In their season opener at Bello Field, Tufts emerged victorious in a 17–14 comeback win against Colby.
The No. 3 Jumbos battled back after being down in the first half largely due to a five-goal rush that, ultimately, gave them the upper hand against the Mules.
Leading the pack were junior midfielders Madeline Delaney and Emma Joyce. Delaney ignited the spark that would lead into the third-period five-goal ambush by Tufts, bringing the Jumbos to only a 1-point deficit. Soon after, with 5:11 remaining in the period, Joyce tied the game 12–12 on a free-position shot and then almost immediately took back the lead the ‘Bos had not had since five minutes into the game.
Soon after, sophomore attacker Margie Carden quickly put away a team-leading fourth goal of the game, solidifying a Tufts lead that would remain throughout the rest of the game.
Both teams continued to battle it out through the fourth quarter with each putting away goals back to back. However, the Jumbos clinched the win on strikes with first-year Allie Zorn and sophomore Caroline Conaghan grabbing one point each.
Carden shone early in the game scoring three goals to close an earlier gap the Jumbos had with the Mules, helping to force a 10–9 halftime score. The attacker scored 79 points for the Jumbos last season and started her first game back strongly, leading the attack from the first minute to the last.
Following their comeback win, Carden discussed the team’s thoughts on hitting the field for the first time in 2023 on Friday.
“I would say there were definitely some nerves at play [for the] first game of the season, but overall, [we were] super excited just to be back out there together,” Carden said. “We lost against Colby last year in our first game so I think we were ready to get some revenge and wanted to start the season off with a bang.”
She continued to explain the challenges of this game and the growth the team has seen since they last faced the Mules.
“We were down in the first half, and I think for a little bit in the third quarter,” Carden said. “That was something we struggled with a lot last year: coming back when we were down. I think we just wanted to prove to ourselves — that we could come back when we’re down in the beginning — so it was a good win.”
Even though it was a big day for the team as a whole, Carden kicked her personal season off on an impressive note as well with a four-goal game but thanked her teammates for her personal success.
“I always say all my goals [are] partly because of everyone else on the team, as everyone’s working hard for each other, and it just ended up that I was the one in the scoring position,” Carden said.
She shed some additional light on what made this season’s opener especially notable.
“We never really lost sight of what our goals were or how we play even based on what they were doing to us,” Carden said. “We kind of just play Tufts Lacrosse at the end of the day, and we never really got too high or too low.”
Carden attributed the game’s flow and the team’s ability to play “Tufts Lacrosse” to the team chemistry this season.
“I think there’s a lot of fluidity between the grades, [and] I feel super close with everyone,” Carden said. “I think overall we have a lot more of a team mantra this year and not as much individual players. We’re all just super excited for each other and all want to work together. … [We have] a lot of trust and confidence in each other, which I think is going to pay off as the games go on.”
However special the Colby game was, it is still only just the beginning of the road for the Tufts women’s lacrosse season. Carden detailed what she’s looking forward to and what lies on the horizon for the team.
“It was [just] our first game,” Carden said. “We were able to put away 17 goals, which is a lot, but I really think that there’s still a lot of room for improvement and a lot more opportunities that we could finish on, so just to see the growth in our team over the next couple of weeks is going to be awesome.”
Carden spoke about how the team looks to perform in their next matchup.
“We play Amherst on Saturday,” Carden said. “That’s also a game that we’re looking to get back to because we lost to them last year. So, I think cleaning up on some mistakes in the past and starting out on the new foot with some wins is really going to pick up the momentum and pace for us … and give us the confidence that we need as we start to get into our spring break schedule.”