Coming off the second-best NESCAC regular-season in their history, the Tufts University women's lacrosse team hosts Trinity College in a conference championship quarterfinal game on Saturday at Bello Field starting at noon.
Head coach Courtney Shute's Jumbos finished as the second seed in the conference with a 9-1 record (14-1 overall). Only the 2009 Jumbo team had a higher finish in NESCAC when they earned the #1 seed. Trinity (9-6) comes into the tournament as the eighth seed after their 4-6 conference finish.
The Jumbos will be looking to advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2015 and just the fourth time overall. They have never won a conference championship and own a 3-15 record in 15 previous tournament appearances. Trinity's five NESCAC championships and 23 conference tournament wins are second behind only Middlebury in the league. The Bantams have a 23-9 mark in 14 prior appearances.
The Jumbos and Bantams have been familiar foes in recent NESCAC Tournament action. This is the third straight season that the teams have met in the quarterfinals. Trinity knocked the Jumbos out last spring (12-10) and in 2017 (19-10). It's the sixth meeting between the teams in NESCAC's since 2011 including semifinal victories by Trinity in 2015 (8-7 in OT) and 2011 (13-12).
Tufts is the top scoring team in NESCAC this spring with 16.47 goals per game. The Bantams rank sixth in that category with an even 12.00 average. Defensively, Tufts is fourth in the league allowing an 8.22 goals against average. Trinity surrenders a 9.80 GAA for sixth in NESCAC.
The Jumbo goaltending tandem of senior Audrey Evers and freshman Molly Laliberty have two of the top five save percentages in the NESCAC, including Evers' league-leading .524 mark. Junior Emily Games' 44 goals are fourth in the league, while freshman Colette Smith is ninth in overall scoring (37-13-50).
Sophomore Sophie Berger is Trinity's leading scorer at 42 points. Lilianna Khosrowshahi has had a good freshman season leading the Bantams with 32 goals. The Bantams also have a freshman in goal with Gabriella Young, who has recorded a .414 save percentage.
Senior Annie Sullivan and Games each netted hat tricks to guide Tufts to a 12-6 win over the Bantams during the regular-season on March 23. The Jumbos have won two of the last three in the series between the teams after Trinity had taken 10 out of 11 from 2011-17.