|Dakota Sikes-Keilp scored her sixth goal of the season Saturday.|
MEDFORD – The No. 15 Tufts University field hockey team scored two goals in the first half and made them hold as they topped Trinity 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament at Bello Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the win the Jumbos, who were the No. 3 seed in the tournament, advance to NESCAC Tournament semifinal play and will play in a semifinal game next Saturday. The Bantams, who were the No. 6 seed, have been eliminated from the tournament.
Trinity was able to apply the offensive pressure early as they drew a penalty corner and unleashed three shots as a result of that. Kelcie Finn and Mia Olsen both unleashed shots that Jumbo goalie Emily Polinski was able to stop. Olsen got her own rebound and was able to send the ball towards the goal, but Jumbo senior Alexandra Jamison picked up a defensive save to keep the score locked at zero.
After that the Jumbos would be the ones to apply most of the offensive pressure for the duration of the first half. Just under 13 minutes into the half the Jumbos were able to fire a few shots at the goal and Trinity keeper Sophie Fitzpatrick made three stellar saves to keep the Jumbos off the board.
Eventually, the offensive pressure was too much for the Bantams as the Jumbos made it 1-0 14:56 into the first half. As the result of a penalty corner, senior tri-captain Maggie Chapman inserted the ball to junior Elle Chrupcala who lifted the ball towards the net. Junior tri-captain Dominque Zarrella got her stick on the ball and deflected it into the top right corner for her tenth of the season.
The Jumbos would make it 2-0 off a penalty stroke with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. The Jumbos drew a penalty corner and after Chapman inserted it, senior Dakota Sikes-Keilp took a shot that was saved by Fitzpatrick. Jumbo freshman Hanaa Malik got the rebound right in front of the left corner of the goal and tried to tip the ball in. But Trinity's Molly Reilly stopped the shot for a defensive save. Unfortunately for Reilly, she stopped the ball with her body and the Jumbos were awarded a penalty stroke. Sikes-Keilp took the shot and she lifted the ball right into the top right corner of the goal to give the Jumbos the 2-0 lead.
The second half wouldn't see a goal scored from either team, but both teams had some chances. The Jumbos had the first chance about fifteen minutes into the second half when Zarrella had a breakaway opportunity. But, after Fitzpatrick came out of the goal to challenge her, Zarrella's shot hit the post and was able to be pushed away from the goal by Fitzpatrick.
Trinity would have a span of three consecutive penalty corners with a little less than ten minutes remaining in the half. The Bantams were able to get four shots off at the goal, but Polinski made two saves and sophomore Celia Lewis picked up a defensive save to keep the Bantams off the board.
The Jumbos finished with the advantage in shots, 18-12, and penalty corners, 10-8. Fitzpatrick made 11 saves for the Bantams, while Polinski made six saves in her fourth shutout of the year.
With the win, the Jumbos move on to tournament semifinal play. The Bantams will await the NCAA tournament selection to find out if they receive an at-large bid to the tournament.