NCAA First Round: Tufts 26, Norwich 4

NCAA First Round: Tufts 26, Norwich 4

Courtesy of Tufts University Sports Information

MEDFORD, Mass. - The Tufts men's lacrosse team tied its school record for goals in a game with a 26-4 victory over Norwich University in the first round of the NCAA Div. III Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Bello Field.

Twelve different players scored goals for Tufts (15-4), led by six from junior Beau Wood. The 26 goals are tied for the second-most ever in an NCAA Championship first-round game.

The Jumbos advance to the NCAA second round on Saturday, when they will host the winner of tonight's Montclair State at Stevens first-round game. Saturday's game time has not yet been announced.

Norwich, which was making its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, ends its season at 12-5. They were led by two goals from sophomore Seth Fuller.

Wood scored four times in the first period as Tufts took an 8-1 lead. They scored the game's first six goals before Ryan McCarthy put the Cadets on the scoreboard at the 7:06 mark. The Jumbos had a 26-7 advantage in shots for the first quarter. Cadet junior goalie Mark Paradiso made seven saves in the stanza.

Norwich scored seven seconds into the second quarter after a face-off win and goal by Nate Fortezzo. The Jumbos netted the next five, two by sophomore Chris Schoenhut to lead 13-2. The teams traded the next four goals, with two by Fuller and Wood's sixth of the game making it a 15-4 Tufts lead at halftime.

The Jumbos would not allow a goal in the second half while scoring 11. Freshman Garrett Clarke had three second-half goals, while sophomore Charlie Rubin scored his first two collegiate goals in the half, one on a man-up situation.

Junior goalie Patton Watkins started and earned the win with five saves in 26:05 of playing time. Sophomore Brian Droesch played the remaining 33:55, allowing just one goal while making eight saves. He stopped all eight shots he saw in the second half.

Tufts forced Norwich into less than a 50-percent success rate on clears (17 for 35). The Cadets finished with 35 turnovers. Sophomore Jeff Chang caused three for Tufts, while sophomore Garrett Read was one of four Jumbos to cause two. Junior Kane Delaney collected five groundballs. Tufts was 20-for-33 on face-offs, with four players handling the role. Nine wins by sophomore Ryan Le was the most.

Paradiso, who finished with 13 stops, and sophomore Peter Troiano both caused a pair of turnovers for Norwich. Junior Ian Thomas collected three groundballs. Fortezzo won 10 face-offs.

The Jumbos out-shot Norwich 65-25 and won groundballs 55-30.