The Tufts field hockey team blew past the Conn. College Camels this weekend during the Homecoming game, with a score of 8–0 as the final whistle blew. This win puts the Jumbos tied at No. 2 in NESCAC play and improves their overall record to 11–2. The Camels fell to a record of 2–10 with a 0–8 record in NESCAC play.
Senior midfielder Marguerite Salamone spoke about the team’s success against Conn. College and the importance of this win going into their next game.
“I thought we played really well,” Salamone said. “It’s great to have these games where we can come in and get a lot of people in, take a lot of shots. Shooting and scoring goals has been one thing that we are working on, and it’s great to come out here today and show what we have learned from practice.”
Tufts scored within the first two minutes of the game, as senior forward and co-captain Rachel Hamilton created a turnover, giving sophomore midfielder Gillian Roeca an opportunity to take a shot within the circle for the first score of the game. In the next few minutes, Tufts received an offensive corner after a foul was called in the circle. Salamone inserted the ball into the circle, and Hamilton took a direct shot, placing the ball into the left corner of the cage. The Jumbos gained a 2–0 lead going into the second quarter. The first quarter play caused the ecstatic Homecoming crowd to radiate excitement from the sidelines. There was no shortage of Tufts gear and loud cheers from the crowd as the Jumbos closed off the first quarter.
The Jumbos went into the second quarter determined to showcase their ability to score. Early in the second quarter, the Camels gained two offensive corners yet were ultimately unable to capitalize on these scoring opportunities. Meanwhile, Hamilton dominated the second quarter and assisted both the goals scored in the quarter. The scoring began when Hamilton rapidly made her way down the right baseline and handed the ball off to Roeca, who lifted the ball into the cage.
The second goal scored during the second quarter developed when Hamilton dribbled into the circle, dodged a defensive player and promptly passed the ball to junior midfielder Beth Krikorian who was waiting near the stroke mark. Krikorian tapped the ball into the cage for the Jumbos’ fourth goal of the game.
Heading into the third quarter, the Jumbos had a strong lead over the Camels. Tufts furthered its lead after Roeca scored the fifth goal of the game two minutes into the third quarter, propelling her to lead the team with the most goals scored this season.
Tufts dominated much of the fourth quarter, rarely allowing the ball to make it past their attacking fifty-yard line. With strong double teams and intensity when approaching 50–50 balls, the Jumbos proved to control the field. In the fourth quarter, the Jumbos earned three more goals. Senior midfielder Julia Todesco netted an early fourth-quarter goal, and first-year midfielder Talia Smith followed with another goal. Todesco nailed another goal into the cage in the last few minutes of the game, marking the last goal of the game.
The impressive skill and tough grit that the team exhibited during the Homecoming game benefited them this weekend — the final 8–0 score marks the Jumbos’ highest-scoring game all season.
Krikorian commented on the team’s high-scoring performance.
“It was good to pad our statistics with eight goals and a shut-out,” Krikorian said. “We have been working on scoring a ton, and it was really good to score goals and get everyone involved in our system today.”
Coach Tina Mattera was impressed with the improvements she saw on the field.
“I was very happy with the girls,” Mattera said. “We have been working on trying to score a lot and have been struggling with it in previous games. Things are finally starting to click and come together, people are really focused going into the circle, and doing good things.”
Tufts is now coming off their fifth straight win after their loss against Wesleyan earlier this month, defeating Trinity in their previous home game and then defeating Amherst, Hamilton and Wellesley on the road. Tufts will match up against NCAA No. 1 Middlebury next weekend. This will be the first game against Middlebury since Tufts’ loss against them last year in the NCAA Championship final game.
When asked about how the team is preparing for the upcoming game, Salamone explained the heightened importance of playing against Middlebury.
“It is probably going to be one of our biggest games for the season, and we are going to have to work on playing as a team, work on our press and work on our passing,” Salamone said.
Mattera shared her plans for preparing for the Middlebury game as well.
“Middlebury is an amazing team, they have a great strategy and really talented players,” Mattera said. “I think we have to come up with a really good game plan to play against them. It’s important that we are smart on defense, and then when we have our chances to score we finish.”
The game will take place on Ounjian Field on Saturday at 11 a.m.