This Week in Tufts Athletics: Sept. 20 - Oct. 2

MEDFORD – It's Homecoming week and it’s a busy one for the Jumbos.  Men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey all have three home games on the schedule this week.  Football is at home on Saturday hosting Bates.  Men’s and women’s cross country travel to compete in the prestigious Paul Short Run.
Volleyball hits the road for two more NESCAC matches this week, men’s tennis travels to Williams for the ITA Regional Championships.  Men’s and women’s sailing are both back on the water this weekend and both the men’s and women’s crew teams join the action this weekend, starting their fall schedules.

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Men's Soccer With a Huge NESCAC Week


The men’s soccer team got off to a slow start, but they have been on a roll recently, winning their last three.  They have a huge week coming up with three NESCAC contests on the schedule, including a visit from No. 3 nationally ranked Amherst this weekend.  First, the Jumbos will worry about Wesleyan who travels to Medford for a 7 pm contest on Tuesday night.  After the contest with Amherst on Saturday, the Jumbos have little time to rest as Hamilton comes to town for a 1:30 pm start on Sunday. 

First up for the Jumbos will be Wesleyan, who owns a 3-2-1 record so far this season.  Those two losses have been the only two conference games the Cardinals have played, as they have fallen to Bowdoin (1-0) and Bates (2-0).  The Jumbos and the Cardinals played to a 0-0 tie last year, but the Jumbos have the advantage in the series, 8-6-2, dating back to 1999.  Adam Cowie-Haskell has scored five times for the Cardinals this season, and Garrett Hardesty has added four goals of his own.

After the contest with the Jumbos will turn their attention to the weekend, as they host No. 3 Amherst on Saturday and then Hamilton on Sunday.  The Jumbost played two double-overtime games with these two teams last year, losing to Amherst 1-0 in double overtime and then falling to Hamilton 2-1 in double overtime.  Amherst is the defending NCAA Champion, and were ranked No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll until recently when they dropped down to No. 3 after a 1-1 tie with Middlebury.  The Purple and White are 5-0-1 this season, and have outscored their opponents, 19-4, through six games this year.  Amherst has the advantage in the series, 14-3-3, dating back to 1999.

The Continentals are another team the Jumbos fell to in double overtime last season and have been off to a strong start this year with a 4-2-0 record through six games this year.  Those two setbacks have come to Oneonta and Oswego.  The Continentals do take on No. 19 nationally ranked Middlebury on Tuesday before a busy weekend on the road.  The Jumbos have a slight advantage in the series, 3-2-0, dating back to 2011 when Hamilton joined the conference. Both of the Jumbos losses to the Continentals have been in double overtime.
Men’s Soccer vs. Wesleyan: LIVE STATS | VIDEO
Men’s Soccer vs. Amherst: LIVE STATS | VIDEO
Men’s Soccer vs. Hamilton: LIVE STATS | VIDEO

Men's and Women's Cross Country at Paul Short Run


This weekend the men’s and women’s cross country teams will make the trek to Lehigh to compete in the 43rd annual Paul Short Run.  The race features schools across all three Divisions, but the Jumbo men and women are both racing in the Gold Division, which is the top division.   On the men’s side, there are seven Division III teams in the gold race, including the top team from the South/Southeast Region, Christopher Newport, and the top ranked team in New England, Williams.  On the women’s side only Williams and Middlebury join the Jumbos as Division III schools in the top race.

Paul E. Short graduated from Lehigh in 1934 and played four sports during his time at Lehigh.  He was on the football, wrestling, baseball and lacrosse teams.  After graduation Short worked at Dravo Corporation and Bethlehem Steel before coming back to Lehigh as an assistant coach in football, baseball, wrestling and lacrosse, as well as a Business Manager and Assistant Director of Athletics.  Short passed away in 1967 and not long after the race was named in his honor. The race started with seven men’s teams in 1969, and women joined the race in 1981.  Today, the meet features 14 races with six college races, six high school races and two open races for men and women.  Last year’s meet featured over 5,500 athletes and 400 colleges and high schools.

The women raced at Paul Short last year and were the second Division III finisher in the top division, just behind Johns Hopkins, but beating Middlebury and Williams.  While this year’s squad is definitely different, the Jumbos do have five runners that raced in last year’s race and should be somewhat familiar with the course.  Brittany Bowman, Kelly Fahey, Alice Wasserman, Lindsay Atkeson and Margot Rashba all competed last year.  The Jumbo men did not race last year, but veterans Tim Nichols and Luke O’Connor have championship experience, so they should be ready for the race. Both the men and the women have aspirations to finish high amongst the Division III teams there, but they will also use the highly competitive experience to see how they match up against some of the teams out of region, and to gain experience in a huge meet like setting, similar to Nationals.


