This Week in Tufts Athletics: January 23 - 29

MEDFORD – The winter season is back in full swing and it’s a busy week for the Jumbos.

Men’s hockey hosts a critical NESCAC weekend, women’s and men’s basketball will play one at home and one on the road this week.  Men’s and women’s track and field host the Tufts Stampede and Multi on Friday and Saturday.  Men’s and women’s swimming head up to the Middlebury Invitational on Friday and Saturday.  Men’s and women’s squash have busy weekends with three NESCAC contests on the schedule, plus the women taking on top-ranked Harvard.  Women’s fencing will head to Brown for the Brown Multi-Meet on Saturday.

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Men's Hockey Hosts Critical Home Weekend


The men’s hockey team has an important weekend coming up with two critical NESCAC games on the schedule.  The Jumbos will host Williams and Middlebury this weekend at the Malden Valley Forum.  Heading into last weekend the Jumbos were in second place in the conference standings.  But losses to Trinity and Wesleyan put the Jumbos conference mark at 5-4-1 and dropped them into seventh place in the conference.  But, things are incredibly close with the Jumbos just behind a two way tie in fifth place between Trinity and Wesleyan and Colby just ahead of them in fourth place.  Two wins this weekend would help the Jumbos chances of making and securing a good seed in the NESCAC playoffs with three conference weekends of play to go.

First up will be Williams, a team the Jumbos knocked off in last year’s NESCAC Tournament in the quarterfinal round. The Ephs and the Jumbos tied 3-3 earlier this year when the two teams played.  Williams is currently tied with Amherst for second place in the conference standings with a 5-2-3 conference record and a 8-5-3 record overall.  Most recently the Ephs edged Bowdoin this past Friday and then played to a 3-3 tie with Colby on Saturday. Junior David Italiano is the points leader with ten goals and 13 assists for 23 points.  Behind him sophomore Roberto Cellini has scored nine times and helped eight others and junior C.J. Shugart has tallied ten scores this season. In goal for the Ephs sophomore Michael Pinios has played a good portion of the minutes, but junior Stephen Morrissey has seen time in six games this year as well.  Pinios has a .871 save percentage with a 3.22 goals against average, while Morrissey has a .946 save percentage and a 1.41 goals against average. The Ephs have the advantage in the series, 18-4-1, dating back to 1999.

After the Friday night contest the Jumbos will get ready for Middlebury, who visits the Valley Forum on Saturday for a 4 pm start. The Panthers have struggled a bit this year, and they are 1-9 in conference play and 1-13-2 overall this season.  The Jumbos won, 5-3, when the two teams played earlier this year, but Middlebury has the advantage in the series, 17-3-5, dating back to 1999. The lone win for the Panthers was in their most recent game, as they topped Bowdoin this past Saturday, 5-1. Freshman Trevor Turnbull is the offensive leader for the Panthers with seven goals and five assists but junior Vincent Gisonti has score seven times as well.  In goal junior Stephen Klein has played most of the minutes and has a .913 save percentage with a 3.20 goals against average.

Men's and Women's Track Hosts Tufts Stampede and Multi


The men’s and women’s track and field teams will be busy this weekend and so will the Gantcher Center as the Jumbos get ready to host the Tufts Stampede and Multi.  The Jumbos welcome 21 teams on Saturday with four additional schools coming for the multi only. The men’s and women’s multi will begin at 5 pm on Friday with the men’s multi day two starting at 9 am Saturday morning, field events starting at 10 am on Saturday morning and track events starting at 10:30 am. Joining the Jumbos this weekend with be Amherst (women only), Bridgewater State, Brandeis, Colby Sawyer, Connecticut College, Fitchburg State, Keene State, Lesley, MIT, Plymouth State, Regis, Southern New Hampshire, Stonehill, Tufts, UMass-Boston, UMass-Dartmouth, Maine-Farmington, Wellesley (women only), Wentworth (men only), Wesleyan, Wheaton and Worcester State.  Coming only for the multi will be Adelphi, Assumption, Coast Guard and Franklin Pierce.

This past weekend both squads were up at Bowdoin and both teams finished third.  Early in the indoor season both the men and the women have had runners post national best times, and they will look to continue to shave seconds off those as the season progresses.  This past weekend junior Brittany Bowman ran her second national top 10 time of the season in the mile.  With a time of 5:06.75 she won the race and that time ranks ninth among all Division III competitors.  She also holds the fourth best time in the 5,000 meters with a 17:18.88 that was converted after running on the banked track at Boston University.  Joining her as nationally ranked in the 5K is senior Kelly Fahey, junior Olivia Nicholson and freshman Haley Barthel.  On the men’s side sophomore Hiroto Watanabe ran the fastest time in the nation thus far this past weekend with a 1:54.41 in the 800 at Bowdoin. Senior Blake Coolidge also ran a national best two weeks ago in the 60 meters and that weekend junior Andrew DiMaiti ran a national time in the 400 meters.

