MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The fifth-ranked Wesleyan men's lacrosse team concluded the 2019 regular season with a 12-2 overall record and 8-2 league ledger to earn the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC Tournament. The Cardinals will host seventh-seeded Middlebury (7-8, 4-6) in the Quarterfinals on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m. with a field location to be determined based on weather.
Tufts, the reigning NESCAC Champions, earned the No. 1 seed with a 9-1 conference record, while tiebreakers were applied to determine the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 seeds. Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst all finished with identical conference records of 8-2. In head-to-head competition, all three teams went 1-1. In results against the top four teams (Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst), Wesleyan went 2-1, while Williams and Amherst went 1-2. As a result, Wesleyan earned the No. 2 seed. In head-to-head competition, Williams defeated Amherst to earn the No. 3 seed.
Saturday's matchup is a rematch of the 2017 NESCAC Championship game, in which Wesleyan defeated Middlebury in the finals, 9-8. The Cardinals were the No. 2 seed then as well, while the Panthers held the No. 6 seed. Earlier this year, Wesleyan defeated Middlebury at the Mustang Classic in Maryland, 12-6. The Panthers hold a 27-24-1 edge in the all-time series and 4-3 advantage in NESCAC postseason play, but Wesleyan has won four straight and eight of the last 11 meetings.
AT A GLANCE: WESLEYAN
- The Cardinals return to the conference tournament for the 17th-straight season. They are 23-15 all-time in the conference postseason and have reached the finals eight times, while claiming two titles (2009, 2017).
- Wesleyan has won five-straight and is 7-0 at home this year, while 2-2 on the road and 3-0 in neutral site contests.
- The Cardinals rank first in the league in save percentage (60.7), goals-against average (8.43), and clear percentage (85.6), and rank seventh in goals per game (13.50).
- Sophomore Ronan Jacoby leads the offense and ranks fourth in the conference in goals (45), while his 52 points are tied for 12th-best.
- Defensively, junior Colin Malarchuk leads the league in caused turnovers (36) and sophomore goalie Otto Bohan ranks first in the conference in save percentage (60.3) and GAA (8.38).
AT A GLANCE: MIDDLEBURY
- The Panthers are the No. 7 seed for the first time in program history and are making their seventh-straight NESCAC Tournament appearance.
- Middlebury has advanced to the semifinals three of the last four years and won its seventh conference title in 2007. The seven NESCAC titles are the second most behind Tufts, who has won eight.
- The Panthers have lost two in a row entering Saturday's contest and are just 2-5 on the road this year. They are eighth in the conference in scoring, averaging 13.33 goals per game, and rank seventh in goals-against, allowing 12.47.
- Offensively, they are led by freshman Tyler Forbes who ranks fifth in the league in goals (44) and 11th in points (53). Their faceoff specialist, junior Jake Madnick, has won 167-of-279.
- On the defensive side, junior Zeke Emerson leads the team with 18 caused turnovers and ranks third with 41 ground balls. Sophomore goalie Tyler Bass has seen the majority of action in goal lately and is 3-2 on the year with an 11.15 GAA and 52.2 save percentage.