KEENE, N.H.--Tyler McKelvie nearly broke the school record for goals in a game as the Keene State College men's lacrosse team fell to No. 4 Tufts University 17-16 in a pulsating match at Owl Athletic Complex.
The Owls (1-3) rallied from a 10-4 deficit with nine straight goals before a late Tufts (2-0) rally lifted them to the win.
The beginning of the game looked to be all Tufts, as the Jumbos opened with three quickfire goals. Chris Schoenhut scored the first of six on the day with less than three minutes played, and Beau Wood and John Uppgren followed suit before the game was five minutes old.
Robert Hart got KSC on the board with 6:34 to play in the first quarter, and McKelvie scored his first of the day off a feed from Tyler Reilly at the 4:34 mark. After Uppgren restored Tufts' lead to 4-2, Hart set up McKelvie with 2:25 left in the first quarter.
McKelvie notched his third to open the second quarter, only to see Tufts start to pull away. The Jumbos scored six straight, including three by Schoenhut and solo goals from Ben Andreycak, Uppgren, and Peter Bowers. After Schoenhut's third, KSC got back within 10-5 as Robert Hart took a feed from Ryan Hart with 15 seconds left in the half.
Bryan Rotatori promptly won the ensuing faceoff, and the Owls raced down the field, with McKelvie finishing off the fast break to make it 10-6 at halftime.
Once the third quarter resumed, KSC picked up where they left off, blanking Tufts for the whole of the third quarter. Two straight goals from McKelvie pulled the Owls within 10-8, and Tyler Reilly scored the next two for KSC to tie the game at 10. The Owls were not finished, as Robert Hart scored his fourth of the game with 4:22 to give KSC its first lead of the contest, then scored again with 50 seconds left in the period. McKelvie increased the Owl lead to 13-10 with 39 seconds left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Tufts sprang back into life, getting goals from Cole Bailey and Kane Delaney to pull back within 13-12. McKelvie's eighth goal of the day with 12:49 to play made it a 14-12 game, but the Jumbos tied it up with unassisted goals from Bowers and Uppgren.
McKelvie's ninth goal put KSC back in front 15-14 with 7:10 on the clock, but Tufts tied the score on a goal from Schoenhut with 6:08 to play, and took the lead for good on a goal by the same player with 2:27 to go. Bailey netted what proved to be the game winner with 1:54 left as Robert Hart scored with four seconds left to get KSC within 17-16, but Tufts ran out the clock on the final faceoff.
Dylan Florian made his first start of the season in the KSC net and responded with 15 saves, including several at point blank range. Patton Watkins made 11 stops for Tufts.
McKelvie's nine goals were one shy of the school record, set by Bob Bonnes against Clark University on April 8, 1999. Robert Hart finished with five goals and four assists.
Tufts will host Stevens Institute of Technology on March 11 at 3:30 pm. Keene State will play No. 9 Wesleyan in Davenport, Fla., on March 21.