This Week in Tufts Athletics: September 17 - 23




When: Saturday vs. Wesleyan at 6 pm
What you need to know: The Jumbos (1-0) will host their home-opener against Wesleyan under the lights at 6 pm. The Cardinals rolled past Middlebury by a score of 52-21 in the opening week of play. Wesleyan scored first in the contest, and never looked back with 358 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback Mark Piccirillo threw for two touchdowns and netted 200 total yards. Sophomore running back Sean Penney rushed for three touchdowns. Junior receiver Dario Highsmith led the Cardinals in catches with six as well as yards with 87. The defense was stingy all game, tallying four sacks and forcing three interceptions, as junior Ben Thaw collected two of those. Both Tufts and Wesleyan will come into the game hot after winning both of their openers comfortably.  The Jumbos saw senior quarterback Ryan McDonald tie the program record with four rushing touchdowns as they topped Hamilton 29-2.  When these two teams met in Medford two years ago the game was also under the lights and the Jumbos picked up a 17-14 win.  Last year’s contest between the two teams needed overtime to decide a winner.  The Jumbos will look to get back into the win column against the Cardinals on Saturday night.

Men's Soccer

When: Friday at Brandeis at 7 pm
What you need to know: The fifth ranked Jumbos (5-0, 2-0 NESCAC) will travel to Brandeis (2-3) on Friday for a non-conference matchup. This is a redemption match for the Jumbos as the Judges eliminated Tufts from the NCAA Tournament last year in a 1-0 loss in double overtime. The Judges are 2-3, most recently having fallen to Babson and WPI.  Brandeis’ top point scorer is forward Bryant Nardizzi who has five points on the season. The Judges senior Andrew Allen has scored two goals on the season. The Jumbos have scored 10 goals in the five contests and only conceded one, so they will look to continue that positive trend.

Women's Soccer

When: Saturday vs Brandeis at 1 pm
What you need to know: The women’s soccer team will host thirteenth-ranked Brandeis on Saturday afternoon in a battle between two undefeated teams. The Jumbos and Judges tied in double overtime a season ago. Brandeis hosted their first four contests which were non-conference victories over MIT, Lasell, Johnson & Wales and Eastern Connecticut State. They then traveled to Babson and collected a 1-0 victory. The Judges have scored 13 goals in five games and have only conceded three goals. Brandeis’ offense is well balanced with six players tied for the team lead in points with four. Seniors Sasha Sunday and Sam Volpe are the senior leaders among the top point scorers. The Jumbos have yet to concede a goal in their first five contests behind their solid backline and senior goaltender Emily Bowers. The Jumbos offense has put in 15 goals through the team’s first five matches with sophomore Sophie Lloyd having scored six in the opening week of play.

Field Hockey

When: Wednesday vs. MIT at 6:30 pm and Saturday at Kean at 4 pm
What you need to know: The eighth-ranked Jumbos (3-0, 2-0 NESCAC) will start their week by hosting non-conference opponent and No. 13 MIT (5-2). MIT won their first four contests over UMass-Dartmouth, Simmons, Gordon and UNE before losing to Endicott. They split the next two contests with a win over Lasell and a 4-0 loss to No. 4 Babson. The Jumbos are 1-0 against NEWMAC opponents on the season, having beaten No. 4 Babson this past week in overtime. The Engineers edged the Jumbos, 1-0, last year when the two teams played. The Engineers have scored 28 goals on the season, and their leading scorer is junior Devon Goetz with 17 points. After the mid-week contest against MIT the Jumbos will end the week with a road matchup against Kean (2-5). Kean, who was receiving votes in the most recent national poll, dropped their season opener to No. 4 Franklin & Marshall in overtime, and most recently fell to St. Joseph’s of Maine in double overtime.  The Cougars are led by junior Jenna Patrone with five points. Tufts has relied on stingy defense and their offense has come through early in the season, as junior Rachel Hamilton is leading the offensive charge with five points and seven different Jumbos have scored goals this season.


