MEDFORD – Sophomore Gillian Roeca of the Tufts University field hockey team is the NESCAC Player of the Week after scoring the lone goal in the Jumbos' 1-0 victory over Middlebury College at Ounjian Field on Saturday.
Visiting Middlebury had entered the game undefeated (13-0, 8-0 NESCAC) and ranked #1 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III poll. The Jumbos were at #6 in the NFHCA rankings. Tufts' victory over the Panthers ended a 20-game winning streak by defending NESCAC and NCAA champion Middlebury.
The win, which lifted Tufts to 12-2 overall and 8-1 NESCAC, also earned a measure of revenge for the Jumbos against Middlebury. Last year when head coach Tina Mattera's Jumbos finished 19-3, all three defeats were to the Panthers. They came during the regular-season, in the NESCAC Championship Game and in the NCAA Championship Game.
On Saturday, Tufts had an edge in the play finishing with an 11-7 advantage in shots and 9-5 in penalty corners. On their ninth and final corner of the day six minutes into the third quarter, Tufts senior Marguerite Salamone inserted the ball to senior Rachel Hamilton. She passed the ball back to Salamone, who sent it into the middle where Roecea knocked it home for the game-winner.
This is the third NESCAC Player of the Week won by a Jumbo in the eight weeks it has been released this fall. Hamilton received the honor on October 14 and junior Beth Krikorian won on September 9. The honor is the first for Roeca.
The game-winning goal was Roeca's fifth of the year, which leads NESCAC. She is fifth in NESCAC overall with nine goals. Her 42 shots are eighth in the conference and her 19 points are 11th.
Tufts wraps up their regular-season by hosting Bowdoin College on Wednesday night at 7 pm.