In 2013, graduating seniors goalkeeper Scott Greenwood and defender Daniel Sullivan joined a program that had only seen NCAA gameplay three times in history. Since then, the two graduating seniors have helped the program win two national titles in three years in an unprecedented rise to the top of Div. III soccer.
In their season as first-years, the Jumbos went 8-5-2 and bowed out in the NESCAC quarterfinals in penalties against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Just one year later, Tufts was again defeated in the NESCAC quarterfinals, but was fortunate to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The team followed this opportunity with six consecutive wins, in which they scored 14 goals and conceded three to triumphantly take the crown.
Two years later as seniors, Greenwood and Sullivan anchored the defense in a 15-5-2 season. As though it was fate, the Jumbos lost to the Polar Bears in the NESCAC quarterfinals and received an NCAA at-large bid. They went on to win six straight games, conceding only one goal, to claim a second national title as a brilliant capstone to a successful four years at Tufts.
Following the win, Greenwood was named to D3soccer.com’s first team All-American. A four-year starter, Greenwood has recorded the most shutouts in Tufts soccer history, a total of 39, 12 of which came this season. His 0.888 save percentage is ranked third in the nation, and in 2016 he led the NESCAC in save percentage and goals against average.
“My most memorable moments as a Jumbo were being able to step on the field with my brothers on the biggest stage twice and bring two national championship trophies back to Tufts,” Greenwood said.
Sullivan was named to the D3Soccer.com second team, the All-NESCAC first team and the NCAA All-New England second team. He started every game in his junior and senior seasons, and was often cited by his teammates as one of the key defensive anchors in driving communication between the back line. In 2016, the Jumbos recorded the lowest goals against average in the NESCAC, and an average of under four shots on target per game, a testament to the strength of the defense.
Sullivan offered some advice for the non-graduating players on the team.
“To the juniors, I would say: as soon as you step on the field for what could potentially be your last game, you’re going to want to leave everything out there,” Sullivan said. “When we made it to the tournament, by some miracle, every senior would look around and realize, ‘This could be our last one, so let’s go.’ Just grasping that opportunity to do something awesome has been the highlight of my life so far.”