The ‘Bos are back this Saturday, kicking off their 2019 campaign on NESCAC rival Williams’ home turf.
The 2018 NCAA runner-up Tufts field hockey team ended their last season on a 19–3 high, with No. 1 Middlebury claiming all three losses for Tufts as well as the national title. Despite having lost in the NCAA championship game, the Jumbos had one of the strongest seasons in the program’s history.
Senior forward/midfielder Brigid Gliwa spoke about her team’s performance last season, as well as alluding toward the success the team is expected to have moving forward.
“Last season was a really good run for us,” Gliwa said. “We worked so hard all season and positioned ourselves in a great place for this year.”
Tufts started off their 2018 season with an eight-game winning streak, four of which were shutout victories. After losing only to Middlebury in regular play, Tufts continued on their rampage throughout the remainder of the season, until they were defeated a second time by Middlebury in the NESCAC championship. After losing to the Panthers, the Jumbos earned a bid to the NCAA tournament. They shut out Smith 3–0 in the first round and went on to defeat Salisbury 1–0 in a riveting double-overtime second-round game. Tufts sent Johns Hopkins home in the semifinals, but they were unable to take down the relentless Middlebury in the championship.
Looking forward to this upcoming season, the Jumbos have been dialing in during preseason and working towards another successful year of competition, as expressed by sophomore midfielder Claire Foley.
“We’re going to take this one game at a time,” Foley said. “Our first game is at Williams this weekend. We’ve been preparing and working really hard in [the] preseason for this game. We’re focusing on just winning that one, and going from there. One game at a time.”
Williams also had a strong 2018 season, with a final record of 12–5. Despite having defeated the Ephs twice last year, the Jumbos refuse to take any match-up lightly.
“Our first game against Williams is pivotal,” Gliwa said. “The first game can set the tone for the entire season. Williams also has an advantage over us with their field. It’s known to be hard to play on and they know their way around it much better than we do, so that makes this game even more of a challenge. We don’t have any easy games this year. Every game is a challenge. We just want to stick to the mindset of taking each game one at a time in order to be successful. We’re really trying to slow things down and stay focused as competition picks up.”
The Jumbos have eight new first-years in the lineup, taking the place of the six graduated team members from last year. With such a large incoming class, the Jumbos are excited to see what kind of new talent these first-years will bring.
“The [first-years] look really good,” Foley said. “I’m excited to see how they contribute to the team. They definitely have a lot of potential, and it’s been great getting to know them and welcoming them to the program.”
The Jumbos face off against the Ephs at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Williamstown, Mass.