When: Tuesday vs. Endicott at 7 pm, Friday vs. Bowdoin at 7 pm and Saturday at Johnson and Wales at 1 pm and Roger Williams at 3 pm
What you need to know: Big week for the volleyball team as the Jumbos (6-2, 2-0 NESCAC) will start with a non-conference matchup against Endicott (6-5). Last season Endicott defeated Tufts 3-2. The Gulls are led by senior Emma Mancini who has 120 kills. The Jumbos then will host Bowdoin (8-0, 2-0 NESCAC) in a battle of NESCAC teams. A year ago, Tufts downed Bowdoin in five sets. The Polar Bears have only lost one set all season. Look for sophomore Kate Kiser to play well as she has 199 assists. The Jumbos then travel to Johnson and Wales to partake in the JWU Invitational. They will open up with fifth-ranked Johnson and Wales (9-1). That lone loss came to NO. 15 Cal Lutheran to open the season, and since then the Wildcats have been on a winning streak.  The two teams were at the same regional in 2016, but didn’t face off against each other because the Wildcats fell to UMass-Boston in the opening round of play.  In fact, the last time the two teams did face off against each other was back in 2003, and the Jumbos won, 3-0.   Wildcat junior Maria Coniglio leads the team with 103 kills. Also at the Johnson and Wales Invite, they’ll square off against Roger Williams (6-4). The teams last played in 2016 with the Jumbos prevailing in straight sets. Roger Williams junior Julia Fields ha 182 assists. 

Men's and Women's Cross Country

When: Saturday at Purple Valley Classic at Williams 
What you need to know: Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will head out to Williams for the annual Purple Valley Classic this weekend.  Both teams opened their season’s last weekend at the Pineland Super XC Shooutout in Maine.  Last year at the Purple Valley Class the men finished 10th out of 26 total teams. Senior Brian Reaney placed a team best 40th overall last season at the event. The women finished seventh out of 26 at the event last year. Senior Natalie Bettez finished seventh overall for the Jumbos.


When: Saturday and Sunday at Williams Fall Invite at Williams College
What you need to know: The golf team will tee off for the third time this season at the Williams Fall Invite this weekend. This will be the last weekend of competition for the Jumbos before the NESCAC Qualifier where they will look to qualify for the NESCAC Championships this spring. A year ago, the Jumbos placed ninth out of 19 teams scoring a 318 total.  Junior Brandon Karr led Tufts with a 154, two-over par which was good for 25th overall at this event last year.


When: Women’s sailing Saturday and Sunday at Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth and coed sailing at the Hoyt Trophy at Brown and at the Hood Trophy at Tufts 
What you need to know: Both the coed and women’s sailing teams will be back on the water this weekend.  Freshman Abbie Carlson of the women’s team is hot off a weekend of finishing fourth at the New England Championships and qualifying for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed Championship.  The women will be up at Dartmouth this weekend for the annual Mrs. Hurst Bowl.  They finished 15th last season, so will be looking for a higher finish this weekend.  The coed sailing team will split their squad this weekend, heading to the Hoyt Trophy at Brown and hosting the Hood Trophy at Tufts.  They finished seventh last year at the Hoyt Trophy and 1st at the Hood Trophy in the 2015-2016 season. \

Ryan McDonald, Senior, Football 

McDonald tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns as Tufts opened with a 29-2 victory at Hamilton, the Jumbos' largest margin of victory in their series against the Continentals. He scored from 18 and 8 yards out in the first half as Tufts took a 15-0 lead into halftime. His 32- and 9-yard scores in the second half helped Tufts run away with it. McDonald finished the day with 98 yards rushing on 15 carries (6.5 avg). He also completed 15 of 26 passes for 99 yards.




Natalie Bettez, Senior, Women's Cross Country

Returning to the Jumbos after studying abroad during the spring semester, Bettez served a reminder of her talent by dominating the Pineland Super XC Shootout hosted by Bates College on Saturday. She won the race by almost 40 seconds, covering the 5,000-meter course in 18:08.8. Second-place Katie Barker from Bates came across the finish line in 18:48 flat. Averaging a 5:50.4 miles, Bettez’s first-place finish helped Tufts defeat the Bobcats in head-to-head action 91-119.




