This Week in Tufts Athletics: February 18 - 24

For live coverage of Tufts Athletics events this week, please visit http://www.gotuftsjumbos.com/composite.

Men’s Basketball

When: Saturday NESCAC Semifinal at Hamilton, 2 pm
What You Need to Know: After becoming the first eighth-seed to defeat the #1 seed in NESCAC Tournament history at Middlebury (85-76) in last Saturday’s quarterfinals, the Jumbos head to Hamilton College for the conference championship weekend. Tufts (12-13) will play the host and #2 seed Continentals (22-3) in the semifinals. The winner will advance to the conference final on Sunday at noon with an NCAA berth at stake. In the regular-season meeting in Clinton, New York on February 2, Tufts led for the majority of the game before the Continentals closed for an 87-83 victory. Tufts is in the NESCAC semi-finals for the third time in the last four years. They will be attempting to reach their second conference final. Williams (20-5) and Amherst (21-4) meet in Saturday’s other semi-final.

Women’s Basketball

When: Saturday NESCAC Semifinal vs. Amherst (at Bowdoin), 4 pm
What You Need to Know: The Jumbos (23-2) and Mammoths (23-2) renew their rivalry once again in the conference semi-finals at #1 seed Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The teams have met in the last three NESCAC finals, but this time will be playing in order to advance to Sunday’s noon championship game. The host Polar Bears (25-0) and five-seed Middlebury (19-6) are on the other side of the bracket. Amherst was able to keep the Jumbos at an arm’s length during the regular-season meeting at Cousens Gym on February 1, a 50-40 Mammoths win. Amherst was fourth and Tufts sixth in last week’s D3hoops.com national poll. The Jumbos have played in five straight NESCAC finals and won league titles in 2014 and 2015. 

Hockey

When: Saturday NESCAC Quarterfinal at Trinity, 1 pm
What You Need to Know: The Jumbos came out of the final weekend of the NESCAC regular-season with the eighth and final berth into the conference championship. For the quarterfinal they will travel to play a Trinity team that defeated Wesleyan twice over the weekend to beat out the Cardinals for the top seed, including a game-winning goal with six seconds left on Saturday. This is the third straight season and fourth time in the last five years that the Jumbos and Bantams have met in the conference quarterfinals. Trinity has won three of the four games, though the #8 seed Jumbos eliminated #1 seed Trinity 2-1 in the 2015 tournament. Tufts tied Trinity 1-1 in Hartford on January 18 and lost to the Bantams at home 3-0 on November 16 during the 2018-19 regular-season.

Claire Davidson and the women's squash team play at the College Squash Association Team Nationals this weekend.

Women’s Squash

When: Friday through Sunday College Squash Association Team Championships at Trinity
What You Need to Know: According to the College Squash Association (CSA) national rankings released on February 5, Tufts is #16 which would qualify the Jumbos for the Kurtz Cup (B division) at the CSA Team Nationals to be held this weekend. This would be the first time Tufts has played in the Kurtz Cup – which includes teams ranked ninth through 16th nationally – since 2008. Virginia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Brown, Williams, Middlebury and George Washington would be the other Kurtz competitors if the current rankings remain the same. Tufts would play Virginia in the opening round on Friday. This is all subject to change with the official release of the CSA Team Nationals brackets later this week. Currently 10-6 overall, Tufts finished last season with the #19 national ranking. 

Men’s Swimming and Diving

When: Friday through Sunday NESCAC Championships at Middlebury
What You Need to Know: Tufts turned NESCAC Swimming & Diving on its ear last year when the Jumbos became the first team other than Williams College to win a conference title since 2002. Now they return to the scene as defending champs, but the 16-time conference champion Ephs and a strong Amherst squad looking for its first conference crown will be equal to the task. Bowdoin also brings a good group into the weekend. According to the College Swimming Coaches Association of American national poll of January 29, Amherst is #11, Williams is 19th and the Jumbos are 20th. Junior Roger Gu, who set championship meet records in the 50 freestyle (19.95) and the 100 freestyle (44.31) last year, as well as 50- and 100-backstroke returning champion Kingsley Bowen lead the Jumbo cast which is looking to repeat.

