This Week in Tufts Athletics: December 5 - 11

MEDFORD –  We are celebrating a national championship this week!  But, aside from the celebration things are slowing down a little bit.  Men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and fencing are all in action this weekend.

Men’s basketball will host UMass-Boston on Tuesday before hitting the road on Saturday.  Women’s basketball is on the road Tuesday and Saturday.  Men’s hockey hosts a vital NESCAC weekend this Friday and Saturday. Women’s fencing opens their season on Friday and men’s and women’s swimming wraps up their first semester schedule at Wesleyan on Saturday.

For links to video, live stats and all results, please visit: www.gotuftsjumbos.com.






 

Huge Weekend For Hockey at Home



 

The Tufts men’s hockey team is off to a 5-1-1 start and is receiving votes in the D3hockey.com national poll.  The Jumbos are in second place in the NESCAC standings and will host Bowdoin and first place Colby this weekend with the chance to head into the semester break in first place in the NESCAC standings.  The Jumbos tied with Williams, 3-3, but then topped Middlebury, 5-3, this past weekend to help them improve to 5-1-1.  Junior Brian Brown is the point leader with five goals and five assists, and behind him are three freshmen: Anthony Farinacci (1 goal, 7 assists), Tyler Scroggins (2 goals, 4 assists) and Cooper Stahl (3 goals, 2 assists).  Senior Sean Kavanagh has scored twice while assisting three others to help give the Jumbos a balanced attack this winter. In goal senior Mason Pulde is 2-0-1 with a .954 save percentage and a 1.58 goals against average this season in five games played.

First up for the Jumbos this weekend will be Bowdoin, who pays a visit to the Malden Valley Forum on Friday night for a 7 pm start.  The Polar Bears are 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play this year. That lone win came against Middlebury, and they have lost to Williams, and this past weekend Colby twice, but both times by one goal (2-1 and 5-4). Sophomore Cody Todesco, last year’s Co-NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is leading the Polar Bear point scorers with 12 points from seven goals and five assists.  Junior Matthew Lison is behind him with two goals and seven assists.  In goal junior Peter Cronin has played most of the minutes and has a .871 save percentage and a 4.56 goals against average. The Jumbos won and tied when they faced off with the Polar Bears last year. But, the Polar Bears still have the advantage in the series, 12-5-3, dating back to 1999.

After the contest with Bowdoin, the Jumbos will take on first place Colby on Saturday.  The Mules are currently 5-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play.  That lone loss came to top-ranked SUNY Geneseo, 4-3, in overtime at the end of November.  The Mules were ranked No. 13 in the most recent D3Hockey.com national poll.  A pair of seniors are leading the Mule point scorers so far this year.  Jack Burton has nine points from two goals and seven assists and Geoff Sullivan has tallied two goals and five assists.  The Mules have gotten a goal from 11 different players this season.  In goal freshman Andrew Tucci has played most of the minutes and has a .924 save percentage and a 2.16 goals against average.  The Jumbos tied and lost when they faced off with the Mules last year, and Colby has the advantage in the series, 11-7-3, dating back to 1999.
 
Tufts vs. Bowdoin at 7 pm: VIDEO | LIVE STATS
Tufts vs. Colby at 4 pm: VIDEO | LIVE STATS

Women's Basketball Hits the Road Looking to Stay Perfect




The No. 1 ranked women’s basketball team stayed perfect last week, picking up two more wins at the Williams Tournament.  The Jumbos stayed at No. 1 in this week’s D3Hoops.com national poll and will look to stay perfect this week with two more games on the schedule.  First up is a Tuesday trip to Bridgewater State for a 7 pm tip-off with the Bears.  The Jumbos will then head up to Maine on Saturday to take on local-rival University of New England at 1 pm.  

First up for the Jumbos will be a trip to Bridgewater.  The Bears are currently 3-3 and have faced off with a few other NESCAC teams.  They opened their season with a two-point win over Hamilton, 54-52.  Since then, they have fallen to Williams and Trinity, along with UMass-Dartmouth, but they have picked up wins over Rhode Island College and Maine-Augusta.  Junior Rhiana Page is leading the offense with 11.2 points per game and senior Sara DaSilva is helping with 10.8 points per game.  Page is also turning in 6.3 rebounds per game for the Bears.  The Jumbos won last year, 76-40, when the two teams faced off. It’s also the Jumbos that have the advantage in the series, 5-0, dating back to 1999 with the first time the two teams played coming back during the 2011-12 season.

