This Week in Tufts Athletics: February 6 - 12

MEDFORD – Another full week for our winter sports!  Men’s and women’s basketball wrap up regular season NESCAC play.  Men’s hockey has their last home weekend at the Valley Forum on Friday and Saturday.  Women’s swimming and diving heads to Bowdoin for the NESCAC Championships.

Men’s and womens’ track and field will be at both Boston University and MIT this weekend.  Men’s and women’s squash both have weekday contests before they both host Boston College on Sunday at the Belmont Hill School.  Fencing hosts the Tufts Multi-Meet in the Carzo Cage on Saturday.  

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Big Wins Week for Men's Basketball in Cousens

The No. 17 men’s basketball team plays well at home.  In fact, four of their five losses this year have come on the road.  So, it’s a good thing they are at home this week with two games on the docket including a Senior Night contest against Williams that is a must win if the Jumbos want to have a chance at hosting the final rounds of the NESCAC Tournament.  The Jumbos still have a hold on first place in the conference standings with a 7-2 mark.  Just behind them are Amherst and Middlebury, both tied for second place with 6-2 records.  Amherst has to make the trip to Middlebury and Hamilton this weekend, while Middlebury will host Trinity after the Purple and White pay a visit on Friday night.  If the Purple and White win both, and the Jumbos win on Friday, both teams will have identical 8-2 marks and will share first place in the regular season standings.  Amherst will host the final rounds of the tournament because they beat the Jumbos this past weekend.  If the Purple and White lose once, and Middlebury wins twice, the Panthers and the Jumbos share the regular season crown with the Jumbos hosting the final rounds because they beat the Panthers.  But, lets not get too head of ourselves, what is for sure is the Jumbos will be hosting a NESCAC Quarterfinal game, and need to win that if they want a chance to host the next rounds.  And, they need to beat Williams on Friday to better their chances.

Before any of that though, Pine Manor will visit Cousens Gym on Tuesday night for a 7 pm start with the Jumbos.  The Gators and the Jumbos went into overtime last year, and that was the first meeting between the two programs, dating back to 1999.  The Jumbos came away with the 105-98 overtime win, and welcome the 15-7 Gators this year.  The Gators are coming off an 81-69 loss to Fisher this past weekend, but are averaging 89.8 points per game this year. That offense is led by Taverick Roberson who is turning in 19.5 points per game and Rasheed Bell is helping with 12.9 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game.

After the midweek contest the Jumbos will turn their focus to the Ephs, as Williams pays a visit to Cousens at 7 pm on Friday.  It will be Senior Night for the Jumbos as they honor seniors and tri-captains Tom Palleschi, Tarik Smith and Drew Madsen prior to the game. The Ephs come to Cousens with a 16-6 overall record and a 4-4 mark in conference play. In the month of January the Ephs are 6-5 with conference losses to Trinity, Bowdoin, Hamilton and Amherst.  Most recently, they picked up a double win weekend with triumphs over Wesleyan and Connecticut College.  The Ephs are getting 17.5 points per game from senior Daniel Aronowitz and sophomore Kyle Scadlock is helping with 11.7 while junior Cole Teal is averaging 10.4 points per game.  The Jumbos won, 77-73, during the regular season last year, and then topped the Ephs again, 77-71 in the NESCAC Quarterfinals.  The Ephs have the advantage in the series though, 15-7, dating back to 1999.


Women's Swimming Heads to NESCAC Championships


The women’s swimming and diving team is getting ready to head to Bowdoin this weekend for the NESCAC Championships.  The Jumbos have a young squad, with some of their most talented swimmers competing in the conference meet for the first time.  But, sophomore Colleen Doolan and senior Amanda Gottschalk have had success at the conference meet before, and should be able to provide veteran leadership, especially on the relays.

Freshman Grace Goetcheus heads into the conference meet looking to place in the backstroke events.  Heading into the weekend she has the eighth best time in the 50 back with a 27.72.  That’s less than a second off the leader from Williams, who has a time of 26.99.  In the 100 back Goetcheus’ time of 58.68 is the fifth best time heading into the weekend.  Olivia Jackson of Williams has the best time heading into the weekend with a 57.32.  In the 200 back Goetcheus’ time of 2.08.03 is behind Jackson’s time again (2:03.33).

In the breaststroke Gottschalk has times in the top 11 in all three breaststroke events.  In the 50 breast she has the seventh best time with a 31.43 with the top time in the conference coming from Connecticut College (30.07).  She is 11th in the 100 breast with a 1:08.13 (White from Williams leads with a 1:03.08) and her best is fourth with a 2:24.49 in the 200 breast.  White is again the leader in this event with a 2:19.86.

Sophomore Colleen Doolan has swam the eighth best time in the 200 fly with a 2:09.24 (Wolff from Williams leads with 2:03.90).  The Jumbos also have some top times in relay events.  In the 200 free relay the team of Goetcheus, Jess Lee, Sydney Nasson and Sophia Lin has the fourth best time.  In the 400 free the team of Lin, Alex Good, Hannah Truslow and Doolan also have the fourth best time.  Olivia Leoni, Doolan, Nasson and Truslow have come together and have the fastest time in the 800 free relay heading into the weekend.  The 400 medley relay team of Goetcheus, Gottschalk, Doolan and Lin is third heading into the conference meet this weekend.