FBALL: Saturday vs. Bates at 1 pm
What you need to know:  The Jumbos opened up their season this past Saturday with a 17-14 come-from-behind win over Wesleyan at home under the lights, the first ever home night game for the program.  Senior Chance Brady ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the Jumbo comeback and finished the game with 151 yards on 22 carries.  This weekend the Jumbos stay at home and host Bates for a 1 pm start on Saturday.  The Jumbos edged the Bobcats last year 17-16 in Lewiston.  This past week the Bobcats opened their season, falling to Trinity 38-7 on the road.  The Bobcats got off to a good start at Trinity, scoring on their first offensive possession of the season and trailed just 10-7 at the intermission before Trinity pulled away in the second half.  On defense, Bates is led by two-time All-NESCAC linebacker Mark Upton, who is the top returning tackler in the league and opened with 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Trinity.  

WSOCCER: Tuesday vs. MIT at 4 pm, Saturday vs. Amherst at 12 pm, Sunday vs. Hamilton at 12 pm
What you need to know: The women’s soccer team is off to one of their best starts in program history, as this is the first time they have been undefeated through six games.  The Jumbos are currently 3-0-3, having tied this week with Wesleyan on Wednesday and then playing to a 1-1 tie with No. 9 nationally ranked Brandeis on Saturday.  The Jumbos have been 5-0-0 a few times in program history, but they have always lost that sixth game.  In 2014 they started the season 4-0-1 before falling in the sixth game, and in 2011 they were 3-0-2 before losing the next contest.  They will look to carry that momentum they have into a busy week.  First up is local rival MIT who will visit Medford on Tuesday for a 4 pm start on Kraft Field. The Engineers opened their season with a loss to Brandeis and since then have fallen to NYU and WPI. The Jumbos won, 2-0, last year when the two teams faced off, and hold a 4-1 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  After the midweek contest the Jumbos will prepare for a busy weekend on the road.  Amherst pays a visit to Medford on Saturday for a 12 pm contest with the Jumbos.  The Purple and White are 4-2-1 this season, playing to a 1-1 tie with defending national champion, Williams, this past Saturday.  The Jumbos won 1-0, last year, but it’s the Purple and White with a slight advantage in the series, 9-7-3, dating back to 1999.  The Jumbos will wrap up a busy week with a Sunday contest against Hamilton.  The Continentals edged the Jumbos 1-0 last year, the first time they have picked up a win against Tufts since joining the conference (the Jumbos have a 3-1-1 advantage in the series).  Hamilton is 2-4-1 this year, with wins against Bates and Utica.  Most recently, they were topped 3-0 by No. 22 Connecticut College and then fell to Middlebury 1-0 this past Sunday.

FHOCKEY: Tuesday vs. Wesleyan at 6 pm, Saturday vs. Amherst at 12 pm, Sunday vs. Hamilton at 12 pm
What you need to know: The No. 7 women’s field hockey team is off to a 6-0 start which matches their 6-0 start in 2014.  Those two years are their best beginnings since 2010 when they started the season 9-0 before suffering a set back.  The Jumbos have three more games on the schedule this week, with the potential to be 9-0 by the weekend’s end.  First up is a Tuesday contest against Wesleyan where the Jumbos will look to avenge their loss from last year.  The Cardinal’s 3-2 win over the Jumbos last year snapped an 11 game winning streak for the Jumbos.  The Cardinals are off to a rough start this season, owning a 1-5 record through six games with that lone win coming against Eastern Connecticut State. The Jumbos have the advantage in the series, 16-7, dating back to 1999.  After hosting the Cardinals the Jumbos will turn their focus to a busy weekend as Amherst and Hamilton pay visits to Medford. Amherst, who was ranked No. 15 in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches Association national poll, is 4-2 this year with those losses coming to No. 1 Bowdoin and No. 3 Middlebury in double overtime.  Most recently, the Purple and White scored three unanswered goals to come from behind and top Williams, 5-3.  The Jumbos won, 1-0, last year, but its Amherst with the slight 9-8 advantage in the series dating back to 1999.  After the Purple and White the Jumbos host Hamilton on Sunday.  With a 3-3 record this season, the Continentals are coming off a huge 4-2 upset of Middlebury this past Sunday.  Freshman Michaela Giuttari scored twice and assisted another against Connecticut College on Saturday and then scored once and assisted one in the win over Middlebury.  She was named the NESCAC Player of the Week this past week and has a four game point streak.  The Jumbos won 6-1 last year and have the 5-0 advantage in the series, dating back to 2011.