Women's Swimming and Diving

When: Sunday February Invite at Middlebury, 1 pm

What You Need to Know: Fresh off their second-place finish at the NESCAC meet this past weekend, the Jumbos will send four women to Middlebury College's February Invite on Sunday. It's the same site where the NESCAC men's meet will be taking place. The purpose of the competition is to give the women a final meet to qualify for NCAA's. Tufts will have freshman Hannah Spencer in the 50 freestyle, senior Colleen Doolan in the 200 butterfly, sophomore Jackie Crater in the 200 backstroke and freshman Emma Donchi in the 100 backstroke. The NCAA B-cut times the Jumbos will be looking to hit to put them into contention for NCAA's will be 23.75 in the 50 free, 2:05.85 in the 200 fly, 2:03.61 in the 200 back and 57.00 in the 100 back. The NCAA meet is March 20-23 in Greensboro, N.C.

Men’s Track & Field

When: Friday and Saturday New England Division III Championships at MIT, 2 pm / 10 am
What You Need to Know: The Jumbos will be looking for a three-peat at the New England D3 indoors meet when they travel the short distance to MIT for the competition. New England champions in both 2017 and 2018, the Jumbos are led by senior Hiroto Watanabe who has won the last two 800’s at NED3’s. Tufts seniors Josh Etkind (60-meter hurdles) and Anthony Kardonsky (200 meters) also return as defending champions in their events. Classmate Colin Raposo is the top nationally-ranked runner for the Jumbos this season with his 4:09.82 mile at #6 on the DIII list. Using the most recent US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll as an indicator, the Jumbos are joined by the host Engineers, WPI, Southern Maine, Plymouth State and Williams among the top contenders for the 2019 New England crown.

Women’s Track and Field

When: Friday and Saturday New England Division III Championships at Bowdoin, 2 pm / 10:30 am
What You Need to Know: A top-five finisher at the New England Division III Championships for the past three years, the Jumbos will look to be in the group contending for a title again this season. The Jumbos were the runner-up in three events at this meet last year, including current junior Julia Gake who was second in the 600 for the second straight year. Tufts also had the #2 4x800-meter relay in 2018 with all from that foursome back this season - Nicole Kerrigan, Olivia Martin, Emily Murray and Rhemi Toth. Among the nationally-ranked Jumbos this season, the distance medley relay has the top mark at #9 with a 12:01.74 ran by Lauren Diaz, Gake, Julia Noble and Toth. Among the other challengers for the regional title will be Williams, MIT, Brandeis and Coast Guard.

 

 

 

Hayden Smith, Sophomore, Men's Hockey

Smith scored three goals in two NESCAC games over the weekend as Tufts overtook Bowdoin for the eighth and final berth into the NESCAC Championship. He scored twice during the Jumbos' 5-0 victory at Bowdoin on Friday night in a game the team could not lose in order to keep their tourney hopes alive. Then with Tufts trailing Colby 3-0 on Saturday afternoon, Smith's goal with 20 seconds remaining in the second period pulled the Jumbos within 3-2 as they came back for an eventual 3-3 tie.

 

 

Amy Socha, Sophomore, Women's Swimming

Socha won the 200 butterfly (school-record 2:01.83) at the NESCAC Championship meet, helping Tufts earn their best-ever finish of second place. She was the first Tufts swimmer to win an event at NESCAC’s since 2014. Socha also set a new Jumbo standard in the 500 freestyle (4:58.64) and was a part of the record-setting 800 free relay, 400 medley relay, and 400 freestyle relay. Her 200 free leg of 1:52.63 in the 800 free relay was a new school mark that was lowered by teammate Mary Hufziger later in the meet.

 

 

 

Justin Kouyoumdjian and the men's basketball team became the first #8 seed to defeat the #1 seed in NESCAC Tournament history with their quarterfinal win at Middlebury on Saturday

  Eighth-seeded Tufts men’s basketball got 19 points and 10 rebounds from junior co-captain Eric Savage (South Brunswick, N.J.) as the Jumbos knocked off the No. 1 seed Middlebury, 85-76, on Saturday afternoon in the NESCAC Quarterfinal. Freshman Tyler Aronson (Holliston, Mass.) netted 17 points and connected on three triples in the contest. Sophomores Brennan Morris (East Hempstead, N.H.) and Justin Kouyoumdjian (La Canada, Calif.) also scored in double-figures with 16 and 11 points respectively. 