The Jumbos are still early in the indoor season, but things are looking bright for both the men’s and the women’s teams as several Jumbos have posted times that rank well nationally.


MBBALL: Thursday vs. Newbury at 7:30 pm and Saturday at Bates at 3 pm
What you need to know: The No. 4 men’s basketball team will look to keep their great momentum going heading into a little bit of a slower week.  The Jumbos are coming off wins against No. 25 Wesleyan and Connecticut College this past weekend, helping them improve to 6-0 in NESCAC play which puts them in first place in the conference standings.  This week the Jumbos host Newbury on Thursday and then take a trip to Bates on Saturday. Newbury is 1-13 this year and will take on Mitchell on Tuesday before making the trip to Medford on Thursday. Jeduan Langston is leading the offense with 17.6 points per game.  The Jumbos won last year, 99-78, and have the 6-0 advantage in the series dating back to 1999.  After the game on Thursday the Jumbos will get ready for a tip to Bates on Saturday.  The Bobcats have a 12-6 overall record and a 3-3 mark in conference play.  They are tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Wesleyan. Marcus and Malcolm Delpeche are leading the offense, both averaging 13.7 points per game right now. The Jumbos won last year, 90-75, which gave them the 10-9 advantage in the series dating back to 1999.

WBBALL: Tuesday at Emmanuel at 7 pm and Saturday vs. Bates at 3 pm
What you need to know: The women’s basketball team picked up three wins this past week including a big one over a good Babson team to improve to 18-0 overall and remains the top ranked team in the national poll.  The Jumbos travel to Emmanuel on Tuesday for a 7 pm start with the Saints.  With a 12-5 overall record this year, the Saints have won their last six heading into Tuesday night.  Jen Chalk is the point leader, with 12.6 per game.  The Jumbos won last year, 57-41, and have the 10-3 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999. On Saturday the Jumbos will host Bates with a 3 pm start in Cousens Gym.  The Bobcats are currently tied for seventh place in the conference standings with Connectiut College and Williams and have a 2-4 conference mark and a 5-12 record overall. The Jumbos won last year, 68-53, and have a 14-9 advantage in the series dating back to 1999.

MSWIM & WSWIM: Friday and Saturday at Middlebury Invitational
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will head up to Middlebury this weekend for the Middlebury Invitational.  Last year’s event did not feature team scoring with Williams, Springfield and the University of Vermont joining the Panthers and the Jumbos for the two day event.  This weekends event will be the last time both teams take the pool in a competitive atmosphere before the NESCAC Championships.  After this weekend the women will prepare for the NESCAC Championships which will be February 10 through 12 at Bowdoin, while the men compete February 17 through 19 at Wesleyan.

MSQUASH: Saturday vs. Connecticut College at Belmont Hill at 2 pm and Sunday at Colby at 2 pm and Sunday at Bates at 5 pm
What you need to know: The No. 28 men’s squash team has the week to prepare for a busy NESCAC weekend.  The Jumbos will take on three NESCAC teams this weekend as the NESCAC Tournament gets closer! The weekend starts with a match against No. 29 Connecticut College on Saturday.  The Jumbos will then travel up to No. 23 Colby on Sunday and then stop at No. 18 Bates on the way home on Sunday.  First up will be the Camels who are currently 3-8 with wins over Vassar, Haverford and Northeastern.  The Jumbos and the Camels played three times last year, with the two teams splitting during regular season play but the Jumbos edging the Camels, 5-4, at the College Squash Association Team Nationals. On Sunday the Jumbos will start with a match up at Colby.  The Jumbos beat the Mules, 6-3, earlier this year and since then the Mules have compiled a 7-7 record.  Colby won last year, 8-1, when the two teams faced off, so Sunday’s contest should be a good one.  On the way back to Medford the Jumbos will stop and take on Bates.  The Bobcats are currently ranked No. 18 and own a 9-2 record with losses to No. 1 Trinity and No. 16 Middlebury. The Bobcats and the Jumbos didn’t play last year, but Bates won the year before.

