SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – #6/8 Union College hung with #2 Tufts University for the first half, but the offense dried up in the second half and the Jumbos finished the game with nine unanswered goals as Union dropped a 14-7 contest in non-conference men’s lacrosse action on Tuesday evening at Frank Bailey Field at Bertagna-Class of 1985 Stadium.
Junior Jake Mabardy led all players with a game- and career-high four goals, and was matched by the four points of classmate Zach Davis on a goal and three helpers. Fellow juniors Peter Kip and Justin Greene both scored as well for Union (6-2), but the home team struggled offensively in the second half without two of their top offensive weapons.
The Union defense did an excellent job keeping the high-scoring Tufts (8-0) offense in check for much of the night, limiting the Jumbos to 10 goals under their season average and conceding only four points (two goals, two assists) to Jack Boyden, who entered the night averaging an NCAA-best 9.7 points per game. Charlie Tagliaferri and Sam Frisoli also scored twice for Tufts, which had 11 players find the net.
Junior Dan Donahue kept Union in the game with 21 saves and also left the crease frequently to regain possession, finishing the night with 11 ground balls. Senior Clint Gourdeau added five ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers as well to lead the defensive effort.
Union was tested early and often in the first quarter, with Tufts posting a 21-5 edge in shots and winning 7-of-9 faceoffs; however, Union made the most of their limited offensive opportunities, scoring four times to knot the score at four. Mabardy scored twice in 72 seconds to give Union its first lead at 2-1, and Greene scored with 4:42 left to put the home team back up 3-2. After a pair of Tufts goals, Mabardy struck again off a feed from Kip to tie the score after 15 minutes.
The Jumbos scored the first goal of the second stanza, but Union responded with three straight tallies to take its largest lead of the game. Mabardy tied the game at five with his fourth of the night, and goals by Davis and Kip 75 seconds apart put the score at 7-5 with 8:54 left. However, Union’s next three shots were all stopped by goalie Connor Garzone, which allowed the visitors to score twice to head into halftime tied at seven.
Unfortunately for Union, the home team could not take advantage of their limited chances in the second half, as Union turned the ball over 12 times and had all seven shots turned aside by Garzone. Tufts, meanwhile, scored twice in the first 18 seconds of the third quarter to take back the lead and then added two more in the third and three in the fourth to pull away.
Tufts finished the game with a 67-34 edge in shots, with Donahue making 21 saves and Garzone stopping 13 shots at the other end. Union was done in by 24 turnovers and went scoreless on three man-up chances.
Union will return to Liberty League play on Saturday with a 3 p.m. matchup at Clarkson University.