MEDFORD – Last week was a big week for Tufts Athletics but this week is even bigger as football joins the mix, opening up their season on Saturday night under the lights when they host Wesleyan. Joining them at home on Saturday are women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball.
Men’s soccer will travel to Brandeis on Saturday, men’s and women’s cross country head to Williams for the Purple Valley Classic. Golf will head out west to Williams as well for the Williams Fall Invitational. Women’s tennis will make the trip to MIT for the ITA Regional Championships. Women’s and coed sailing will be back on the water this weekend.
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Football Opens Season With Night Game
For the first time in program history the football team will play under the lights as they open up their season with a 6 pm contest with Wesleyan at the Ellis Oval / Zimman Field. The Jumbos posted the program’s best record since 2001 with a 6-2 mark last year, finishing third in the NESCAC. With most of their key players returning this fall, the Jumbos are set to compete for a conference title this fall.
Wesleyan is also considered a challenger for the conference title this year, as the Cardinals have 19 starters back from a team that was 5-3 last year. The Cardinals were third in the conference offensively and defensively last season, and will be looking for their first title since 2013 when there was a three-way tie for the league title. Wesleyan returns junior quarterback Gerald Hawkins along with junior Jaylen Berry who averaged 4.5 yards per carry for 435 yards last year. Defensively, they welcome back All-Conference first teamers Jordan Stone and Justin Sanchez.
The Jumbos earned seven All-Conference selection last year, the most for the team in seven years, and five of those players are back. Senior running back Chance Brady rushed for nearly 300 more yards than anyone else in the league last fall with 975 total yards. The Jumbos defense returns the top sack man (Zach Thomas, 9.5 in 2015) and the interceptions leader (Tim Preston, 6).
Saturday should be a great game in an exciting atmosphere so make your way over to Ellis Oval / Zimman Field on Saturday night and Go Jumbos!
Field Hockey Takes On Two Ranked Teams
The field hockey team has had a great start to their 2016 season, picking up three wins including their first on the brand new Ounjian Field this past Saturday. In addition to the win over Bates on Saturday, the Jumbos topped Babson earlier in the week, 2-1, behind a goal from senior Annie Artz with 6:49 remaining in the second half. The Jumbos were ranked No. 12 in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches Association national poll, and the Beavers were No. 10 and undefeated this season until that set back.
This week the Jumbos will have another tough week as they host No. 11 Wellesley on Tuesday, travel to UMass-Dartmouth on Thursday and then host No. 16 Mary Washington at home on Saturday. First up will be the Blue who are 4-1 this season with that lone loss coming to Trinity, 2-1, last week. The Blue won last year, 1-0, when the two teams faced off snapping a seven game winning streak the Jumbos had going. With the Jumbos owning the advantage in the series, 10-8, dating back to 1999, they will be looking to add another win this year. After the Blue visit Medford, the Jumbos will travel to UMass-Dartmouth for a Thursday contest with the Corsairs. UMass-Dartmouth is 2-4 this year, most recently having fallen to Fitchburg State in overtime, 3-2. The Jumbos won, 4-2, last year and have a 9-0 advantage in the series dating back to 1999.
After the two midweek contests the Jumbos will get ready for a Saturday game with visiting and No. 16 ranked Mary Washington. The Eagles are currently 4-2 this season with those losses both being one goal setbacks to No. 13 Rochester (2-1) and No. 5 Franklin and Marshall (3-2). Last season the Eagles were 14-5 and fell in the championship game of the CAC Tournament to Salisbury, 2-1, in double overtime. Christine Loehr and Lauren Hopkins have both scored six times for the Eagles. This will be the first time in program history these two teams face off, and it should be a good contest on Ounjian Field!
WSOC: Wednesday vs. Wesleyan at 4 pm and Saturday vs. Brandeis at 1 pm
What you need to know: The women’s soccer team has started their season on a high note, with a 3-0-1 record and they scored six goals in two games this past week. They will look to keep it going this week with a midweek NESCAC contest with Wesleyan and then a nonconference meeting with Brandeis on Saturday. The Cardinals are off to a 2-2 start this season with wins over UMass-Boston and Albertus Magnus and setbacks to Mount Holyoke and most recently, Bowdoin. Wesleyan was 6-7-2 last season, and failed to make the conference tournament, but they did manage to beat the Jumbos 2-1 last year, so the Jumbos will be hoping to avenge that loss this year. The advantage in the series goes to the Jumbos, 11-3-3, dating back to 1999. After the contest with the Cardinals the Jumbos will turn their focus to Brandeis who pays a visit to Kraft on Saturday. The Judges are ranked 13th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll and are currently 7-0 having not allowed a goal all season until their most recent 2-1 win over Wentworth. The Jumbos fell to the Judges last year, 1-0, but they do have the advantage in the series, 9-3, dating back to 1999. Saturday’s contest should be a good one!
MSOC: Saturday at Brandeis at 7 pm
What you need to know: The men’s soccer team started the season a bit slow, only scoring one goal in their first three games. But, since then, they have scored six in their last two and will look to carry that momentum into a Saturday contest with local foe Brandeis. The Jumbos will make the journey to Waltham for a 7 pm start time. The Judges were ranked No. 10 in the D3soccer.com poll and started their season with three straight wins before falling to Babson in double overtime and playing to a 0-0 tie with WPI in double overtime. The Judges won 1-0 last year and 2-0 the year before, and those are the only two times the two teams have faced off in program history (dating back to 1999). So, the Jumbos will be hoping to carry their goal scoring momentum from this weekend into next weekend and pick up a win over the Judges.
