Tufts took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter over Wesleyan, but the Cardinals fought back and ended up winning a tight game, 8-7, in regulation. Tufts started freshman Alex Salazar in goal, and the first year player was electric at times, making 15 saves in the first half, and shutting Wesleyan out early, making 10 saves in the first quarter.
The second half saw Patton Watkins take over in net, and the Junior played well overall. After this weekend, there could definitely be a goalie controversy though. Salazar looked superb for much of the first half.
The two teams battled back and forth, with each creating turnovers, and transition play, and it was a fun game to watch. Wesleyan seemed to play a mix of man and zone at times, which did seem to stifle the Tufts offense to a certain extent. That being said, if Mark Simmons hadn’t had a huge game in net, and an excellent fourth quarter, the game could have gone the other way.
With Wesleyan up 7-6, Brendan Hanley took the ball down the field and scored a bouncer with his longstick when he wasn’t picked up by the Tufts D. Wesleyan regained possession, and Aidan Daniell eventually rang a bounce shot off the crossbar on an empty net. Daniell was a solid force all day though, dodging and possessing nicely. Tufts gained possession, and soon after, the Jumbos scored a nice goal in transition to bring the game back to 1, at 8-7.
Wesleyan would weather a possession or two, hold on to the ball, and eventually emerge victorious on their home field to improve to 6-3 in conference, with one game left. Tufts drops to 6-3 in conference with the loss. Games on Wednesday, April 24th will determine final NESCAC standings, and seedings for the conference tournament.