WSQUASH: Friday at Harvard at 5 pm, Saturday vs. Connecticut College at Belmont Hill at 2 pm  and Sunday at Colby at 2 pm and Sunday at Bates at 5 pm
What you need to know: Currently ranked No. 18 in the nation, the women’s squash team has a challenging week coming up.  The Jumbos are 12-0 heading into the weekend and will face off with No. 1 Harvard, No. 28 Connecticut College, No. 25 Colby and No. 16 Bates.  First up will be Harvard, when the Jumbos travel to Cambridge for a 5 pm start.  The Jumbos and the Crimson didn’t play last year, with the last time the two teams played was during the 1999-2000 season, when the Crimson won, 9-0.  After Harvard the Jumbos will get ready for Connecticut College. The Camels are 3-8 this year with wins over Haverford, Northeastern and Mount Holyoke. The Jumbos won both times when they faced off with the Camels last year.  On Sunday, Tufts will start up in Waterville, Maine and battle Colby and then head down to Bates to take on the Bobcats.  The Jumbos topped Colby, 5-4, to open the season back in November and since then the Mules have compiled a 6-11 record.  Wrapping up play on Sunday will be a trip to Bates to take on the Bobcats who are ranked just above the Jumbos at No. 16.  The Bobcats are 9-3 this year with setbacks to No. 3 Trinity, No. 11 Williams and No. 14 Middlebury and topped the Jumbos last year, 8-1.  

WFENCING: Saturday at Brown Multi-Meet at 9 am
What you need to know: The women’s squash team will open their season this weekend heading to Brown on Saturday for the Brown Multi-Meet which is the Northeast Fencing Conference’s second meet of the year.  Joining the Jumbos at Brown on Saturday will be Boston College, Brandeis, Dartmouth, MIT and Vassar in addition to the host Bears. The Jumbos are coming off a season in which eight qualified for the NCAA Regionals and welcome back senior Juliet Hewes, senior Anna Gooch, junior Nayab Ajaz, junior Bridget Marturano and junior Julia O’Gara as Jumbos that qualified last year but are back to compete again this year.  With eight new faces on the team coupled with some veteran experience the Jumbos are hoping for a successful season.



Hiroto Watanabe, Sophomore, Men’s Track and Field

Sophomore Hiroto Watanabe busted out a 1:54.41 in the 800 meters at Bowdoin this past Saturday.  That time is the fastest in the nation among Division III athletes.  Watanabe won the 800 race by over two seconds with a time that was more than three seconds faster than his previous collegiate best.  He ran a 1:57.97 as a freshman last winter and this past Saturday improved that time to be the best among Division III athletes this year.



Lauren Banner, Junior, Women’s Squash

Junior Lauren Banner played a crucial role in all three of the Jumbos victories this past weekend.  In what head coach Joe McManus called their toughest match of the year so far, Banner won in five games in the fourth position against No. 21 Dickinson on Friday night to secure the Jumbos a 5-4 win.  On Sunday Banner played in the No. 1 position in wins against both Georgetown and Boston University.  She won in just three games in both matches and allowed her Terrier opponent to score just seven points across three games.



The No. 4 men’s basketball team picked up two more conference wins this weekend to improve to 6-0 and stay in first place in the conference standings.  On Friday night junior KJ Garrett turned in 16 points off the bench in a 77-73 win over No. 25 Wesleyan.  Classmate Everett Dayton exploded on Saturday for a career-high 25 points and a career-high eight assists in a 100-83 win over Connecticut College.

The No. 1 women’s basketball team stayed perfect this week. On Tuesday in a 60-46 win over Babson junior Melissa Baptista scored a season-high 23 points.  The Jumbos followed that with wins over Wesleyan (80-45) and Connecticut College (72-48) over the weekend.

Sophomore Hiroto Watanabe ran the nation’s fastest time this season in the 800 meters as the men’s track and field team finished third at Bowdoin behind MIT and Bowdoin. Freshman Kevin Quisumbing won the shot put and junior Andrew DiMaiti won the 600 meters.

Junior Brittany Bowman ran her second national top 10 time of the young indoor season in the mile to help the women’s track and field team finish third at Bowdoin behind MIT and Southern Maine.

The men’s swimming and diving team totaled 12 first place finishes during a convincing 172-122 win at Wheaton on Saturday. The Jumbos claimed the top-four spots in the 1,650-yard freestyle, the 200-yard butterfly, the 200-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle.

Freshmen Grace Goetcheus and Hannah Truslow each won three times this past Saturday as the women’s swimming and diving team beat Wheaton 174-121 on the road.  Goetcheus won the 200-yard free and the 200-yard breaststroke and Truslow won the 100-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle. Both also swam on winning relays.

The No. 28 men’s squash team broke even this weekend, falling to Dickinson (7-2) and Harvard (9-0) but picked up wins over Georgetown (9-0) and Boston University (8-1).

The No. 18 women’s squash team kept their stellar season going, improving to 12-0 with a hard fought 5-4 win over No. 21 Dickinson Friday night.  They they picked up wins over Georgetown (7-0) and Boston University (9-0) on Sunday.