Trinity Men's Lacrosse Heads To Tufts For NCAA Second Round Saturday
Hartford, Conn., May 11, 2012 –The Trinity College men's lacrosse team, which won, 13-9, against Eastern Connecticut, on Wednesday in the program’s first NCAA appearance to open the tournament and improve its record to 11-6, will visit the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Tufts University Jumbos in the NCAA Second Round on Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. Saturday’s victor will face the winner of Saturday’s Rochester Tech/Western New England game in Western New York on Wednesday, May 16 in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Tickets for this weekend’s games will be $6 for adults, $5 for students, and $4 for children under 12. Tufts, ranked No. 4 in the nation, has a 16-2 record and received a bye in the NCAA First Round.
Trinity, coached by Mike Higgins (2nd Season), earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney. The Bantams have a 4-2 record against the 28-teams in the tourney, having beaten Tufts, 9-8, in overtime at home and won at both Bowdoin, 7-4, and Connecticut College, 11-7, during the regular season, and lost to Bowdoin, 10-8, in the NESCAC Semifinals on Saturday. The Bantams suffered a 12-5 loss at Western New England in the second game of an 0-2 start to the year. Trinity, ranked No. 17 in the nation, handed the Jumbos their second loss on an overtime tally by junior attackman and 2011 All-NESCAC honoree Rob Nogueras (Parkland, Fla.) on March 31.
Against Eastern Connecticut, Nogueras and fellow All-NESCAC junior Nick Shaheen (Williamsburg, Mass.) finished with four points apiece with three goals and one assist and two goals and two assists, respectively, while juniors Matt Cohen (East Lyme, Conn.) and Jeff Hebert (Cornwall, Ontario) and sophomore Scott Growney (Berwyn, Pa.) had two goals apiece for the Trinity offense. Senior captain and two-time all-league selection Peter Johnson (Riverside, Conn.) made 12 of his 19 saves in the first half and added five ground balls, while senior captain defenseman Alex Gottsch (Sparks, Md.) notched five ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Starting every game this season for the second year in a row and logging all but 30 seconds of the team's 964:31 minutes in goal, Johnson holds an 8.09 GAA with 201 saves (3rd in NESCAC) and a .593 save percentage (4th in NESCAC), and adds 49 ground balls (2nd on team). Gottsch has emerged as a top defenseman, and leads Trinity in ground balls with 61 and in caused turnovers with 45. Junior Chris Novick (Charlotte, N.C.) and sophomore Will Naughton (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) are also stingy defenders with 48 ground balls between them. Nogueras headlines the Bantam offense with 41 goals (4th in NESCAC) and six assists for 47 points (9th in NESCAC), while Shaheen boasts 31 points (19g, 12a), and first-year attackman Matt Hauck (Ridgewood, N.J.) adds 15 goals and a team-high 12 assists for 27 points. Hebert adds 17 goals and eight assists for 25 points, and junior midfielder Steve Manning (Tyngsboro, Mass.) has 15 goals and nine helpers.
Tufts, coached by Mike Daly, has won 11 in a row overall, including a 9-8 final in double overtime against Bowdoin to win the NESCAC championship on Sunday. The Jumbos faced six teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament during the regular-season, posting a 6-2 record against them. This is the fourth straight NCAA Championship bid for the Jumbos. They have compiled an 8-3 record in five NCAA Tournaments overall. Tufts was the 2010 NCAA Champion, defeating Salisbury 9-6. They advanced to the NCAA final again last year, but lost a rematch against Salisbury 19-7. Cole Bailey leads Tufts in scoring with 21 goals and 40 assists, while Beau Wood has 46 goals and 13 assists, and Patton Watkins has made 179 saves with a 7.44 GAA in the Jumbo goal.