VBALL: Tuesday at UMass-Boston at 7 pm and Saturday vs. Bowdoin at 2 pm
What you need to know: The women’s volleyball team has had a stellar beginning of the season, owning a perfect 8-0 record and 2-0 record in NESCAC play. Having picked up wins over Williams and Amherst this past weekend, the Jumbos are off to a great start. This week they will travel to take on UMass-Boston and then host Bowdoin on Saturday to continue NESCAC play. The Jumbos should have their work cut out for them this week, as UMass-Boston is off to an 8-1 start and Bowdoin is the defending NESCAC Champion. The Jumbos beat the Beacons last year, 3-1, but the Beacons have a slight advantage in the series, 5-4, dating back to 1999. The Jumbos and the Polar Bears have a heated rivalry and the Jumbos will look to avenge last year’s 3-1 loss to the Polar Bears when the two teams face off in Cousens Gym on Saturday. Bowdoin (4-3 this year) fell to Williams and Amherst this past weekend, and the Jumbos beat both of those teams, so things look good for the Brown and Blue. Though the Polar Bears won last year, the Jumbos beat them the year before in the NESCAC Tournament, snapping a seven match Bowdoin winning streak. And it’s the Jumbos that have the advantage in the series, 15-10, dating back to 1999.
MXC & WXC: Saturday at Purple Valley Classic at 12:10 pm and 1 pm
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s cross country teams opened up their 2016 campaign last weekend at the Bates Invitational and there was a lot of winning. The women finished first out of four teams and had five of the top eight times on the individual side. Junior Brittany Bowman finished third, senior Kelly Fahey finished fourth, sophomore Natalie Bettez fifth and senior co-captains Alice Wasserman and Samantha Cox were seventh and eighth, respectively. The men finished second as a team, but had the first and second place finishers. Senior Tim Nichols crossed the line first, with classmate Luke O’Connor right behind him in second place. These squads will head to Williamstown this weekend for the Purple Valley Classic.
Gaston Becherano, Senior, Men’s Soccer
After a rough start to the season when the team struggled to score, senior Gaston Becherano has gotten the Jumbos going, turning in four goals in just two games this weekend. The senior forward tallied two scores in a 3-0 win over Bates on Saturday and then came back on Sunday and scored two goals in just 19 seconds in the Jumbos 3-0 victory over Plymouth State. Becherano has five goals this season, which is tied for the most in the NESCAC.
Annie Artz, Senior, Field Hockey
After missing her junior year because of an injury, senior Annie Artz is picking up right where she left off sophomore year, scoring goals. The forward tallied the game-winner on Tuesday night as the No. 12 ranked Jumbos upset No. 10 Babson, 2-1. Artz scored with 6:49 left in the second half to give the Jumbos the win. She then tallied the Jumbos second goal in a 2-0 win over Bates on Saturday. Artz lead’s the Jumbos with three goals so far this year.
Men’s soccer’s Gaston Becherano is on fire. The senior scored twice in a 3-0 win over Bates on Saturday and then scored twice again on Sunday as the Jumbos beat Plymouth State, 3-0. The Jumbos scored one goal in their first three games, and now scored six in their last two!
Women’s soccer continued their hot start to the season, playing to a 1-1 tie with Lesley on Wednesday night and then trouncing Bates 5-2 on Saturday at home. The Jumbos are now 3-0-1 so far this season.
The women’s cross country team opened up their 2016 season on Saturday with a win at the Bates Invitational as the Jumbos claimed five of the top eight times. Junior Brittany Bowman, senior Kelly Fahey, sophomore Natalie Bettez, and senior captains Alice Wasserman and Samantha Cox all finished in the top eight.
Seniors Tim Nichols and Luke O’Connor finished first and second, respectively, at the Bates Invitational to help the Tufts men’s cross country team open up their 2016 season with a second place finish.
Twelfth ranked Field hockey had a good week knocking off No. 10 Babson 2-1 on Tuesday night and then topping Bates 2-0 on Saturday. Senior Annie Artz scored the game winner against Babson and then tallied the Jumbos second goal on Saturday.
Senior Katie Kim led the Jumbos in kills in wins against Williams and Amherst on Friday and Saturday. Kim turned in a career-high 14 kills and added six blocks in a 3-1 win over Williams on Friday night and then led the Jumbos with 12 kills in a 3-0 win against Amherst on Saturday. The Jumbos are now 8-0 overall and 2-0 in NESCAC play.
The coed sailing team was the runner-up at the 20-team, three division Nevins Trophy hosted by Kings Point on Saturday and Sunday. In the single-handed C division, junior Alp Rodopman and Georgetown’s Greg Martinez both finished 20 races with a combined score of 74. Rodopman lost the head-to-head tie-breaker and was awarded second place.
The men’s tennis team opened their 2016 campaign this weekend at the Middlebury Invitational and won a total of 14 matches over the weekend. Freshman Jason Scanlon advanced to the finals in the D singles bracket and classmate Benjamin Biswas along with junior Danny Coran advanced to the semifinals in the B doubles flight.