Amherst Falls to Tufts, 17-10 in NCAA Division III Quarterfinals

Amherst Falls to Tufts, 17-10 in NCAA Division III Quarterfinals

MEDFORD, Mass. – The sixth-ranked Amherst College men's lacrosse team fell to No. 5 Tufts University, 17-10, in Wednesday afternoon's NCAA Division III Quarterfinal tilt at Bello Field in Medford, Mass.

Following the loss, Amherst's memorable and historical 2015 campaign comes to a close with an 18-3 overall mark, a single-season program record. The team's record 18 wins was highlighted by a 9-1 ledger in NESCAC action, en route to the team's first-ever number one seed in the league tournament.

Tufts (19-2) advances to the national semifinals and will travel to the Rochester Institute of Technology Sunday afternoon.

Quinn Moroney '16 notched three assists in the losing effort and broke his own single-season points record in the modern era, posting 113 in 2015. Dylan Park '16 and Michael Litner '16 led the offensive charge for the Jeffs, netting three goals and an assist each. Cody Tranbarger '17 finished the game with 18 saves and 315 for the season en route to his 18-3 overall record.

Amherst found the scoring touch early in the first quarter as Kane Haffey '16 struck just 32 seconds into the contest following a dish from Kevin Curry '15. The Jeffs added to their lead just 2:02 later as Litner capitalized on a feed from classmate Charlie Gill to make it 2-0. Tufts answered with back-to-back unassisted goals from Ben Andreycak and John Uppgren to even the game at 2-2 with 9:58 to play in the first period. With 5:36 to play in the frame, Matt Killian '17 put Amherst ahead, 3-2 with an assist from Haffey. The Jumbos responded with four straight goals to take a 6-3 lead after 15 minutes of action. Garrett Clarke, Tyler Olney and Uppgren each scored unaided goals, while Cam Irwin netted a marker following a dish from Uppgren with 23 seconds left in the stanza.

Tufts continued to apply the pressure in the second quarter as Clarke and Peter Gill tabbed unassisted goals to give the Jumbos an 8-3 advantage with 6:54 to play in the first half. Andreycak then scored 48 seconds later to make it 9-3. With 3:08 on the clock and on the man-advantage, Amherst broke the Tufts run when Park scored following a pass from Moroney to pull the Purple & White to within five (9-4) at intermission.

The Jumbos' Cole Bailey found the back of the net early in the third period, scoring an unassisted goal at the 12:11 mark to lift the host's advantage to 10-4. Less than a minute later, Uppgren struck again to make it 11-4. With 5:27 to play in the frame, Park delivered a strike to bring Amherst to within six at 11-5. Park then assisted on a goal by Litner with 3:30 to play in the third to make it 11-6. With 11 ticks remaining in the session, Peter Gills fired in a goal on a pass from Clarke that increased the Tufts lead back to six (12-6) heading into the fourth quarter.

After Kyle Howard-Johnson scored a man-up goal on an assist from Bailey, and Jake Gillespie scored on a feed from Howard-Johnson to make 14-6 with 13:54 remaining in the contest, the Purple & White scored four of the next six goals. Chris Albanese '17 started the run for Amherst and was assisted by Moroney. Peter Gill then provided a pair of assists on scores from Zach Richman and Clarke, before the Jeffs answered with three straight. Charlie Gill found the back of the cage on a pass from Litner, before Litner received a pass from Haffey to make it 16-9 with 4:55 to play. A goal by Park at the 2:18 mark following a dish from Moroney pulled Amherst to within six at 16-10, but a goal by Gillespie closed out the victory for the Jumbos. Bailey provided the assist on the play to set the final score at 17-10.

Ian Kadish '18 led Amherst with eight ground balls, followed by Tranbarger with four, and Ryan Cassidy '16 and Moroney with three each. Haffey finished with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and tallied a collegiate-career high 60 goals during the season which is seven better than his 53 markers in 2014.

Alex Salazar earned the win between the pipes for Tufts making 16 saves. Conor Helfrich won 16-of-27 faceoffs and picked up 13 ground balls, while Cem Kalkavan caused three turnovers.

Amherst graduates 12 seniors who conclude their collegiate careers with an overall record of 47-25 since 2012, and back-to-back NCAA Division III Championship appearances in 2014 and 2015.