Middlebury Falls to No. 5 Tufts In NESCAC Quarterfinal

Henry Riehl scored twice and had three assists on Saturday.
Henry Riehl scored twice and had three assists on Saturday.

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team fell by a 16-12 score to fifth-ranked Tufts in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday in Massachusetts. The Jumbos (14-1) advance to next weekend's semifinals, while Middlebury ends its season at 9-7.  

The hosts jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind a goal from Frank Hattler and a pair of tallies by Ben Connelly with 8:21 left. A goal by Frank Cosolito a little more than a minute later cut the Panther deficit to 3-1, but Tufts recorded the next three goals for a 6-1 lead. Henry Riehl scored on a bouncing shot with 24 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, pulling the Panthers to within four (6-2) after one quarter.

In the low-scoring second stanza, the two teams traded the first four goals. A.J. Kucinski and Michael McCormack scored for the Panthers, while Andrew Seiter and John Cordrey tallied for the hosts. John Beatty found the back of the net for Middlebury with 3:16 left in the opening half, pulling the Panthers to within three at 8-5 headed to the intermission.

In the third quarter, Tufts increased its lead to five on a pair of scores from Connelly just 31 seconds apart, for a 10-5 advantage with 7:03 left. McCormack notched his second of the game nearly four minutes later, but Tufts' Nick Shanks gave the Jumbos an 11-6 edge on an unassisted tally. Kucinski tallied his second of the game with 2:25 left in the quarter on an assist from Riehl, sending the contest into the fourth quarter with the Jumbos owning an 11-7 advantage.

Tufts recorded four of the first five goals in the final quarter, gaining a 15-8 lead on a score from Seiter with 6:48 showing on the clock. The Panthers scored four of the final five goals from four different players for the 16-12 final.

Middlebury was led by Riehl's two goals and three assists, while Danny Jacobs added two scores and three assists. Kucinski finished with a team-high three goals, while McCormack chipped in with two goals and an assist. Jake Madnick went 15-32 at the faceoff X and had a team-best 10 ground balls, while Riehl caused two turnovers. In goal, Charles Midgley recorded 15 saves.

Danny Murphy recorded eight points on three goals and five assists for Tufts, while Connelly scored five times and assisted on another. Andrew Seiter added three goals and one assist), while Hattler had two goals and three assists. Stewart Stockdale and Henry Hollen each had seven ground balls, while Murphy and Connor Lansdale both caused two turnovers. Mason Pollack recorded 13 saves in the Jumbo victory.