Top 10 Moments of 2017–18

Members of the Tufts men's lacrosse team celebrate after winning the NESCAC championship with a 12–9 victory over Wesleyan on May 6. Evan Sayles / The Tufts Daily

10. McDonald throws for 336 yards in win over Williams (Oct. 21)

Coming off of a close loss to Trinity one week prior, the Tufts football team needed to rebound against Williams to keep alive any hopes of a NESCAC title. Rising senior quarterback Ryan McDonald delivered with a career-high 336 passing yards and a touchdown in Tufts’ 21–13 win in Williamstown, Mass. McDonald’s touchdown came on a pass to rising senior wide receiver Jack Dolan, who went 59 yards into the Ephs’ end zone to open the scoring. McDonald kept the offense on track all game by picking up numerous chunk gains through the air, completing 25 of his 40 passing attempts and gaining 55 yards on the ground to boot. McDonald received NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

9. Ice hockey defeats Bowdoin on final weekend to sneak into NESCAC Tournament (Feb. 16)

In order for the Tufts ice hockey team to qualify for the 2018 NESCAC tournament, it had to defeat Bowdoin on Feb. 16. When the Jumbos fell behind 2–1 after the first period, their prospects looked low. However, graduating senior forward Brian Brown tied it up in the second with a goal at the 14:02 mark. With one period to determine the final spot in the postseason tournament, Tufts triumphed. Rising sophomore forward Charley Borek gave the Jumbos the lead with a goal with less than five minutes to go, and rising junior defenseman Cory Gottfried clinched the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute. The 4–2 win against Bowdoin was a testament to the team’s grit and determination throughout the entire 2017–18 season.

8. Volleyball defeats Wesleyan to clinch perfect conference record (Oct. 28)

On the verge of clinching its second straight undefeated NESCAC regular season, Tufts had a lot on the line in its Oct. 28 matchup at Wesleyan. After falling 25–19 in a first set in which they recorded more errors than killsit would have been easy for the Jumbos to roll over against the Cardinals. However, the coach Cora Thompson’s team bounced back to outscore Wesleyan by 14 combined points over the next three sets and win the game 3–1. Tufts’ tight 27–25 victory in the third set turned the tide in its favor, and it followed with a comfortable 25–20 win in the fourth set to clinch another undefeated mark. Rising junior middle hitter Heather Holz was particularly excellent against the Cardinals with 12 kills and just three errors.

7. Women’s soccer scores two second-half goals to beat Hamilton in NESCAC semifinal (Nov. 4)

Having advanced past its perennial nemesis Trinity in the NESCAC quarterfinals, Tufts found itself down 2–1 an hour into its semifinal matchup against Hamilton. From thereon in, two rising sophomores demonstrated their value to the future of the Jumbos’ program. In the 65th minute, forward Liz Reed was calmness personified as she maneuvered around onrushing Hamilton senior goalie Emily Dumont and tucked the ball into the net to level the score. Reed then turned provider for Tufts’ leading scorer, forward Sophie Lloyd, six minutes later. Reed’s cross found Lloyd in some space, and the Los Altos, Calif. native converted her second goal of the game to complete a memorable comeback and send the Jumbos’ to the NESCAC title game.

6. Women’s basketball reaches fifth consecutive Elite Eight (March 9–10)

Coming off a pair of blowout wins in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Jumbos took on the Messiah Falcons in Scranton, Pa. on March 9. Tufts got off to a hot start, outscoring Messiah 22–8 in the first quarter, and never let up, ultimately winning 70–39. Rising senior guard Jac Knapp led the team with a career-high 23 points, and rising sophomore center Erica DeCandido posted 16 points and six rebounds. The commanding victory secured the Jumbos’ fifth straight trip to the Elite Eight, where they lost to the Bowdoin Polar Bears, 66–48. In Tufts’ 10 NCAA Tournament appearances under coach Carla Berube, the team is now an impressive 30–12.

5. Men’s lacrosse defeats Wesleyan for unprecedented eighth NESCAC title (May 6)

The Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team served as Tufts’ kryptonite in 2017. Whether it was in the regular season, conference tournament or NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals stymied the men from Medford. Tufts got its revenge in 2018, however, winning the NESCAC championship on top-seeded Wesleyan’s home field for the eighth conference title in program history — a NESCAC record. Rising senior attacker Ben Connelly’s four goals led the Jumbos to a 12–9 win, while graduating senior attacker Andrew Seiter added three goals and rising senior attacker Danny Murphy posted two goals and three assists. Rising junior goalie Mason Pollack made 16 saves to anchor Tufts’ victory.

4. Men’s soccer wins first-ever NESCAC championship (Nov. 5)

The No. 5 Tufts men’s soccer team won the first NESCAC title in program history against Middlebury on Nov. 5 thanks to a late goal. The first half at Tufts’ Bello Field was a back-and-forth affair, but the hosts prevailed in the second half by dominating possession and outshooting Middlebury 14–4. The Jumbos and Panthers battled to a stalemate until rising junior midfielder Brett Rojas scored his third goal of the season in the 88th minute. Rojas headed rising junior midfielder Zach Lane’s cross into the bottom left corner of the Middlebury net to clinch the conference title for coach Josh Shapiro’s men.

3. Stefan Duvivier leaps to national title in high jump (March 10)

Graduating senior Stefan Duvivier took first place in the high jump competition at the NCAA Div. III Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 10. Duvivier cleared a school-record height of 2.20 meters, tied for fourth-best all time in Div. III indoor history, at the meet in Birmingham, Ala. to take home Tufts’ first-ever national title in the high jump. Remarkably, Duvivier had already clinched victory over Rowan University senior Harrison Escoffer after clearing 2.16 meters, but the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native continued to raise the bar. In doing so, Duvivier improved on his 1.97-meter effort at the 2017 national championship meet, which tied for 10th place.

2. Men’s swimming ends Williams’ hegemony with first NESCAC championship (Feb. 23–25)

For the Tufts men’s swimming and diving team, the 2018 NESCAC Championships could not have gone more perfectly. The team ended Williams’ 15-year conference championship streak, winning the first NESCAC title in program history. The Jumbos racked up 1,671 points — to the Ephs’ 1,590 — over the course of the grueling three-day meet, crushing numerous school, meet and conference records in the process. Tufts displayed its dominance in many facets, garnering first-place finishes in seven events, including top-two finishes in all five major relays. The performance highlighted the Jumbos’ depth, as they went on to bring 11 athletes to the NCAA Championships in March, where they placed seventh.

1. Brittany Bowman wins 5k at NCAA Championships (March 9–10)

At the NCAA Div. III women’s indoor track championships in Birmingham, Ala., graduating senior co-captain Brittany Bowman turned in a pair of incredible performances over the course of the two-day competition. On the the meet’s first day, Bowman ran the 5,000 meters in 16:31.32 to claim a national title, demolishing Catherine Beck’s (LA ’08) school-record time of 16:42.43 from 2007. Bowman also bested defending champion Taryn Cordani of Ithaca College by over five seconds. The very next day, Bowman finished fourth in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:39.98 — less than a second out of second place. In the final indoor meet of her storied career, the Camden, Maine native took home All-American honors in both of her individual events.