MEDFORD – The sixth-ranked Tufts University women's lacrosse team has an experienced roster with 10 seniors. One of those four-year stalwarts is Hedy Veith, who has started every game she's played in at Tufts.
"Hedy is our leader," head coach Courtney Shute said when Veith was named an All-American last year. "Her statistics do not come close to telling her defensive story. Hedy is most often marked up on the opposing team's top attacking threat and when she is not, it is because we know her help defense is what we need most that day out of her. She deserves a great deal of credit for our defense being cohesive and on the same wavelength."
This spring Veith has started all nine Jumbo contests as part of a defense that has only allowed 7.06 goals per game, second-best in NESCAC. Tufts' nearly two-goal improvement defensively from last year's 9.06 final goals against average has helped the 'Bos remain unbeaten with a 9-0 overall record and a 5-0 record in NESCAC action.
From Alexandria, Va., Veith is an Economics and Community Health major. In her four years as a Jumbo, the team has posted a 41-18 overall record and last season earned the program's first NCAA berth since 2015. The Jumbos collected a 17-8 victory over FDU-Florham in the NCAA first round with Veith causing four turnovers in the game. Her efforts as a junior earned her second team All-NESCAC, IWLCA All-Region and IWLCA All-American honors.
Every season that Veith has been a member of the Jumbos, the team's goals against average has been lowered. For her career, she has totaled 75 ground balls and 50 caused turnovers while also scoring five goals and dishing out two assists.
GoTuftsJumbos.com recently caught up with Veith to get to know her a little better …
Q: What are the team's goals this season and what will it take to achieve them?
HV: Our team's goal this season is to play in May for as long as possible. In order to do this, we need to focus on working hard and playing fast at every practice and game, staying present, and having fun, because that's when we play our best.
Q: What has been the key to holding opposing offenses to only 7.06 goals per game this year, and how have you improved defensively over your career?
HV: The whole defensive unit has put in a lot of effort this season to focus on our core defensive tenants which includes solid 1v1 defense, consistently strong communication and forcing low angle shots. I think our defense has been successful so far in limiting goals against because we've practiced those tenants consistently at every practice this season. For me, I think my growing confidence in my play has improved over my career at Tufts. I know that I can always default back to our defensive tenants when I'm not playing my best. By being more confident, I'm able to take more defensive risks and disrupt the opposing attack. Our defensive unit has just been so strong, it's hard to not be confident when I'm surrounded by such talented lacrosse players.
Q: What impact has the coaching staff had on you in your time at Tufts?
HV: Over the past four years, the coaching staff has really encouraged me to be myself, be independent, and be confident in my abilities. Their constant support of me on the field has helped strengthen me not only as a player, but as person as well.
Q: What has been your favorite memory on the field so far in your career?
HV: There have been a lot of amazing and fun memories on the field during my time at Tufts. I think getting a bid to the NCAA tournament last season was important to me because it was a reflection of all the hard work the group had put in to building a strong and competitive program. So far, my favorite on-field memory this season was beating TCNJ 8-7. It was a big non-conference win for us and gave the whole team a lot of confidence.
Q: What has been your favorite memory off the field in your four years?
HV: There have been so many fun memories off the field at Tufts as well. One thing remains constant through them all though, my friends and teammates, particularly my fellow seniors. Through thick and thin, my friends and I always have so much fun together. One of my favorite memories is our Team IMPACT draft day. It was an unbelievable and moving experience that I know we will all remember for a very long time.
Q: What is the best class you've taken at Tufts?
HV: History of Rock 'n' Roll with Professor Pennington. The class was a ton of fun and we get to listen to amazing music. Professor Pennington really values every students' opinions and curiosities.
Q: If you could play another collegiate sport, what would you play?
HV: I would want to play field hockey. I played in high school and loved it. The field hockey team here is also awesome.
Q: What is your dream job?
HV: I think later in life I would be interested in working for a foundation, like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), because I want to be able to make a difference in people's lives. I would also love to be a professional stylist because I love clothes.
Q: Who is your favorite professional and college sports team?
HV: The Washington Capitals are probably my favorite professional sports team. I'm also a big college basketball fan and am always rooting for Duke!
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello