Women’s soccer team falls to Tufts in NCAA Tournament, 1-0
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The Tufts University women’s soccer team showed Sunday afternoon that it knows how to counterpunch.
A week after losing the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship game to Bates College on their home field, the Jumbos won the rematch with Bates 1-0, again at Kraft Field, to advance to the third round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Today, junior Kim Harrington’s (Helena, Mont.) goal in the 24th minute won it for Tufts. The Jumbos now advance to play Wheaton College, a 1-0 NCAA second-round winner over Western Connecticut on Sunday, for the NCAA New England title in the third round next Saturday (Nov. 19).
Tufts (14-3-1) applied outstanding defensive pressure throughout the game on Sunday, limiting the high-scoring Bobcats to eight shots on goal, to Tufts’ 13, and handing them their first shutout of the season.
Bates finishes the season at 14-4-1, with a number of feats to cherish: the program’s first NESCAC championship, a school-record for victories in a season, and the fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and the first since 1996.
Considering the way Bates outplayed Tufts just a week before at the same site — the Bobcats, for example, outshot the Jumbos 17-9 in that game — Tufts’ rebound as the host team in the NCAAs was impressive.
With even play marking the opening minutes, Tufts was able to get out on top on Harrington’s second goal of the year. For the eighth time this season, senior Sarah Callaghan (Northborough, Mass.) assisted by sending a cross from the left side that Harrington ran to on the far side and one-timed into the net near the post. Tufts had the better of the play for the remainder of the half, intercepting balls in the middle of the field to shut Bates down.
For the first 20 minutes of the second half, the majority of play was in the Tufts offensive half or in the middle of the field. The best Bates opportunity came on a cross from the far left to the far post that Jumbo junior keeper Annie Ross (Newton, Mass.) saved with 18 minutes to play. The last 15 minutes of the match were frantic, with periods of erratic play on both sides, but Tufts finished to gain a measure of revenge against its conference rival.
Whereas Bates seemed to threaten all game last week, the Jumbos were able to stymie the Bobcats and earn their ninth shutout of the year. Ross finished with seven saves. Tufts finished with advantages of 13-8 in shots and 5-2 in corners. Senior co-captain Ariel Samuelson (Newton, Mass.) and sophomore Martha Furtek (East Falmouth, Mass.) took three shots apiece.
The Bobcats received four saves from sophomore Nini Spalding (San Francisco). They were led offensively on Sunday by three shots from junior Kim Alexander (Cumberland, ME).
Finishing their collegiate soccer careers at Bates were senior co-captains Jenna Benson (Watertown, Mass.) and Sara Abbott (North Marshfield, Mass.).
Scoring: T, Kim Harrington (Sarah Callaghan) 24:00.
Goalkeeping: T, Annie Ross (90:00 – 0 GA) 7 saves; B, Nini Spalding (90:00 – 1 GA) 4 saves.
Shots: T, 13; B, 8.
Corner Kicks: T, 5; B, 2.