MEDFORD – Tufts University women's lacrosse opened the 2019 NCAA Tournament with an 18-0 win over Plymouth State University on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Bello Field in the second round. It's the fourth shutout in NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship history and first since 2015.
|Gabby Vinci recorded three points and caused three turnovers.|
This was the Jumbos' second shutout of the season, with the first coming on March 9 in a 21-0 win against Wellesley College. The brown and blue will now face The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in the "Sweet 16" with the date and site to be announced.
Tufts improves to 17-2 overall and recorded their sixth NCAA Tournament win in program history. The Jumbos set a school record with their 17th victory today. Plymouth State ends their season with a 12-6 overall record.
The Jumbos were locked in from the opening draw control and showed no signs of rust after a week off. Senior goalie Audrey Evers got the hosts going with a nice save on Plymouth State sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin early. Jumbo senior Courtney Grygiel then earned a free-position attempt and Panther sophomore goalie Meaghan Allard recorded a stop.
Allard then recorded another save on a shot from Tufts junior Emily Games, but the Jumbo offense broke through with a goal from first-year Colette Smith five minutes in. Smith then earned a free-position attempt a little over a minute later and converted the shot to extend the lead to 2-0. Tufts' next goal came off a free-position shot from Games on a man-up opportunity.
The Tufts defense applied pressure to the Plymouth State players after the Games goal and forced two turnovers within a minute timespan. Jumbo first-year Mae Briody then had a shot stopped by Allard, but got her own rebound, passed it over to senior Cecily Freliech who put the ball in the back of the cage to give Tufts a 4-0 advantage. The brown and blue's offense continued to attack the Panther defense after the Freliech goal with tallies by Briody, sophomore Catherine Lawliss, Grygiel, and senior Annie Sullivan during a five-minute stretch for an eight-goal Jumbo lead with 10:16 left in the first half. Briody and Grygiel's goals during that stretch were free-position shots.
Sullivan netted her second goal of the game after junior Margaret Chase caused a turnover to give the Jumbos a 9-0 lead. Tufts seniors Gabby Vinci and Maria Dattolo connected after Vinci dished it over to Dattolo on a free-position attempt. Plymouth State senior Sam Fiore then had a good opportunity to score, but Evers made a nice save. Grygiel netted the final goal of the half to give the brown and blue an 11-0 edge. Lawliss had a chance with 0:19 left in the first half, but again Allard made a nice save in the cage.
Plymouth State junior Sydney Dubois' attempted the first shot on goal for the Panthers out of the half after making a nice move into the middle of the defense, but newly-entered first-year goalie Molly Laliberty made a low save on the shot. Vinci and first-year Molly Seibel had shots saved by also-newly-entered senior Emilee Wargo for the Panthers early in the half. Tufts first-year Kathryn Delaney scored the first goal of the half after knifing her way through the Panther defense. Fiore then had the contest's next chance, but Laliberty recorded her second save of the game. Jumbo senior Megan Toner scooped up a ground ball around midfield and ran the distance to beat Wargo for Tufts' 13th goal of the afternoon.
Tufts sophomore Claire Wright then snuck in a goal less than two minutes later off a nice feed from Dattolo. Wargo came up big in net after the Wright goal and stopped shots from Dattolo and Seibel. Vinci and Games connected with 11:16 remaining to give the Jumbos a 15-0 advantage. Plymouth State got quality chances from senior Veronyca Daniels and Dubois towards the end of the game, but Laliberty preserved the shutout with stops. The Jumbos' final three goals came from Games, Vinci, and first-year Anna Clarke.
The Jumbos' defense was outstanding all day long as they forced 27 Plymouth State turnovers. The Panthers won 11 draw controls to the Jumbos' nine. Tufts' offense was explosive as they recorded 37 shots, with 32 going on goal. Plymouth State attempted 12 shots and six reached goal. The Jumbos scooped up 25 ground balls to the Panthers' 17.
Tufts had five players score two goals apiece - Sullivan, Games, Grygiel, Vinci, and Smith. Dattolo and Briody each recorded a goal and an assist. Vinci also led the Jumbos with three caused turnovers. Senior Hedy Veith scooped up a team-high three ground balls. Delaney won three draw controls for the Jumbos. Evers recorded her 12th win on the season in net.
Allard and Wargo each stopped seven Jumbo shots in the game. Daniels attempted a team-high four shots. Dubois won a game-high four draw controls and scooped up three ground balls for the Panthers. Senior Kimberly Zuccaro forced three Jumbo turnovers.
Tufts and TCNJ met earlier this season, with the Jumbos prevailing 8-7.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello