Wood, Tufts Edge Bowdoin in Double Overtime
from press release
MEDFORD, Mass. - Sophomore Beau Wood (Sherwood Forest, MD) took a feed from senior Geordie Schafer (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) and rifled home the game-winning goal at 1:50 of the second overtime as the Tufts men's lacrosse team won its third consecutive NESCAC title, 9-8, against Bowdoin on Sunday at Bello Field.
In an outstanding game, Bowdoin scored twice in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the score at 8-8. Wood's goal gave Tufts (16-2) its second straight overtime victory in the conference final, including last year's 13-12 win over Middlebury. The Jumbos earn NESCAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, their fourth straight NCAA appearance.
Senior co-captain Sean Kirwan (Boonton Township, NJ) led Tufts on Sunday with four goals. The #5 Jumbos have now won 11 in a row overall and 32 straight at Bello.
The #12 Polar Bears (13-5), who were playing in their third conference final, were led by three goals from senior Keegan Mehlhorn (North Berwick, ME). Bowdoin has a good shot at earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Tufts' Kirwan and Bowdoin's Mehlhorn both scored twice in the first period, which ended in a 3-3 tie. The Jumbos led 2-0, Bowdoin tallied three straight and then Tufts tied it.
Polar Bear sophomore Franklin Reis (Hampton Falls, NH) scored the lone goal of the second quarter and Bowdoin went into halftime with a 4-3 lead. Senior goalie Chris Williamson (Winnetka, IL) had eight saves at the break for the visitors.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Jumbo freshman Cole Bailey (Millersville, MD) scored a goal and assisted one as the hosts took a 5-4 lead. However, Bowdoin senior Chris Anderson (Golden, CO) netted back-to-back goals 43 seconds apart to push the Polar Bears back in front 6-5 with 7:58 remaining in the third.
The Jumbos finished the quarter with a 3-0 run over the final seven minutes, including two goals by Kirwan and two assists by Wood. They led 8-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Polar Bears would out-shoot Tufts 13-7 in the fourth, but the Jumbo defense was able to hold them off until Mehlhorn scored at 3:11 to make it 8-7. Tufts won the face-off, but Bowdoin's Greg Pierce (Beverly, MA) caused a turnover which led to sophomore Will Wise's (Cohasset, MA) goal with 1:19 remaining to tie it 8-8. Polar Bear senior Brendan Hughes (Marblehead, MA) won the ensuing face-off, but two Bowdoni shots missed wide.
Jumbo senior Nick Rhoads (McLean, VA) won the face-off clean to open overtime. The Jumbos took two shots and Bowdoin had one, but none were on net and the game went to a second OT.
Bowdoin won the second-overtime face-off on a groundball by senior Lawton Salley (Washington, DC). However, after a time-out, the Polar Bears turned the ball over. A Kirwan shot was saved by Williamson, but Bowdoin stepped out of bounds during the clear attempt under heavy Tufts pressure. Soon, Wood was unleashing the shot to win it for the Jumbos.
Wood and Bailey both finished with a goal and two assists for Tufts. Junior defenseman Matt Callahan (Acton, MA) caused two turnovers and picked up four groundballs. Sophomore defender Dan Alles (Rockville Centre, NY) also had four groundballs. Rhoads won 13 of 22 face-offs, and sophomore goalie Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, TN) finished with seven saves (five in the second half).
Reis added an assist to finish with three points for Bowdon. Senior Matthew Egan (Newton, MA) led the Polar Bears with a game-high five groundballs. Williamson totaled 13 saves.
The stats reflected the tightly contested game, as Tufts held a 39-36 advantage in shots, but Bowdoin led 32-29 on groundballs. The Jumbos capitalized on two of four man-up situations while holding Bowdoin to 0 for 6. The Polar Bears turned the ball over 23 times to 17 for the Jumbos.