The Tufts women’s soccer program hosted the Connecticut College Camels on Saturday for each team’s first NESCAC game of the 2022 season. The Jumbos and Camels entered Saturday’s contest each having already dominated a non-conference opponent at home during the week — Tufts defeated Emerson College 4–1 and Conn. College defeated the University of Saint Joseph 6–0.
Throughout a scoreless first half, the Jumbos dominated possession and forced four saves out of Camels goalkeeper Sarah Hall. In the 35th minute, junior forward Abbi Adler took a shot that sailed towards the top corner of the net, but Hall dove to her right to make an outstanding save against the Jumbos’ best shot of the half. The Jumbos’ defense in the first half looked strong, only relying on senior goalkeeper Hayley Bernstein to make one save which was very comfortable.
The Jumbos offense came to life in the second half, which they began very aggressively. In the 51st minute, senior midfielder Maddie Pero intercepted a pass in midfield, dribbled to the edge of the Camels’ penalty area and laid a pass off to junior midfielder Thalia Greenberg, who scored the game’s opening goal with a cool one-time finish. Almost immediately after the Camels’ kickoff, junior forward Nic Sommers sprinted with the ball down the left sideline and laid a pass off to junior forward Erin Duncan, who scored on a grounded shot which was out of the reach of a diving Hall. Duncan’s goal was recorded only 31 seconds after Greenberg’s.
In the 63rd minute, senior forward Claire Wilkinson sprinted with the ball down the right sideline and sent a cross into Sommers in the middle of the box. Hall and a swarm of Camels defenders prevented Sommers from getting a clean shot off and knocked the ball away, but it kindly fell to Duncan, who nudged the ball into an almost open net for her second goal of the day.
“Both goals were just really hard work by other people on the team and I just happened to be in the right spot to put it in the back of the net,” Duncan said.
The 3–0 second half lead made it feasible for head coach Martha Whiting to give playing time to every field player on the roster. This gave one substitute, sophomore midfielder Juliana Rosen, the opportunity to score her first collegiate goal. In the 88th minute, first-year forward Camille Lu delivered a cross towards first-year forward Elsi Aires, who collided with the Camels goalkeeper before the ball fell to Rosen, who raised the score to 4–0. After the full time whistle, the Jumbos on the bench rushed onto the field to congratulate Rosen on her accomplishment.
“It was a great feeling, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Rosen said of scoring her first goal. “It was just an amazing environment. [I’m] so lucky to have such a great team out there.”
The Tufts women’s soccer program continued their perfect start to the 2022 season with the win, improving to 2–0–0, while Conn. College dropped to 1–1–0. The Jumbos’ game on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Wesleyan is the first in a stretch of four consecutive NESCAC away games. The Camels return home, where they’ll face the United States Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a New London, Conn., crosstown rivalry game.