After the Bears the Jumbos will turn their focus to UNE a team they have always played close games with.  The Jumbos won, 55-43, last year.  Prior to last year’s game, the Jumbos topped the Noreasters during the 2014-15 season in a close game during an opening season tournament.  And, during the 2013-14 season the Jumbos got a three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to beat the Noreasters in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Cousens.  The Jumbos are 4-1 in the series against the Noreasters, dating back to 1999. UNE is 5-2 so far this season, having fallen to No. 14 Bowdoin and Bates at the end of November.  Sadie Nelson is leading the offense for the Noreasters with 14.4 points per game while Alicia Brown is helping with 11.6 points per game.  Nelson is also averaging 5.0 boards per game and Brown 4.3 boards per game.

For the Jumbos its been a pretty balanced offensive attach.  Senior Michela North is averaging 9.8 points per game, junior Melissa Baptista 9.0 points per game, classmate Lauren Dillon 7.5 points per game and freshman Sadie Otley 7.2 points per game.  As is usually the case for the Jumbos its their defense that leads the charge.  The Jumbos are allowing just 40.5 points per game and have held opponents to scoring in the 30’s in four of their six games this year. The Jumbos 40.5 points per game surrendered is the third best mark in the country behind Wisconsin-Oshkosh (31 points per game) and Castleton (38.8 points per game).

Tufts at Bridgewater State at 7 pm: LIVE STATS | VIDEO
Tufts at University of New England at 1 pm: LIVE STATS








 

MBBALL: Tuesday vs. UMass-Boston at 7 pm and Saturday at Wentworth at 1 pm
What you need to know: The No. 5 men’s basketball team was 2-1 last week, using a second half come back to top WPI on Tuesday night as junior Vincent Pace scored 17 second half points to help the Jumbos down the Engineers.  Tufts then traveled to Brandeis on Friday and Saturday for the New England Big Four Challenge, and topped Brandeis 74-72 in the opening round before falling to No. 2 Babson in the championship game.  Pace was named the NESCAC Player of the Week after averaging 19 points per game last week and leading the Jumbo scoring in two of three games.  This week the Jumbos will look for two more wins as they host UMass-Boston on Tuesday night in Cousens Gym and then head to Wentworth on Saturday. First up for the Jumbos will be the Beacons, who visit Cousens on Tuesday.  The Beacons are 4-2 this season, with the two set backs coming to Daniel Webster College and MIT.  The Jumbos beat MIT earlier this season.  Sam Freeman is leading the offensive charge for the Beacons with 18.3 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game.  The Jumbos won when the two teams played last year, 74-61.  The Jumbos hold the advantage in the series, 16-1, dating back to 1999, with that lone Beacon win coming during the 2003-04 season. After the Tuesday night game the Jumbos will turn their attention to Wentworth as they make the trip on Saturday for a 1 pm contest. The Leopards are 2-3 this season with wins over Emmanuel and University of New England.  They have fallen to Nichols, Lesley and Emerson, a team the Jumbos beat earlier this year.  Jason Ganley is leading the Leopard offense with 15.8 points per game and Matt Vartanian is adding 9.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.  The Jumbos won, 86-62, last year when they hosted the Leopards in their home opener, and have the 4-0 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.

MSWIM & WSWIM: Saturday at Wesleyan with Williams and WPI
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been off to a really strong start and will look to carry that into this weekend.  The Jumbos opened the season with wins over Middlebury both on the men’s and the women’s side.  This past weekend both the men and the women finished third at the MIT Invitational behind NYU and MIT.  ON the men’s side junior Zachary Wallace broke three program records and was named NESCAC Performer of the Week.  On the women’s side, freshman Grace Goetcheus broke the program’s 200 yard backstroke record.  This weekend the Jumbos will head to Wesleyan to face off with the host Cardinals and Williams and WPI.  Wesleyan has been off to a slow start this season.  The men’s team fell to Bates and Amherst and then finished fourth in the Connecticut Cup this past weekend with Coast Guard, Conn College and Trinity.  The women fell to Bates and Amherst to open the season and they were third at the Connecticut Cup this past weekend.  Williams is off to a better start.  On the men’s side the Ephs opened the season with wins over Union and Springfield, but then fell to Boston College this past weekend. The Williams women have been perfect this season, having collected wins over Union, Springfield and Boston College.  Joining the three NESCAC schools this weekend in Connecticut will be WPI.  The Engineers have been in the pool a bunch as they are 5-2 in dual meets this year and won the WPI Gompei Invitational this past weekend. On the women’side they are 4-4 in dual meets and finished in first place in the WPI Gompei Invitational this past weekend.  This weekend of competition wraps up competition for the Jumbos this semester.

