MEDFORD – The Tufts University field hockey team earned its 11th berth into the NCAA Division III Championship late Sunday night.
Head coach Tina Mattera's Jumbos (14-4) received a first-round bye and will travel to a Regional hosted by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore next weekend (Nov. 16-17). On Saturday, the Jumbos will play the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between Rochester (14-8) and Denison (16-3). Saturday's game time is to be announced. Host Johns Hopkins (17-2) will face the winner of Wednesday's game between Messiah (16-4) and Worcester State (12-3) also on Saturday. The Regional final will be played on Sunday.
The Jumbos received an at-large berth into the NCAA's after finishing as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) runner-up this fall. Tufts lost 3-2 in overtime at Middlebury College in the NESCAC final earlier on Sunday. The Jumbos were the #3 seed in the conference this year with an 8-2 mark in the league. Tufts is ranked fourth in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches Association DIII poll.
The Jumbos are returning to the NCAA Tournament after advancing to the national championship game for the fourth time last fall. Tufts lost to Middlebury 2-0 in the 2018 NCAA final. Tufts won the 2012 national title under Coach Mattera, and the Jumbo program has an 18-9 overall mark in NCAA Tournament play. They were the national runner-up in 2008 and 2016, as well as semi-finalists in 2009.
Regional winners will advance to the NCAA "Final Four" to be played at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pennsylvania on November 23-24.
Tufts hosted Rochester in the third game of the season at Ounjian Field and won 3-1. The Yellowjackets won the Liberty League Championship. The Denison University Big Red are North Coast Athletic Conference champs. Rochester is making its fifth straight NCAA appearance and sixth overall, while Denison is in its 14th NCAA Tournament and third in a row.
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