BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College Men's Lacrosse Team has received its first round NCAA Tournament match-up. The Saints will face Tufts University in the opening round of the national tournament on Wednesday, May 7th. The contest will take place at Tufts University's Bello Field at 3:30 PM.
Emmanuel is making the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after capturing the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship last week with a 9-3 in over visiting Becker College. The 15-3 Saints opened the season with three-straight losses, but rebounded nicely and are currently riding a 15-game win streak, heading into first round NCAA action.
Tufts is coming off the program's 5th-consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship. The Jumbos defeated Amherst College, 20-13, on Sunday to earn the conference's automatic qualification. Tufts, 16-2 on the season, will be making the program's 7th overall and 6th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Holding a 12-5 overall record in NCAA tournament games, the Jumbos won the national championship in 2010, were the national runners-up in 2011 and semifinalists in 2012.
Tufts is led by the nation's leading scorer in junior attack Chris Schoenhut (Mill Neck, N.Y.), who has scored 73 times this season, averaging 4 goals per game. Sophomore attack John Uppgren (Stillwater, Minn.) ranks 5th nationally in points per game 105 points on the season, coming off of 54 goals and 51 assists. Junior attack Cole Bailey (Millersville, Md.) is the Jumbos' second leader in points with 96 (41 goals and 55 assists). Tufts' starting goalie is senior Patton Watkins (Chattanooga, Tenn.) is 16-1 on the season with a .568 save percentage.
Emmanuel College Head Coach and GNAC Coach of the Year Brendan McWilliams spent two years (1999 and 2000) as an Assistant Coach at Tufts University, under current Jumbos' Head Coach Mike Daly. Wednesday's game will mark the first time the Saints Men's Lacrosse Team has faced a NESCAC opponent.
The Saints' offense is paced by sophomore midfielder Chris Curtis (Ashland, Mass.), who has scored 31 goals and dished out 14 assists for 45 points on the year. Freshman middie Tony Cibelli (Westborough, Mass.) has 43 points in 2014, coming off of 23 goals and 20 assists. Leading Emmanuel's defense is the tandem of sophomore Pat Heffernan (Pembroke, Mass.) and rookie Chris Baglivi (Mattituck, N.Y.). The duo combined for 101 groundballs and 74 caused turnovers so far this season. Junior goalie Austin Lauzier (Bedford, N.H.) owns a record of 15-3 and boasts an impressive 5.18 goals-against-average and a .636 save percentage for the Saints.
Bello Field is located on the Tufts University campus at 161 College Avenue in Medford, Massachusetts, just nine miles north of Emmanuel.
Ticket prices for Wednesday's game are as follows:
Adults - $6.00, Students (with ID) - $4.00, Children and Seniors - $3.00