Steven Foglietta made 12 saves to win the game in goal.

Amherst finished with a 43-42 edge in shots, led by 10 each from Cherney and first-year Devin Acton (Sudbury, MA), as both players scored twice. Sophomore Danny Gold (Medfield, MA) paced the Lord Jeffs with five ground balls. First-year Greg Majno (Sudbury, MA) started in goal and made five saves during 23 minutes of action. Junior Sam Jakimo (Woodbury, NY) came on in relief and stopped 11 shots in 37 minutes.

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