Highland's five goals not enough at No. 7 Tufts

MEDFORD, Mass. -- A five-goal run early in the second half turned a 4-4 game into a 9-4 Tufts lead, and the No. 7 nationally ranked Jumbos went on to post a 14-7 victory over the Bates men's lacrosse team on Tuesday night at Bello Field.

Bates, which dropped to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the league, was led by a game-high five goals from senior Rob Highland (Yarmouth, Maine), tying for his career high.

The Jumbos improved to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in NESCAC. It's the 10th time in the last 11 years they have reached double-digit victories.

Andrew Fiamengo led Tufts with two goals and two assists, while fellow seniors Dylan Haas had two and defenseman Matt Callahan added another in their final home game.

The visiting Bobcats led 2-1 early following Highland's first goal at 9:52 of the first quarter. It was 3-3 after Tufts' Beau Wood sandwiched a pair of goals around Highland's second of the game in the second period. Cole Bailey put Tufts up 4-3 by halftime.

Highland evened things at 4-4 with the first goal of the third quarter at 13:04. However, the Jumbos ran off the next five during a 10-minute span to lead 9-4 with 2:47 to go in the quarter. Haas and Chris Schoenhut both scored twice during the stretch, while Wood assisted two goals.

Bates answered with sophomore Jack Strain's (Monclair, N.J.) goal six seconds after Tufts' fifth unanswered tally, and the Bobcats remained within striking distance, down 9-5 with a period to play. It was Strain's 20th goal of the season.

Callahan from Fiamengo opened fourth-quarter scoring for Tufts, but Highland returned it to a four-goal margin (10-6) with 10:44 remaining. The Jumbos put it away by scoring four of the final five goals, including the first career goals by sophomore Peter Gill and freshman Ben Andreycak.

Schoenhut scored three times and senior Brian Ruggiero won 14 of 25 face-offs to aid the Tufts effort. Freshman Alex Salazar started in goal and made seven saves in 55:49 of playing time.

Bates sophomore Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) won 11 of the 16 faceoffs he took and collected a game-high eight ground balls. Junior goalie Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) was effective with a career-high three caused turnovers to go with 10 saves. Senior Andrew Berry (Westwood, Mass.) scooped up three ground balls.

Sophomore Nick Ford (Columbus, Ohio) added two assists to the Bates offense, assisting senior Dan Hines (Manchester, Mass.) on Bates' first goal of the game.

Tufts had a 48-35 advantage in shots and won ground balls 27-21. They forced nine failed clears by Bates, which turned the ball over 23 times. The Bobcats also could not convert on four extra-man opportunities.

The Bobcats have a 1pm start on Saturday at Connecticut College in another NESCAC contest.