Senior Gigi Tutoni scored with 56 seconds left in the first overtime to help then ranked No. 8 Tufts beat then ranked No. 4 Babson on the road this week.  Watch it here: 




  Football won their season opener, 29-2, over Hamilton on Saturday. Senior quarterback Ryan McDonald (Annandale, N.J.) tied a program record with four rushing touchdowns.  The team defense created four turnovers, three were interceptions, one a fumble recovery. The Jumbos defense also generated six sacks. Junior linebacker Greg Holt (Temecula, Calif.)  led Tufts in tackles with eight and two sacks. 


  No. 3 men’s soccer went 3-0 on the week to improve to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the NESCAC. The week started with a 3-0 win over Keene State. On Saturday, senior back Sterling Weatherbie (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) netted the game winning goal in the 95th minute of a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory over Bates. Sunday the Jumbos wrapped up the week with a 2-1 win over Wheaton.  Senior goalie Conner Mieth (Montclair, N.J.) has recorded four shutouts on the season. 


  Women’s Soccer won both conference matchups they played this week and are now 5-0 with a 3-0 record in the NESCAC. Junior midfielder Izzy Moore (Salem, Conn.) and freshman forward Melina McDevitt (Westfield, N.J.) both scored in the Jumbos 2-0 win over Wesleyan. The McDevitt goal was the first of her career. Sophomore midfielder Liz Reed (Lynnfield, Mass.) and junior midfielder Jenna Troccoli (Bethesda, Md.) scored both Jumbo goals in the team's 2-0 victory over Bates. Senior goalie Emily Bowers (Needham, Mass.) has posted five shutouts. 


  No. 8 field hockey improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the NESCAC after two wins. They opened the week with a 2-1 overtime victory over fourth-ranked Babson. Trailing 1-0, junior Rachel Hamilton (Newton, Mass.) put the ball in the back of the net to tie things up. In overtime, senior Gigi Tutoni (Newtown, Pa.) scored the game winning goal for the Jumbos. On Saturday the Jumbos topped Bates, 4-2, in their home opener. 


  The volleyball team is now 6-2, 2-0 in the NESCAC with three wins this week. The Jumbos defeated Brandeis 3-1 led by senior Mackenzie Bright (Duxbury, Mass.) who had 15 kills for the match. On Friday the Jumbos opened up NESCAC play with a win over Bates and freshman Kate Desler (Hillsborough, Calif.) had eight kills. Junior Maddie Stewart (Menlo Park, Calif.) had a team high 11 kills in the Jumbos 3-0 win at Colby


   The golf team tied for tenth at the Duke Nelson Invitational. Freshman Mac Bredahl (Chatham, N.J.) shot two-over par on Saturday which was the best mark for the Jumbos and tenth overall individually.


  Coed sailing finished 12th out of 20 teams at the New England Single-Handed Championship at Boston College. They also placed third out of 17 teams at the Hatch Brown Trophy at MIT. Women’s sailing finished fourth out of 11 teams at the New England Single-Handed Championship at Boston College.  Freshman Abbie Carlson placed fourth out of 11 sailors, which qualified her for nationals and sophomore Talia Toland (Kirkland, Wash.) finished seventh.



  Men’s cross country placed first at the Pineland XC Shootout in Gloucester, Maine. Senior co-captain Dylan Jones (Natick, Mass.) clocked the best time with a (26:23.0). Women’s cross country also placed first in the Pineland XC Shootout. Senior Natalie Bettez (Bolton, Mass.) finished first overall posting a total time of (18:08.8).  

  Sophomore Boris Sorkin (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) and Isaac Gorelik (Weston, Mass.) of the men’s tennis team collected singles titles for the Jumbos at the Middlebury Invitational. Sorkin won 6-0 and 6-2 to win the A singles final. Gorelik won 6-1 and 6-1 to claim the C singles final. 

  Women’s tennis hosted the Tufts Invitational and sophomore Kiara Rose (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made the consolation quarterfinal and won it 6-3 and 7-5.


Written by Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello