2010 NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship
Sunday, May 2
Saturday, May 8 Sunday, May 9
No. 8 WES 6, at No. 1 CONN 5
at No. 2 TUF 11, No. 8 WES 10
at No. 2 TUF 13, No. 6 MID 12
at No. 2 TUF 13, No. 7 WIL 9
No. 6 MID 13, vs. No. 4 BOW 9
No. 6 MID 15, at No. 3 AMH 12
at No. 4 BOW 12, No. 5 COL 11 - OT     
Championship Seeding
Championship Preview
Championship Records

Tufts Overcomes Middlebury for 2010 Men's Lacrosse Title

Tufts Overcomes Middlebury for 2010 Men's Lacrosse Title

Courtesy Tufts Sports Information

Box Score

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's lacrosse team won its first NESCAC championship on Sunday after scoring six unanswered goals, including two each by juniors D.J. Hessler (Monkton, Md.) and Matt Witko (Chappaqua, N.Y.), to battle back from a four-goal deficit and defeat Middlebury College at 13-12 at Bello Field. The Jumbos, who improved to 16-1, earn the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Witko scored four goals overall and Hessler finished with two goals and two assists to lead the Jumbos, who had advanced to the final with an 11-10 comeback win against Wesleyan on Saturday. Junior David Hild (West Hartford, Conn.) scored a game-high seven points with five goals and two assists to lead Middlebury, who dropped to 11-5 overall and will await a possible at-large berth into the NCAA's.

Hild scored twice for Middlebury in the first period, including a goal with 23 seconds remaining that gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead after one. Tufts dominated early in the second quarter, scoring five goals in the first 3:26 to go up 7-3. Witko had two goals during the stretch. However, the momentum shifted dramatically towards Middlebury late in the second quarter. They ran off a five-goal run of their own, including two more by Hild, and the Panthers led 8-7 at halftime.

Middlebury extended its run to eight straight goals by continuing to control the game and scoring the first three goals of the second half. The Panthers led 11-7 on a tally by freshman Eric Pfeffer (Glastonbury, Conn.) with 5:17 remaining in the third. Hild scored and assisted the first two Panthers goals of the second half, and the seven-time conference champions looked poised to add to their trophy case.

In a game of dramatic shifts, Tufts stopped the run with Hessler's goal at 2:06 of the third that started their own game-winning rally. Back-to-back goals by Witko tied the score at 11-11 with 12:04 to go in the fourth. Then from behind the net, Hessler made a move to beat his defender and scored the go-ahead goal unassisted at the 9:23 mark. Jumbo senior Jamie Atkins (Concord, Mass.) scored an insurance goal at 8:53, which was much needed when Cahill converted a pass from Hild at 2:11 to pull the Panthers within 12-11. Tufts sophomore Nick Rhoads (McLean, Va.) won the ensuing draw, Middlebury did not get another shot on net, and the Jumbos stormed the field to celebrate their first conference title.

Rhoads dominated the face-off circle for Tufts, winning 18 out of 27. Sophomores Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, N.J.) and Kevin McCormick (Laytonsville, Md.) both had two goals and an assist for the Jumbos. Senior tri-captain Eytan Saperstein (Hewlett, N.Y.) was immense on defense, grabbing eight ground balls, while senior tri-captain Mike Droesch (Setauket, N.Y.) added four. Sophomore Steve Foglietta (Oceanside, N.Y.) made eight saves in goal, with two in each period.

Cahill finished with three goals and two assists for Middlebury, who also received a pair of tallies from junior Andrew Conner (Alexandria, Va.). Junior goalie Ryan Deane (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) led the Panthers with six ground balls and made 13 saves.


Quarterfinals - Sunday, May 2 at Higher Seeds
1:00 p.m.
No. 8 at No. 1
No. 7 at No. 2
No. 6 at No. 3
No. 5 at No. 4

Semifinals - Saturday, May 8 at Highest Remaining Seed
12:00 p.m./3:00 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining First Round Winner

Championship - Sunday, May 9
12:00 p.m.

The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship.  Quarterfinal games will be conducted on Sunday, May 2 with the semifinals and championship games conducted on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, respectively.  The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. 

Seeding will be based on final conference standings of round robin play. Standings will be based on team winning percentages. Ties shall count as half a win.

The 8th seed will play at the 1st seed, the 7th seed will play at the 2nd seed, the 6th seed will play at the 3rd seed, and the 5th seed will play at the 4th seed. Teams will be re-bracketed after first round games and the lowest remaining seed will face the highest remaining seed.

Pairings will be announced Friday, April 30.

Tie Breaking Procedures
Ties will be broken as follows:

Head-to-head result (if teams play each other more than once during the regular season, the game that appears on the league schedule will be the game that is counted).

If teams tied during the regular season, or there is a 3-way or more tie, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:

  • Best record among tying teams, against one another (head-to-head).
  • Most conference wins (in games that are part of the conference schedule and count toward league standings).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 4 teams (including all teams at the 4th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 8 teams (including all teams at the 8th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against conference teams in rank order.
  • Comparisons shall be made one team at a time starting with the highest ranked team.
  • If the tie remains after comparing results against the highest ranked team, the results against the next team in rank order shall be used. This process is continued until a winner is determined.
  • Coin flip (or similar random action involving all tied teams).

Note: In case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria above will be applied in order until a team is (or teams are) separated.  At that point, the process begins anew (returning to the first criteria) with the remaining teams.  The process is continued until the tie is eventually broken.  In cases where only a random action will break the tie of three or more teams, the random action will be applied to all teams involved in the tie.  For example, if three teams are tied and only a random action (pulling names out of a hat) will break the tie, each name will be pulled and seeded in order of being pulled.  Also, in the event that there are two (or more) groups of teams tied at different spots in the standings and the only criteria left that can be used to break those ties is a coin flip/random action, the coin flip/random action used to break the tie of one group (to put teams in rank order) will not affect the tie breaking procedures of the other group(s) of tied teams.