PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) – In a battle of two of the top teams in Division III Lacrosse, the nationally-ranked St. John Fisher College men’s lacrosse team challenged top-ranked Tufts University on Sunday before falling 19-15 in the Second Round of the NCAA Championship.
With the loss, Fisher, which made its second straight appearance in the Sweet 16, fell to 12-4 on the year. The Jumbos advanced to the Regional Quarterfinal next weekend where they’ll put their 8-0 record on the line.
After falling behind by a pair of goals in the first quarter, Fisher stormed back with four of the period’s final five goals to take a 4-3 lead into the second.
Clinging to a one-goal advantage, the Cardinals saw the Jumbos level the game at four goals a side, but answered on the other end with three goals in a span of 68 seconds including two from Jacob Gallina to push their lead to three, 7-4, with just over 10 minutes to play before the break.
With momentum favoring the Cardinals, Tufts found its footing and countered with three goals of its own to even things at 7-7, before Jack Mulvihill found the back of the net to stake Fisher to a slim margin.
With time winding down in the opening half, the Jumbos hit their stride over the final three minutes and scored three straight marks to hold a 10-8 edge at intermission.
As the third quarter got underway, Evans would cut the gap to two after a no-look goal made it 10-9, but Tufts had an answer on the other end with four more goals in the frame to open up a 14-10 cushion.
With just 15 minutes remaining in the contest, the lead would grow to five for the Jumbos, but the Cardinals found their second wind with Jordan Depetres and Mulvihill each finding nylon to pull Fisher to within three, 15-12.
Ahead by three, the Jumbos continued to work the ball around the perimeter and were able to score three more goals in a span of 2:30 to grow their lead to six with under six minutes showing on the clock.
Facing a steep climb, Fisher began to play with a renewed sense of urgency as Depetres connected with Evans for a goal that sparked a 3-0 burst for head coach Dave Dobbins’ squad capped off by a man-up goal from Nicholas Miller to make it 18-15.
After earning another man-up opportunity late in the game, Fisher looked to whittle the lead down further, but the Jumbos killed off the penalty and scored with 1:19 remaining to all but seal their spot in the Regional Quarterfinal next weekend.
Depetres led Fisher with five points on the day including two goals and three assists while Mulvihill finished with a team-leading five goals at midfield. Evans added three goals and an assist while Tucker O’Donnell assisted on two scores. Miller and Matthew Kemmis each scored one and handed out an assist while Gallina netted two goals.
In goal, Darin Eakins stood tall and made 13 saves for the Cardinals to move to 12-4 on the year between the pipes. Ben Hammond played nearly eight minutes and was credited with one save.
Joe Post was 22-for-36 in the faceoff circle as the Canandaigua native scooped up 13 ground balls.