FENCING:Friday at Harvard at 7 pm
What you need to know: The women’s fencing team opens their 2016-17 schedule this Friday with a trip to take on Harvard at 7 pm.  The Jumbos are coming off a season in which eight qualified for NCAA Regionals.  Returning from that qualifying bunch are senior Juliet Hewes, senior Anna Gooch, junior Nayab Ajaz, junior Bridget Marturano and junior Julia O’Gara.  The Jumbos welcome eight new faces to the squad with eight freshmen joining the team.  This the only meet of the semester for the Jumbos but they have a busy January and February including a home meet on February 11!

 









 

 

Tyler Kulcsar, Junior, Men’s Soccer

Junior Tyler Kulscar waited for the right time to score his first collegiate goal.  Kulscar’s first career tally gave the Jumbos a 1-0 double overtime win over Calvin and the program’s second national championship this past weekend.  The junior midfielder was just able to deflect a corner kick from Zach Halliday past the Calvin keeper to give the Jumbos the win.  Kulscar was one of three Jumbos to score during the NCAA Final Four in Salem, Va. and all three of those Jumbos scored their first collegiate goals.

 

 

 

 

Sahar Tirmizi, Freshman, Women’s Squash

The women’s squash team is off to what might arguably be their best start in program history as the Jumbos are 7-0 and ranked No. 21.  This past weekend they went 4-0 and topped No. 19 St. Lawrence and No. 20 Hamilton.  Freshman Sahar Tirmizi went a perfect 4-0 this weekend and only dropped one game across four matches playing all over the Jumbos lineup.  Tirmizi started the weekend with a 3-1 win in the seventh position against Hamilton.  She then won, 3-0, in the seventh position against St. Lawrence.  Playing in the third position against Bard she picked up another 3-0 win.  She capped off the weekend with a 3-0 win in the fifth position against Vassar.

 








 

Don’t know how, but in case you missed it the men’s soccer team won the program’s second national championship this weekend, knocking off Calvin, 1-0, in double overtime.  Junior Tyler Kulcsar turned in first career goal off a corner kick from Zach Halliday to give the Jumbos the win.

The No. 1 women’s basketball team stayed perfect this week, playing at Williams on Friday and Saturday in the Williams Tournament.  The Jumbos beat St. Lawrence on Friday night, 63-42, behind 14 points and nine rebounds from senior Michela North.  On Saturday the Jumbos then downed Clarkson, 75-32, as North scored 15 points and pulled down ten boards and junior Melissa Baptista added 13 points and ten boards as well.

The No. 5 men’s basketball team picked up two more wins this week.  The Jumbos started the week with a 75-71 come from behind win over WPI on Tuesday night with junior Vincent Pace scoring 17 points in the second half to help the Jumbos come from behind.  They then faced off with Brandeis in the opening round of the New England Big Four Challenge on Friday, and held off a late Brandeis comeback to pick up the 74-72 win.  The Jumbos fell to No. 2 Babson in the championship game.  But, Pace was named NESCAC Player of the Week for his performance.

The men’s swimming and diving team had a good weekend at the MIT Invitational, finishing third overall behind three program records from junior Zachary Wallace.  Wallace broke school records in the 200-yard free style, the 200-yard individual medley and the 400-yard medley relay. The Jumbos finished in third place behind host MIT and NYU who was second.

The women’s swimming and diving team also finished in third place out of six teams at the MIT Invitational.  NYU won on the women’s side and MIT was second.  Freshman Grace Goetcheus set a program record in the preliminaries of the 200-yard backstroke and then broke her own record in the finals.

 

The men’s squash team was 3-1 this past weekend.  The Jumbos picked up wins over NYU, Bard and Vassar.  The only setback of the weekend came against Hamilton in a close 6-3 match.

 

The No. 21 women’s squash team is off to what might be the best start in program history.  They finished their first semester with an undefeated 7-0 mark after picking up for wins this weekend.  The Jumbos knocked off No. 19 St. Lawrence, No. 20 Hamilton, Bard and Vassar this weekend all on the road.

 

Four Jumbos from the women’s track and field team headed to BU this past weekend to compete in the BU season opener.  All four posted nationally-ranked times in distance events.  Leading the way was junior Brittany Bowman who notched a 17:10.94 finished in the 5,000  meters.  Because it was run on a banked track it converts to 17:18.88 and is ranked fourth among Division IIII early in the indoor season.