May 10, 2014

Watkins' 16 Saves Lifts Tufts, Stops Endicott

from press release

MEDFORD, Mass. - In a dogfight of an NCAA Championshp second round game, senior goalie Patton Watkins made 16 saves as the Tufts men's lacrosse team edged Endicott College, 10-9, on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.

After the Jumbos scored to take a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter, the teams traded goals the rest of the way in dramatic back-and-forth action. Three goals each by senior Peter Bowers and junior Chris Schoenhut led Tufts, which improved to 18-2.

The Jumbos move on to the national quarterfinals for the fifth straight year. They will face the winner of the Springfield at Cortland State game, which is a 5 pm start today.

Tufts had handled Endicott relatively easy in an 18-13 final during the regular season. That would not be the case today. The Gulls jumped out to a 2-0 advantage as leading scorer Harrison Cotter scored at 12:37 and at 3:32 of the first.

Turning on their high-power offense late in the first, Tufts scored three times in the final three minutes of the period. Two came out of Bowers' stick. The hosts would not trail again, but the Gulls would be right on their back all game.

Sophomore John Uppgren scored at 13:59 of the second quarter to give Tufts a 4-2 lead. Cotter scored his third of the game at 10:31 to close Endicott within 4-3. The teams traded blows until halftime, with Schoenhut and Bowers scoring for the Jumbos and Kyle Weber and Colin Bannon tallying for Endicott. Tufts led 6-5 at the break.

Junior Cole Bailey scored the first goal of the second half to give Tufts a 7-5 lead. After Nick Pinciaro cut the margin to one again just 37 seconds later, Schoenhut scored man-down for Tufts at 7:18 returning the margin to two (8-6). Both Pinciaro and Schoenhut would score again in the period and Tufts led 9-7 heading into the fourth.

Weber gave Endicott the early momentum with a goal at 13:27 of the fourth making it 9-8. Junior Peter Gill scored next to put Tufts at 10-8, but Jonathan Morgan answered for Endicott at 6:10.

Tufts was whistled for a penalty with just 2:10 remaining in the fourth. Endicott's Jeremy Morgan hit the post with a shot soon after. The Jumbos got possession, called time-out with 52 seconds remaining and were able to run out the clock. The Gulls were called for a penalty with eight seconds remaining while they were forcing the Jumbos into a turnover.

Watkins had five saves in the second and third periods for Tufts. Senior Kane Delaney was also a defensive leader with two caused turnovers and four ground balls. Gill had a pair of goals in his return to the line-up after missing the last two games.

Cotter's two goals led Endicott, while Pinciaro scored two and assisted one. The Gulls got two caused turnovers from junior Ian Knechtle. Freshman Tommy Hughest won 12 of 21 face-offs and sophomore goalie Cameron Ball made 10 saves.

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