Senior Kylie Reiman will look to win a title in both the one meter and three meter diving events.  Reiman has the third best score heading into the weekend in the one meter diving event.  The conference leader in that is Ari Ross from Williams.  But, Reiman is the leader in the three meter, just ahead of Ross.


WBBALL: Friday at Williams at 7 pm
What you need to know: The women’s basketball team played in a packed Cousens last Saturday, taking on No. 2 Amherst and the Jumbos came up just short, falling to the Purple and White, 36-35.  After the setback the Jumbos fell to No. 3 in the national poll with the Purple and White jumping up to No. 1 and St. Thomas sitting at No. 2. The Jumbos will look to rebound this week with a trip to Williams on Friday to close out NESCAC play.  The Ephs are 14-8 this season, most recently topping Wesleyan but falling to Connecticut College this past weekend.  They are tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Hamilton, both having 3-5 conference marks.  Devon Caveney is leading the Eph offense with 12.9 points per game while Kristin Fechtelkotter is helping with 10.7 points per game. The Jumbos won last year, 62-37, and have the 11-9 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  The last Eph win came back during the 2010-11 season.

MHOCKEY: Friday vs. Amherst at 7 pm and Saturday at Hamilton at 4 pm
What you need to know: The men’s hockey team is coming off a weekend sweep of Connecticut College and has four conference games remaining in the regular season.  They will close out their home schedule this weekend with a Friday night contest against Amherst and Saturday duel with Hamilton. The Jumbos (9-8-3 overall, 7-6-1 NESCAC) are currently tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Amherst, and Hamilton is sitting in third place.  The Jumbos fell to Amherst when they made the trip out there earlier this season.  The Purple and White have a 21-1-1 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999, but the Jumbos have some history of the upset the past couple years.  Speaking of upsets, on Saturday the Jumbos will welcome Hamilton for a 4 pm start.  The Continentals are ranked No. 9 in the United States College Hockey Online national poll and No. 10 in the national poll.  The Jumbos beat them earlier this year, dealing them their first loss as they were the only undefeated team in men’s or women’s hockey across all three divisions.  Since then they have also lost to Amherst and Colby, and tied Wesleyan and Trinity and are in third place in the conference standings with a 13-3-4 record overall and a 7-3-4 mark in conference play.  The Continentals have the 12-7-2 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.

MTRACK: Friday and Saturday at David Hemery Invitational at BU and Saturday at MIT Invitational
What you need to know: The men’s track and field team has been home the past couple weekends, but they will hit the road this weekend, splitting up to head to Boston University’s David Hemery Invitational and over to MIT for the MIT Invitational.  Those traveling to Boston University will be looking for fast marks that could be qualifying times.  Senior Blake Coolidge will head over and race in the 200 meters. Junior Andrew DiMaiti will compete in the 400 meters.  The distance medley relay team of sophomore Hiroto Watanabe in the 1200, sophomore Thomas Doyle in the 400, junior Tom DePalma in the 800 and sophomore Colin Raposo in the mile will be at Boston University this weekend.  Additionally the 4x400 relay of DiMaiti, Coolidge, freshman William Witrock and senior Nick Usoff will also head across town this weekend.  At MIT on Saturday Etkind will compete in the 60 meter hurdles against his biggest competition in New England who goes to MIT with both being threats to win the Division III New England title later this season.

WTRACK: Friday and Saturday at David Hemery Invitational at BU and Saturday at MIT Invitational
What you need to know: The women’s track and field team also enjoyed a couple of weekends at home but will head to Boston University for the David Hemery Invitational and MIT for the MIT Invitational this weekend.  The Jumbos will send their long sprints and middle distance runners to Boston University in hopes of a better qualifying time.  Additionally the Jumbos will send their distance medley relay team there in hopes of picking up a quick time.  Senior Samantha Cox (1200 leg), classmate Rita Donohoe (400 leg), freshman Julia Gake (800 leg) and junior Brittany Bowman (1600 leg) will be the team looking to do that. At MIT on Saturday the Jumbos will sent mostly field event athletes with a handful of sprinters and a couple of distance runners to compete in the 3K.

MSQUASH: Friday at MIT at 6 pm and Sunday vs. Boston College at 4 pm at Belmont Hill
What you need to know: This past weekend the No. 28 men’s squash team competed in the NESCAC Championships.  After a first round loss to Wesleyan the Jumbos rebounded and topped Hamilton and Connecticut College in consolation bracket play.  This week the Jumbos have two matches on the schedule as they travel to MIT on Friday and then host Boston College on Sunday afternoon.  The Jumbos will use this week to get ready for the College Squash Association’s Team Championships at Harvard February 17 through the 19. First up will be a trip to No. 21 MIT on Friday.  The Engineers are 15-4 this season, most recently having fallen to Colby, 5-4, and Bates, 9-0.  The Jumbos lost to the Engineers 7-2 last season, but will hope for different results this year.  After Friday nights’ contest the Jumbos will prepare for Sunday as Boston College makes a trip to Belmont Hill for a 4 pm start.  The Jumbos and the Eagles faced off earlier this year and the Jumbos won, 8-1, to start their season.

