Women’s soccer topples top-seeded Tufts on penalty kicks
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Senior Meredith Poore converted on the 10th and final penalty shot of the game to lift the Bates College women’s soccer team past top-seeded Tufts University on Sunday and into next Saturday’s semifinal round of the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship.
The teams recorded a 0-0 tie after two overtime periods, but Bates advanced by outshooting Tufts 3-2 on penalty kicks. The penalty shot count was 2-2 when Poore (Duxbury, Mass.) made the final one count. Junior Alix Vandeventer (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Amanda Sirianni (Holliston, Mass.) connected on Bates’ first two attempts. Bates junior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) made saves on two of Tufts’ three misses on penalty shots.
The conference semifinal games both take place on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the highest remaining seed, No. 2 Amherst. The Bobcats will play the host Lord Jeffs at 11 a.m., followed by No. 5 Middlebury taking on No. 3 Williams at 1:30 p.m. The championship game will be played Sunday at 12 p.m.
In the first half of play, each team had a solid scoring chance. Only eight minutes into the half, Alix Michael launched a shot from the top of the box that Burns was able punch over the crossbar after leaping into the air. Burns made four saves total in the first frame for the Bobcats.
Phoebe Hanley made the start in goal for the Jumbos and she was credited with two saves in the first 45 minutes, including a tough stop made on Bates junior Courtney Talcott’s (Sutton, Mass.) scoring attempt 18 minutes into the match.
The Jumbos controlled the flow of the game throughout the afternoon, finishing with 20 shots to just six from Bates. Both teams had their defense aided by a very strong wind.
Tufts almost put the match away four minutes into the first overtime period when Sarah Nolet tried to sneak a header in off of a corner kick, but Burns was up to the task for Bates. The Bobcats also had an opportunity to win it in the overtime session on junior Lauren Dobish’s (Chambersburg, Pa.) shot to the right post that Jumbo keeper Kristin Wright was able to track down.
Tufts shot first during the penalty kicks, and senior Carrie Wilson put it past Burns going top right shelf. Vandeventer answered back for Bates as she struck the ball off the crossbar and into the net past Wright.
Bates took a 2-1 advantage after Burns made a diving save to her right on Nolet’s try, and Sirianni scored on the left side of the net against Wright. Lauren O’Connor evened it up for the Jumbos, and then Tufts was aided by the post on junior Tina Tobin’s (Lowell, Mass.) third-round attempt.
In the fourth round, Burns made another diving stop, this time on Bailey Morgan’s attempt. Sophomore Bud Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) then struck the crossbar with her shot, and the ball just barely stayed out of the net.
Tied at 2-2 in the final round, Burns made a third save in the penalty kicks, moving to her left on Michael’s attempt. Then Poore won it for the Bobcats, getting it past the out-stretched arms of Wright.
Burns finished with eight saves in the game for the Bobcats. Wright had two stops in 65 minutes for Tufts.
For the Jumbos, this is the third time in the last four years that they have been ousted from the NESCAC tournament on penalty kicks. Tufts now stands at 8-2-4 overall after earning the top seed in the tournament with 6-1-2 conference record.