The Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team opened the season with great expectations and only exceeded those in their first six games.  They beat every opponent in that span, including an overtime victory against fifth-ranked Middlebury, winning by an average margin of more than five goals.  However, each of the past two Saturdays has been much less of a walk in the park for the Cardinals.  On March 26, they lost their first game of the season at Bates, and this past Saturday, they fell on the road to another NESCAC rival, the Tufts Jumbos.

Tufts has been ranked first in the nation throughout the season, and so far is undefeated in its quest to repeat as national champion.  Nonetheless, the Cardinals went into Medford, Mass. aiming to terminate Tufts’ winning streak and start a new one of their own.

Despite a first-period 4-1 lead for the Jumbos, the Cardinals were unfazed.  Teddy Citrin ’12 responded with an unassisted goal, but Tufts scored again to end the first quarter up 5-2.  Aidan Daniell ’14 opened the second-period scoring with a goal that drew the Cardinals to within a deuce, but that was when the Jumbos’ stampede of goals began.

Tufts went on a 4-0 run before Wesleyan’s Chris Walsh ’14 scored on a power play to close out the first half.  However, it wasn’t enough to slow down the Jumbos.  Leading 9-4 at halftime, Tufts’ onslaught didn’t stop in the third period, as they scored five of the next six goals to go up 14-5 entering the fourth.  The lone Wesleyan goal in the third period was the second of the game for Daniell, but his efforts failed to light a fire under the Cards.  After another goal by Tufts to open the fourth quarter, Wes put in three goals to reduce the Jumbos’ margin of victory to 15-8.

Seven of the Cardinals’ first eight games this season were on the road, and their first home game will be this Wednesday, April 6.  The Trinity Bantams, who are also undefeated and nationally ranked, will try to end Wesleyan’s 13-game win streak in the series between the schools.

After starting 6-0, the Cardinals now stand at 6-2 and are only 2-2 in the NESCAC.  They will need a strong finish to avoid last season’s outcome, when they stumbled into the NESCAC tournament at 3-6 in conference.

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