No. 4 Wesleyan Hosts NESCAC Rival No. 12 Tufts in NCAA Third Round

No. 4 Wesleyan Hosts NESCAC Rival No. 12 Tufts in NCAA Third Round

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – For the third time this season, the No. 4 Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team will face No. 12 Tufts University, as the two NESCAC rivals face each other in the third round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday, May 13 at 1 p.m. on Jackson Field.


2017 NCAA DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET  l  NCAA DIGITAL PROGRAM


LIVE COVERAGE:

  • Saturday's game will feature live stats and live video broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN) with play-by-play by Gene Gumbs (Live Stats l Video).

TICKET INFORMATION:

  • Cost for admission is $6 for adults, $3 for students with a valid ID, and $2 for children ages 3-12. Children two or younger are free of charge.

SCOUTING NO. 4 WESLEYAN (18-1):

  • After claiming their second NESCAC title in program history, the Cardinals rose to No. 4 in the USILA/NIKE Coaches Poll and No. 2 in the North Region.
  • Three days later, in their first NCAA Tournament game since 2009, Wesleyan cruised to a 25-6 win over New England College. The Cardinals led 18-2 at halftime, and fell one goal shy of tying a program record for most goals in a game.
  • During the rout, Carter Hawthorne '19 set a single-season program record for assists in a season and now has 51. The previous record was 48 set by John Landy '01 during the 2001 season. In addition, Taylor Ghesquiere '18 reached the 100-career point milestone to become the third member of the team to do so, joining Hawthorne and Harry Stanton '18. 
  • Wesleyan is currently riding an 18-game win streak, which has surpassed the previous program record of 12-straight victories. The Cardinals only loss occurred in the season-opener, on the road against now-No. 3 Bates (15-14).
  • Stanton, Ghesquiere and senior goalie Ted Bergman were named First Team All-NESCAC selections, and junior long-stick midfielder Ben Shively garnered second team laurels. Stanton leads the league in goals (70) and points (97), while Hawthorne leads the NESCAC in assists (51) and ranks third in points (87). Defensively, Bergman leads the top defense in the conference and leads all NESCAC goalies with an 8.68 goals-against average, while his 56.9 save percentage is second-best.
  • Head coach John Raba was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, all with the Cardinals, Raba has just one losing season – his first in 1996-97. He owns a 244-109 (.691) career head coaching record.
  • Wesleyan boasts one of the best man-up offenses in Division III, scoring on 50.8% of it's opportunities to rank third in the country.
  • The Cardinals are now 7-4 all-time in four NCAA Tournament appearances.

SCOUTING NO. 12 TUFTS (13-5):

  • After winning its first 11 games of the season, Tufts lost four-straight from April 15 – April 26 before edging Bowdoin in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. However, the following weekend, the Jumbos lost to Wesleyan in the semifinals, 17-12.
  • Despite losing five of its last six games down the stretch, Tufts earned an at-large bid to return to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in program history. The Jumbos cruised past Keene State in their second round matchup, 26-14, and are now 27-6 all-time in the postseason.
  • Tufts has advanced to the NCAA Championship game the past three years, winning the title in 2014 and 2015 before falling to Salisbury last year, 14-13. They have three national championships, and finished as runner-up twice. Only Hobart (13) and Salisbury (11) have more titles, while Middlebury and Nazareth each have three of their own.
  • The Jumbos have advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the eighth-straight year.
  • The team is led by its offensive attack, which is highlighted by First Team All-NESCAC and sophomore Danny Murphy, as well as senior attack Michael Mattson. Murphy ranks second in the NESCAC in points (89), third in assists (38) and is tied for fourth in goals (51), while Mattson has 51 goals as well and ranks tied for 10th in points (66). Additionally, sophomore midfielder Ben Connelly was named a Second Team All-NESCAC selection and has 30 goals and 47 points on the season.
  • Tufts' offense ranks fifth in Division III in scoring (17.39 goals per game), fifth in points per game (27.61), eighth in assists per game (10.22) and eighth in man-up offense (46.7%).

SERIES HISTORY:

  • Saturday's game will be the third this season between Wesleyan and Tufts, with the Cardinals claiming the previous two matchups.
  • On April 22nd, the Cardinals hosted then-No. 3 Tufts on Jackson Field. Wesleyan scored the first goal of the game at the 14:13 mark of the first quarter, but Tufts took a lead just over two minutes later and remained ahead the majority of the game. The Jumbos led by three with 10:55 to play in regulation, but the Cardinals rallied and a goal from Tom Dupont '17 with :19 on the clock proved to be the game-winner (17-16).
  • The next matchup was a different story, as Wesleyan cruised in the first 30 minutes of play in the NESCAC Semifinals to lead 14-4 at halftime. The Cardinals went up by as much as 12 (16-4) in the second half, and eventually prevailed, 17-12.
  • The series history has been incredibly close, with Wesleyan holding a slight 27-26 edge.
  • The two rivals have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

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