MEDFORD – Tufts University women's soccer will be competing for a berth into the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship game as they play Hamilton College in a semi-final match-up on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Both of the semi-final games and the NESCAC Championship game will be played on the campus of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
The #4 seeded Jumbos (9-4-3, 6-2-2) beat Trinity College 1-0 in the confernece quarterfinals last Saturday on a goal by freshman forward Sophie Lloyd in the 70th minute assisted by junior goalkeeper Emily Bowers. The keeper's goal kick traveled the length of the field into the Bantams' box where Lloyd gathered and shot the ball into the back of the net.
The #6 seeded Continentals (10-4-2, 4-4-2) traveled to Middlebury last Saturday and beat the Panthers 1-0 in their quarterfinal contest. Sophomore Maddie Dale of Hamilton scored her first goal of the season only 2:28 into the game with a shot off the left post and into the net.
Head coach Martha Whiting's Tufts team is contending for its second conference title this weekend. The Jumbos, who have also been two-time NESCAC runner-up, won the league crown in 2002. Tufts is in the conference semi-finals for the first time since 2013 when they took a 2-1 loss to Middlebury. The Jumbos reached the NESCAC final in 2000 and 2005.
The last time the Jumbos and Continentals met was during the regular season when Tufts beat Hamilton 2-0 on October 8 on Love Field in Clinton, N.Y. Both of the Jumbo goals came in the first half from junior midfielder Sarah Grubman and senior midfielder Margaret Zahrah. At the 10:26 mark, Grubman redirected a corner kick by senior midfielder Chandler Quintin past Hamilton senior goalkeeper Emily Dumont. As the time expired in the first half, Zahrah tucked the ball inside the left post off of a cross from freshman midfielder Hannah Isenhart for the Jumbos' second goal. Tufts controlled the ball and outshot Hamilton 11-2 in the first half. The Jumbos were outshot by the Continentals 7-0 in the second half.
Nine players on this Tufts squad combine for 20 goals, 13 of which are from the duo of freshman forwards Sophie Lloyd (8) and Elizabeth Reed (5). Bowers and the Jumbo defense have been solid this season giving up 12 total goals with an average of 0.72 goals against per game.
Nine different Hamilton players have scored a total of 15 goals this season being led by freshman forward Cat Gambino with three goals and right behind her are Katja Dunlap, Katie Kreider, and Katie Tenefrancia all tied with two goals each. The Continental defense has only given up eight goals with an average of 0.48 goals against per game.
The winner of this semi-final matchup will play the winner of #1 Williams College and #7 Amherst College for the NESCAC Championship title.
Live video coverage of all three matches at the NESCAC Championship will be available at https://www.nsnsports.net/conferences/nescac/. Links to live stats for all matches are at http://www.nescac.com/sports/wsoc/2017-18/championship/bracket/index.
Written by Colin Mason, Athletic Communications Intern