VBALL: Friday at Wesleyan at 7 pm and Saturday at Trinity at 1 pm
What you need to know: The volleyball team is off to a strong start, playing to a 9-1 start with the lone loss coming to regional-rival UMass-Boston this past week.  The Jumbos have faced off with three of the top four seeded team’s from last year’s conference tournament, having picked up wins against Williams, Amherst and most recently, Bowdoin, the defending NESCAC champion.  The Jumbos are currently tied for first place with Connecticut College and Wesleyan, and how fitting that the Jumbos will travel to take on the Cardinals on Friday night.  The Cardinals are 8-1 and coming off a four-match week with wins over Eastern Connecticut State, Trinity, Colby-Sawyer and Husson.  Freshman Gabby Bennett was named the NESCAC Co-Player of the Week after averaging 2.18 kills per set with an impressive .538 hitting percentage and averaging 0.64 blocks per set. The Jumbos won, 3-0, when the two teams played last year and currently have a 14-7 advantage in the series (dating back to 2000) including a ten-game winning streak they are currently own against the Cardinals.  After Wesleyan the Jumbos will make a trip to Trinity for a Saturday contest with the Bantams.  The Jumbos also beat the Bantams last year, 3-0, and have the 14-3 advantage in the series, dating back to 2000. The Bantams are currently 3-6, but have won their last two, topping Colby-Sawyer and Husson, and snapping a four-match losing streak.

GOLF: Saturday and Sunday at NESCAC Qualifier
What you need to know: The men’s golf team has a big weekend ahead of them, playing in the NESCAC Qualifier with the hopes of making the cut for the conference tournament in the spring.  The Jumbos need to finish in the top four to make the cut, and finished six last year just behind fifth place Williams.  Middlebury, Trinity, Hamilton and Amherst qualified last year for the conference tournament in the spring, and Middlebury is the defending conference champion.  The Jumbos have had three strong weekends this fall leading up to this weekend and will look to put forth their best appearance this fall this weekend.  The Jumbos finished fifth at the Detrick Invitational to open the season and senior tri-captain Owen Elliot along with junior tri-captain Taylor Nordan both tied for third individually at the invite.  The Jumbos finished tied for 13th the following weekend at the Duke Nelson Invitational where Nordan finished in tenth place individually.  This past weekend the Jumbos traveled to Williams for the fall Invite and Elliott won individual medalist honors to lead the Jumbos to a third place finish. The Jumbos need strong performances from Nordan and Elliott this weekend for sure, but they will also need the rest of the team not far behind and tri-captain Aaron Corn and freshmen Brendon Karr and Ethan Sorkin have all played well for the Jumbos this fall.




Alp Rodopman, Senior, Coed Sailing

Senior Alp Rodopman of the Tufts University Sailing team was a run-away winner at the 2016 New England Men’s Single-handed Championship hosted by Connecticut College on Saturday and Sunday.  A field of 23 sailors competed in a total of 14 races over the two days.  Rodopman compiled finishes totaling to 44, with the runner-up 46 behind him with a second-place score of 90.  Rodopman was one of four New England qualifiers for the 2016 Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed Championship coming up in Texas in early November.


Elizabeth Ahrens, Senior, Women’s Volleyball

Senior co-captain Elizabeth Ahrens put together a strong week for the Jumbos once again this week.  In a 3-1 set back against regional rival UMass-Boston on Tuesday Ahrens had 11 kills with a phenomenal .529 hitting percentage and added two solo blocks to her evening.  The middle hitter then added eight kills with a .333 hitting percentage with three blocks to the Jumbos 3-1 come-from-behind win over Bowdoin on Saturday.  The Jumbos win over Bowdoin, the defending NESCAC Champions, gives them wins over three of the top four seeded teams in last year’s conference championship. Ahrens’ leads middle and outside hitters with a .317 hitting percentage (the fourth best in the conference) and has also added 30 blocks to her efforts this season.


Senior tri-captain Owen Elliott shot a one-under 70 on Sunday to take individual medalist honors at the Williams Fall Invitational.  The Jumbos placed third as a team.  Elliott took first place individually with a pair of rounds featuring seven birdies.

Senior Alp Rodopman of the sailing team had a phenomenal weekend, winning the 2016 New England Men’s Single-handed Championship hosted by Connecticut College this past weekend.  Rodopman dominated the competition, finishing with 46 while the runner-up wasn’t even close with a score of 90.  With the win the senior qualifies for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed Championship in Texas in early November.

The football team hosted their first ever home night football game and came from behind to top Wesleyan 17-14 to open their 2016 season.  Senior Chance Brady’s two fourth quarter touchdowns were the key to the Jumbos comeback.

Chrisitan Zazzali’s first career goal was a huge one as it came in double overtime and gave the men’s soccer team a 1-0 win over local-rival Brandeis this past Saturday.  The Jumbos have now won their last three games.

The women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie with No. 9 nationally ranked Brandeis on Saturday as junior Jess Capone scored the goal for the Jumbos.  Sophomore Emily Bowers picked up ten saves against Brandeis and another three in a 0-0 tie with Wesleyan on Wednesday and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week.

Picking up three more wins this week the No. 7 field hockey team improved to 6-0 this year.  The Jumbos topped Wellesley, UMass-Dartmouth and Mary Washington this week.  Sophomore Gigi Tutoni scored three times and junior Mary Travers scored twice and assisted two others in the wins.