Tufts women’s soccer braved the rain on Tuesday night for an under-the-lights game against Wesleyan, which ultimately resulted in the Jumbos’ first NESCAC loss of the season. Both the Jumbos and the Cardinals had been undefeated in the league going into the game, generating a highly anticipated and hard-fought game for both teams. While Tufts was able to tie it up 1–1 in the 23rd minute, the team ceded to Wesleyan with a final score of 3–1. The Jumbos dropped to 4–2 on the season and 2–1 in NESCAC play.
The competitive energy arrived right from the first whistle, with junior midfielders Margaux Ameer and Maddie Pero both having shots on goal in the first 12 minutes, only to be saved by the Wesleyan goalie. The scoring began shortly after, when Wesleyan’s Emily Ribatt passed the ball to Audrey Lavey, who scored on Tufts junior goalie Haley Bernstein 16 minutes into the game.
In the 23rd minute, fired up, graduate student forward Liz Reed was able to outplay two Wesleyan defenders and send a left-footed shot flying into the right side of the net to tie the game up at one goal apiece. Unfortunately for Tufts, Wesleyan scored toward the end of the half, pushing the score to 2–1 in favor of the Cardinals going into halftime. Even though the Cardinals were leading, the Jumbos led in the shots column 7–3 at halftime as they looked to put more in the back of the net coming out of the half.
However, despite five more shots in the second half, the Jumbos were still unable to outscore the Cardinals. Bernstein saved two shots in the second half, but Wesleyan was able to put its third goal of the night on the scoreboard in the 64th minute. While Wesleyan took the win and is now one of two undefeated teams in the NESCAC, Tufts still played hard.
“I thought as a team we played very well last night even though the outcome was not what we wanted at all,” Ameer said. “We outplayed Wesleyan, possessing more as well as having more opportunities on goal.”
Reed, who had the only Jumbo goal of the night, said, “I think [Tuesday] was a pretty disappointing loss for all of us, since we felt that we outplayed the team most of the game. Wesleyan was scared the whole game but finished the chances they got, so that made the difference.”
Tufts is looking forward to making a comeback in its home games this weekend against NESCAC competitors Bates and Hamilton.
“We’re going to focus on scoring on those major chances, taking advantage of numbers quickly, and locking down defensively all over the field between 50/50s and recovering on numbers down,” Reed said. “Bates will be a great game to get after it again and bounce back.”
The Jumbos will play with home field advantage on both Saturday and Sunday in hopes of improving their conference record.