Lynchburg Falls to Tufts in NCAA Quarterfinals

Lynchburg Falls to Tufts in NCAA Quarterfinals

MEDFORD, Mass. --- The University of Lynchburg men's lacrosse team made things interesting in the second and third quarters, but a 9-1 Tufts run to open the game proved too high a mountain for the Hornets to climb as they fell on the road to the nation's top team 17-9 in the national quarterfinals.

Tufts put up seven shots before Lynchburg took an attempt but the Hornets struck first on that shot with a Chris Darminio score with 12:07 to play in the first. It was the third goal of the season for the all-conference long-stick midfielder and 18th of his career.

Tufts continued the heavy shot frequency outshooting Lynchburg 75-37 on the day with the Jumbos putting 35 on goal to just 18 for the Hornets.

Following the Darminio goal, Tufts scored nine-straight with a run that spanned into the 13:05 mark of the second quarter. That ninth score warranted a Lynchburg timeout which kicked off a response from the visitors in the form of a three-goal run to cut the deficit to five with 3:41 to play in the half.

Grant Voigt kicked off the run with his 14th tally of the year before Dylan Wolfe converted upon back-to-back man-up opportunities.

Lynchburg scored on all four of its man-up opportunities on the afternoon improving upon an extra-man offense that was one of the most efficient in the nation coming in with a goal conversion rate of 50%. Wolfe secured his fifth-straight game with multiple points to close out the year.

Tufts scored once more before the end of the second to take a 10-4 advantage into the half.

The home team extended their advantage back to seven shortly into the third quarter before Lynchburg struck back with a pair of goals again, cutting the deficit back to five on a pair of freshman goals.

Finn Schmidt struck first on a third man-up opportunity off an assist from Spencer Vandenberg before Vandenberg found the back of the net himself less than two minutes later. Vandenberg scored in nine-straight games to close out the season. 

Tyler Hadley made three of his 16 saves on the day on the next three attempts put on frame by Tufts to hold the score at 11-6, but the five goal margin was the closest Lynchburg would get throughout the remainder of the day.

A Charlie Tagliaferri score with 4:55 to play in the third put Tufts up by six and kicked off a 6-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters that would put the game out of reach for Lynchburg.

Lynchburg never stopped fighting scoring three more times within the final 24 seconds to bring the final margin under 10.

Jake Rust struck first on the fourth man-up opportunity of the day off a Riley Mitchell assist giving the junior a team-high 41st goal and 12th man-up goal of the season. Mitchell's three assists on the day carried the All-American midfielder over the 50-assist and 150-point thresholds for his career.

Darminio scored for the second time of the day just nine seconds later before Charlie Evans rounded out the scoring with just three-tenths of a second remaining. Darminio finished his Lynchburg career with his first multi-goal game since April 24, 2021 to go with three ground balls and a caused turnover.

Patrick Moore closed out the afternoon in goal making two saves while stopping any from getting by.

Lynchburg shored up its largest plague from the first meeting this year between these two teams cutting down from 40 turnovers to just 23.

Riley Frankel led the way with six ground balls while going 12-20 on faceoffs after taking over in the second quarter. Dylan Shuster and Henri Marindin each caused a pair of turnovers with Shuster adding in four ground balls.

Lynchburg turned an 11th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance into the sixth NCAA quarterfinal appearance in program history and second in the last three years. 

The Hornets secured the top-seed in the ODAC tournament for the first time since 2015 as well as their third-consecutive and eighth-total season with 15 or more victories. They also took over the ODAC lead in all-time NCAA tournament wins picking up their 14th and 15th all-time victories last weekend.