NESCAC Preview: Fourth-Seeded Men's Lacrosse Gears Up for Championship Weekend at Tufts

NESCAC Preview: Fourth-Seeded Men's Lacrosse Gears Up for Championship Weekend at Tufts

NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

AMHERST, Mass. – Moving past the Quarterfinals with a 14-goal victory over No. 5 Bates, the fourth-seeded Amherst College men's lacrosse team is set to travel to top-seeded Tufts this weekend in search of the program's first conference crown. The Mammoths take the field against No. 3 and archrival Williams in the second Semifinal game of the day on Saturday, May 4. Opening faceoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Bello Field.

LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday, May 4 - Bello Field
12 p.m. - No. 7 Middlebury at No. 1 Tufts - Video / Live Stats
3 p.m. - No. 3 Williams vs. No. 4 Amherst - Video / Live Stats

HOW THEY GOT HERE

  • The No. 4 Mammoths punched their ticket to the Semifinals following a 23-9 win over No. 5 Bates.
  • The third-seed, Williams edged No. 6 Colby, 12-9 in the Quarterfinals to advance.
  • Top-seeded Tufts earned home field advantage throughout the conference postseason with a 17-8 victory over No. 8 Trinity.
  • The lone upset of the Quarterfinals, No. 7 Middlebury battled past second-seeded Wesleyan, 11-7 to advance to Championship weekend.

THE FIELD IN THE REGULAR SEASON

  • Amherst went 1-2 against the Championship field during the regular season, downing Middlebury 23-12 and falling to Tufts (15-14) and Williams (13-11) in closely contested battles.
  • Williams posted a 2-1 record against Championship competition, logging wins against Amherst (13-11) and Middlebury (14-2) and falling to Tufts by a goal (15-14).
  • Tufts notched a perfect 3-0 ledger during the regular season, defeating Middlebury (23-14), Amherst (15-14) and Williams (15-14).
  • Middlebury enters the weekend looking to get their first win over the competition in 2019, with the Panthers suffering losses to Tufts (23-14), Amherst (23-12) and Williams (14-12).

SCOUTING AMHERST
No. 4 Seed (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • With a NESCAC leading 62 goals and 94 points, Evan Wolf '19 leads a potent Amherst offense as one of the team's four 50-plus point getters on the season. Junior trio Colin Minicus (30G, 40A, 70P), Matt Solberg (35G, 19A, 54P) and Jon Coffey (44G, 9A, 53P) add to the balanced attack up front, while three other Mammoths' have each notched 26 points so far this season.
  • Juan Gonzalez '22 (158-285 / 55.4%), Logan Lair '20 (45-98 / 46.0%), Dylan Finazzo '20 (42-76 / 55.3%) and Grant Chryssicas '21 (20-44 / 45.5%) have each shown an impressive skillset for Amherst at the faceoff dot, while junior Rod Castro's 31 caused turnovers headlines a staunch defensive unit that boasts six players with 15-plus caused turnovers on the year.
  • Stepping up down the stretch, Gib Versfeld '21 (1-1) and Cam Mitchell '21 (2-0) give the Mammoths two solid choices in between the pipes, with Versfeld owning a 10.10 GAA and a 57.4 save percentage in 237:36 and Mitchell boasting a 10.00 GAA in 131:59 and a 48.8 save percentage. In 12 starts, Chad Simons '20 (11-1) owns a 10.19 GAA.

SCOUTING WILLIAMS
No. 3 Seed (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • With 73 and 70 points on the year, Jake Haase (27G, 46A, 73P) and Cory Lund (50G, 20A, 70P) lead the Ephs' attack, while Kevin Stump (40G, 17A, 57P) and Brendan Hoffman (36G, 17A, 53P) have each eclipsed the 50-point mark as dangerous playmakers up front.
  • Alex Kitt has gone 181-for-307 (59.0%) and posted a team-high 95 ground ball pickups as Williams' primary faceoff specialist, while Angus O'Rourke is 52-for-112 (46.4%) at the X. Rock Stewart anchors the Ephs' defensive unit with 29 caused turnovers and 65 ground balls.
  • Playing the majority of minutes in goal for Williams and starting every contest, Harry Gahagan (14-2) owns a 54.2 save percentage and a 9.70 goals against average behind the strength of 180saves.

SCOUTING TUFTS
No. 1 Seed (15-1, 9-1 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • Third in the league in points, Danny Murphy has potted 43 goals and dished out 35 helpers to lead Tufts with 78 points, while Max Waldbaum has proved to be a dangerous scoring threat with 54 goals on the year (second in NESCAC). Ben Connelly (45G, 17A, 62P) and Matt Treiber (28G, 25A, 53P) round out the Jumbos' 50-plus point getters.
  • Kyle Helfrich has won 58.6% (211-360) of his faceoffs for the Jumbos and has picked up a team-high 127 ground balls, while Henry Hollen is 48.5.4% (47-97) and Aidan Hesse is 45.0% (18-40) on the spring. Stewart Stockdale, Brian Powers, Jack Donohue and Arend Broekmate headline the defensive unit with 10-or-more caused turnovers each.
  • Starting 14 games in net this season, Mason Pollack (13-1) has impressed with 183 saves to boast a 11.38 goals against average and a 56.0 save percentage.

SCOUTING MIDDLEBURY
No. 7 Seed (8-8, 4-6 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats

  • Leading Middlebury in scoring, Tyler Forbes highlights the Panthers' offensive attack with 47 goals (fourth in the NESCAC) and 9 assists for 56 total points. Defenses should also be on the lookout for A.J. Kucinski (28G, 24A, 52P) and Chase Goree (26G, 13A, 39P), with the duo each eclipsing the 25-goal mark on the spring. 
  • Jake Madnick (185-300 / 61.7%) and Jack Gould (65-131 / 50.0%) headline Middlebury at the faceoff dot, while Zeke Emerson's 20 caused turnovers is a team-high.
  • Tyler Bass (4-2) has taken over the reigns in goal over the last six games, making 77 saves to own a 10.45 goals against average and a 55.4 save percentage. Charles Midgley (4-6) is the other Panther goalie of note, boasting a 12.78 GAA and 49.8 save percentage in 586:52.

BY THE NUMBERS

  No. 4 Amherst No. 3 Williams No. 1 Tufts No. 7 Middlebury
 Overall Record 14-2 14-2 15-1 8-8
 Goals 304  239   282 211 
 Goals/Game 19.00  14.94   17.63 13.19 
 Assists  202 148   172 107 
 Shots Per Game  52.75 43.94  56.69  48.19 
 Shots on Goal %  63.5  65.4 58.2  58.2 
 Shooting %  36.0  34.0 31.1  27.4 
 Ground Balls  672 552  609  581 
 Faceoff %  51.7 (267-516) 55.2 (248-449) 55.4 (279-504)  56.3 (256-455) 
 Caused Turnovers   214 128  121 134 
 Turnovers  306 290  281  290 
 Clear %   79.5 (283-356) 82.5 (287-348)  83.9 (323-385) 76.4 (259-339)
 Man-Up % 56.6 (30-53)  35.7 (20-56)  43.4 (23-53)  31.7 (20-63) 
 Goals Against Avg.  10.13  10.00  11.00   12.13

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