WSQUASH: Wednesday at Wellesley at 7 pm and Sunday vs. Boston College at 4 pm at Belmont Hill
What you need to know: The No. 19 women’s squash team also competed in the NESCAC Championships this past weekend, winning an opening round match and advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009.  After their win over Connecticut College in the opening round the Jumbos fell to Middlebury and then Bowdoin and Colby in consolation play.  They will take on No. 26 Wellesley this Wednesday before hosting Boston College at the Belmont Hill School on Sunday for a 4 pm start.  The Blue are 4-8 this season and have lost their last six including a recent 5-4 loss to Connecticut College.  The Jumbos fell to the Blue, 8-1, during the regular season last year but came back and topped them, 6-3, in the CSA Team Championships.  After the contest with the Blue the Jumbos will turn their focus to the Eagles, as they host Boston College on Sunday.  The Jumbos opened their season this year with an 8-1 win over Boston College.

WFENCE: Saturday at Tufts Multi Meet at 9 am
What you need to know: The women’s fencing team has been on the road so far this season.  But, that will all change this weekend as they host the Tufts Multi-Meet on Saturday in the Carzo Cage at 9 am.  The Jumbos welcome Boston University, UMass, Dartmouth, Wellesley, Sacred Heart University, University of New Hampshire, Smith and Vassar this weekend for the meet.  Competition begins at 9 am with the last round starting at 6 pm.



Sean Kavanagh, Senior, Men’s Hockey

Senior Sean Kavanagh made strong contributions offensively and defensively this weekend in two wins over Connecticut College.  The assistant captain and defenseman totaled two goals and two assists for the week, which included a 3-0 home win over the Camels on Friday night and a 2-1 road win on Saturday night.  With the four points earned by the team, the Jumbos moved into a tie for sixth place with Amherst in the league standings.  Kavanagh figured in all three of Tufts scores on Friday night with a goal and two assists.  His goal on Saturday tied the contest at one and he anchored a Jumbo defense that kept the Camels scoreless after their first early goal.



Sahana Karthik, Sophomore, Women’s Squash

Sophomore Sahana Karthik won two of her four matches this weekend for the women’s squash team.  The biggest was a dominating win at the No. 4 position in the Jumbos opening round match of the NESCAC Championships against Connecticut College.  The Jumbos, who were the sixth seed, took on the 11th seeded Camels, and won their opening round match for the first time since 2009.  After a loss to Middlebury the Jumbos fell into the consolation bracket of play, and Karthik was one of two Jumbos to win against Colby on Sunday as she battled Olivia Silverman in a hard fought five game win, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6.



Senior tri-captain Tarik Smith scored his 1,000 career point in the men’s basketball team’s loss at UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday night.  The Jumbos then picked up a 78-75 overtime win on the road at Trinity on Friday but fell to Amherst on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 1 women’s basketball team took on No. 2 Amherst on Saturday, and the Jumbos were just edged, 36-35, in the final minute of play.  The Jumbos picked up a win over Trinity on Friday night to start the weekend.

The men’s hockey team swept Connecticut College this weekend.  They started with a 3-0 win on Friday night as junior Nik Nugnes picked up his first career shutout.  On Saturday the Jumbos traveled to New London, and came away with a 2-1 win to complete the weekend sweep. Senior Sean Kavanagh was named the NESCAC Player of the Week for helping the Jumbos both offensively and defensively in both wins.

The men’s squash team traveled to Amherst for the NESCAC Tournament this past weekend.  The Jumbos opened up play by falling to Wesleyan, but they were able to pick up wins over Connecticut College and Hamilton on Saturday in consolation play.

A trip to Amherst for the NESCAC Championships was also on the schedule for the women’s squash team this weekend.  The Jumbos were the sixth seed, and won their opening round match against Connecticut College before falling to Middlebury on Saturday. The Jumbos then fell to Bowdoin, 5-4, and Colby, 7-2, in consolation bracket play.

Senior Tim Nichols of the men’s track and field team demolished the school record and ran the nation’s fastest time in the 5,000 meters at the Cupid Challenge hosted by the Jumbos in the Gantcher Center this past weekend.  Nichols clocked a 14:19.45 in the 5k to establish a new Tufts mark, replacing the 14:28.68 previous record.  Nichols’ mark also blew away the previous nation-best time of 14:34.27 set by William’s Peter Hale on January 27.

The women’s track and field team also hosted the Cupid Challenge this past weekend and a strong effort in the 4x4 was one of six season-best marks posted on Saturday. The foursome of freshman Rhemi Toth, senior co-captain Rita Donohoe, junior Julia Prusaczyk and freshman Julia Gake combined on a 4:06.28 that won a small three-team race at the meet.  It was the best Jumbo time in the event this year.