MEDFORD – With a new season starting on Wednesday, the Tufts University women's soccer team looks to contend in the ultra-competitive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this fall.
Alex Scheman is one of the co-captains for the upcoming season.
The Jumbos enter their second season playing with a new formation which will lead to a smoother transition into this fall season. Head coach Martha Whiting and her staff also put a focus on defensive intensity and grit. With the team working hard towards those goals in the preseason, Coach Whiting has a positive outlook for the new year.
"This team is a cohesive group that already understands the value of teamwork and hard work," Coach Whiting said. "They are already coming together as one unit putting the team goals first, which is important. We look to improve and get better each and every day, just competing, working towards our goal of winning a NESCAC Championship."
During the 2016 season, the Jumbos posted a 7-6-3 overall record and 5-4-1 in the conference finishing fifth in the NESCAC standings. They scored 10 more goals than the season before while defensively they held opponents to less than one goal per game on average. They qualified for the NESCAC tournament and lost to Trinity College in the quarterfinal matchup 1-0. The Jumbos look to improve upon that finish this fall.
Tufts graduated six seniors including forward Jess Capone, midfielders Sarah Pykkonen, Brooke Fortin, and second team All-NESCAC award winner captain Robin Estus and from the backfield Stefanie Brunswick and captain Alexa Pius.
Leading the women's soccer team in the 2017 season are senior captain Alex Scheman and junior captain Emma Ranalli. Senior forward Mariah Harvey-Brown leads the returning attack after tallying nine points (four goals and one assist) in her junior season. Junior forward Alex Aronson played in all 16 games and netted a goal in victory over Bates College.
Senior midfielders Chandler Quintin and Margaret Zahrah control the middle of the field with strong defense and an aggressive attack. During their junior campaigns, Quintin was responsible for six points (two goals and two assists) and Zahrah scored on three of her six shots. Sophomore midfielder Jenna Troccoli was honored with a third team All-New England selection, one of two total freshmen in the region to receive such an honor.
Sophomore Tally Clark and junior Taylor Koscho lead the defense to protect the net in front of senior goalkeeper Emily Wilson and junior goalkeeper Emily Bowers, who had five shutouts in the 2016 season.
In addition to the players mentioned above, juniors Sarah Grubman and Alessandra Sadler along with sophomores Ashley Latona and Sarah Maloney are part of the returning crew that played consistently throughout the 2016 season.
Coach Whiting discussed the returners by stating, "There is a good core group of upperclassmen with a lot of playing experience which will help with big game situations."
The Tufts women's soccer team opens up with a home match against Emerson College at Kraft Field on Wednesday, September 6th at 4pm. They will compete against conference opponent Colby College at home on Saturday, September 9th at 1pm. The Jumbos will then travel to Wesleyan University (Conn.) on Tuesday, September 12th at 4:30pm for their first away conference contest.
Written by Colin Mason, Athletic Communications Intern