Amherst Suffers 15-6 Loss at Tufts in 2009 Opener

From a Tufts release

MEDFORD, MA- Sophomores D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD) and Ryan Molloy (Setauket, NY) combined for eight goals and eight assists as the Tufts University men's lacrosse team opened the 2009 season with a 15-6 NESCAC win over Amherst College on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field.

Hessler scored four goals with six assists, one shy of the school record for assists, and Molloy added four goals and two assists to the Tufts attack. The Jumbos won 17 of 24 face-offs, 12 by junior Mike Droesch (Setauket, NY), and the hosts won the ground-ball battle 45-30. Senior goalie Matt Harrigan (Darnestown, MD) was sharp in the Jumbo cage with 19 saves.

Visiting Amherst had the better first period. Senior quad-captain Matt Pietroforte (Brooklyn, NY) was sensational in goal, making seven saves in the first 15 minutes. Goals by J.T. Milone (Manhasset, NY) at 9:19 and by Thomas McDonnell (Manhasset, NY) with 31 seconds left gave the Lord Jeffs a 2-1 lead after one period.

Tufts got their act together in the second period, out-scoring Amherst 7-0 in the frame. A man-up goal by sophomore Matt Witko (Chappaqua, NY) at 11:30 got things started. Hessler and Molloy both scored twice in the second and the Jumbos were in charge with an 8-2 lead at halftime. Tufts had advantages of 19-8 in shots, 18-7 in ground balls and 7-1 on face-offs for the period.

The Jumbos extended their run into the third quarter, with Molloy and Hessler scoring the first two goals for a 9-0 Tufts stretch that made it 10-2 on the scoreboard. Amherst ended a 22:35 span without a goal when senior Tim Thornton (Garden City, NY) scored a man-up tally at 7:54. However, the Jumbos netted the next three, won the third period 5-1, and were in total control at 13-3 heading into the fourth.

Milone and McDonnell each scored their second goals of the game in the fourth for Amherst, but Tufts easily cruised to the opening-game victory. The win was the sixth in a row for Tufts in the series against Amherst, dating back to 2004.

Senior tri-captain Clem McNally (Far Hills, NJ) had two goals and an assist for Tufts, the same scoring line put forth by Milone for Amherst. Pietroforte finished with 13 saves in three periods of play for the Lord Jeffs.