Jumbo offense struggles against Judges

Tufts suffered a shutout at the hands of No. 13 Brandeis on Saturday, the latter’s sixth consecutive shutout this year.

The game featured good defensive play on both sides, as neither team managed more than five shots on goal. With only five shots throughout the game, two of which were on goal, the Jumbos offense lagged behind the Judges’, who put up 17 shots, five of which were on goal.

“One of our struggles was trying to attack and put the ball in the back of the net,” senior co-captain Nicole Campellone said. “It’s something that we’ve been working on in practice — getting on the end of crosses and just being more of a threat on the attacking side, so that’s something that will get better.”

First-year goalkeeper Emily Bowers was the defensive star of the game, tallying four saves throughout the game and anchoring a strong Tufts defense.

“[Bowers] has been incredible for our team,” senior co-captain Emily Morton said. “She’s made huge saves in almost every game. The defense is really solid; this year we’re making sure they push up really high as soon as the ball goes forward.”

The single goal of the game was surrendered in the 56th minute, as Brandeis junior Cidney Moscovitch took a shot from inside the box after a long pass from senior Holly Szafran.

“I’ve been really happy with our defense,” Campellone said. “We’ve really been coming together. We have a [first-year] in goal, a [first-year] playing left outside back and it’s always hard coming into a season when your defensive line has changed. But I think we’ve done a really good job of learning how each of us plays and how we can play with each other.”

This was the fourth loss for the Jumbos, who have struggled to put up points this year and whose away record is now 0-2. With the exception of Tufts’ home win against Colby on Sept. 12, the team has not put up more than one point in any of its games and has been shut out twice.

“We definitely had the most struggles in the attacking third,” Morton said. “Our defense played very solidly and consistently. Brandeis is a very good team, and I think it was a good game. It’s just about making opportunities for shots and then taking them and finishing on them.”

Campellone accounts for two of the Jumbos’ goals for the season, an impressive feat considering her total of seven shots, three of which were on goal. The rest of the team has struggled to put shots on goal this season, but Tufts looks to change that in the coming weeks, during which it will face three more consecutive games away from home.

“In practice we’ve actually been starting to do a lot of [one-versus-one], [two-versus-two] scrimmaging, which I think has been great,” Campellone said. “It makes sure we have that game-like mentality for the entirety of practice, and that is so important — just making every practice game-like.”

With their next game on Tuesday, Tufts is looking to rebound at MIT in a non-conference matchup before next weekend’s contests at Amherst and Hamilton.

“We actually are getting more used to going on the road,” Morton said. “We have a young squad — 10 [first years]; it does take adjustment, but I think we’re getting used to it, and I think it’ll actually be really good for our team and fun to get to be away for two nights.”

The Jumbos are 2-4 on the season but remain at 2-2 in NESCAC play.