  Women’s basketball picked up a 75-51 win over sixth-seeded Williams College as the three-seed in the NESCAC Quarterfinal on Saturday at Cousens Gymnasium. Tufts was led by 19 points from senior co-captain Jac Knapp (Westfield, N.J.). Sophomore Emily Briggs (Canton, Conn.) also scored in double-digits with 11 points. The Jumbos’ defense was led by first-year Molly Ryan (Westfield, N.J.) who recorded three steals. 

  Women’s swimming and diving placed second overall in the 2019 NESCAC Championships with 1,439.5 points. On day one, the Jumbos’ foursome of junior Grace Goetcheus (Kensington, Md.), first-year Mary Hufziger (Sandy Hook, Conn.), sophomore Abby Claus (Summit, N.J.), and senior Colleen Doolan (Northbrook, Ill.) set a program record in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:28.71. On Friday, sophomore Sasha Fong (Santa Rosa, Calif.) lowered her time to set the new school record in the 50 butterfly, clocking a 24.92. Sophomore Sook-Hee Evans (Newtown, Pa.) broke the program record in the 1,000 freestyle event on Saturday with her 10:23.15 mark. On the final day, sophomore Amy Socha (Chesterton, Ind.) became the first Jumbo to win a NESCAC event since 2014 with her record-breaking 2:01.83 time in the 200 fly final. Over the course of the four days, the Jumbos broke 14 school records and posted 19 NCAA-B cut times.  

 Men’s hockey clinched the eight-seed in the NESCAC Tournament following a 5-0 victory over Bowdoin and a 3-3 overtime time against Colby. On Friday, sophomore Hayden Smith (Trophy Club, Texas) netted two goals to lead the Jumbo offense against the Polar Bears. Junior Jordan Haney (Charlotte, N.C.), freshman Trevor Spence (Medfield, Mass.), and junoir Machlan Swaden (Old Lyme, Conn.) also recorded goals. Sophomore goalie Drew Hotte (Ambler, Pa.) stopped all 40 Bowdoin shots. Smith scored another goal to help the Jumbos earn a tie on the road against Colby. Freshman Cal LeClair (Haverford, Pa.) recorded the game-tying goal and also had an assist in the game.

 Men’s squash competed in the CSA Team Nationals Summers Cup over the weekend. On Sunday against Bowdoin, they got four-game victories from freshman Will Dewire (Baltimore, Md.), senior Brett Raskopf (New York, N.Y.) and sophomore Salik Awan (Ossining, N.Y.) during a close 6-3 loss.

  Men’s track and field had three members of the team set personal records at the Springfield Triangle Classic on Saturday afternoon. Senior Charles Pennington’s (Tampa, Fla.) career best came in the high jump where he cleared 6’2 ¾” (1.90m). Fellow senior Brian Reaney (Portsmouth, N.H.) competed in the 3,000 meter event and clocked a time of 8:54.21. Sophomore Daeseob Lim (Orangeburg, N.Y.) also matched a personal record in the pole vault (13’5 ¼” – 4.10m) on Saturday. 

  Women’s track and field senior co-captain Kelsey Tierney (Whitman, Mass.) finished second in the mile with her 5:06.79 mark on Saturday in the Springfield Triangle Classic. The Jumbos’ nationally-ranked 4x4 team of first-years Tara Lowensohn (South Burlington, Vt.), Hannah Neilon (Fitchburg, Mass.), and Luana Machado (Methuen, Mass.), and junior Julia Gake (Wilmington, Mass.) ran a 4:01.69 time, which also placed second. 

  On the D3soccer.com All-America teams released on February 15, Jumbos Gavin Tasker (Concord, Mass.), Sterling Weatherbie (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Joe Braun (Yardley, Pa.) each received recognition for the 2018 season. Additionally, Josh Shapiro earned National Coach of the Year honors.

  Sophomore pitcher Kristi Van Meter (Amston, Conn.) of the Tufts University softball team is one of 50 outstanding players who have been chosen for the 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year watch list.

  Watch Tufts Women’s Swimming & Diving senior Amy Socha (Chesterton, Ind.) swim a school-record time in the 200 freestyle leading off the Jumbo 800 freestyle relay on Thursday night at the NESCAC Championships.