MEDFORD - Fifth-ranked Tufts Men's Soccer posted a 3-1 win over Babson College in a hard fought non-conference match on Tuesday at Bello Field.
|Junior Gavin Tasker netted the Jumbos first goal of the night|
Junior midfielder Brett Rojas booted a corner kick into the middle of the box where it found the head of freshman back William Raphael, who jumped over everyone to put the ball past Babson goaltender Steven Heintzelman in the 39th minute to give the Jumbos the go-ahead goal with a 2-1 lead.
Tufts (10-0-1, 5-0-1 NESCAC) came out aggressive looking to push the ball into the Beaver half of the field as Babson (6-2-4, 2-0-2 NEWMAC) had only allowed five goals all season. Junior midfielder Gavin Tasker ran up the middle of the field, received a pass off the right foot of junior forward Joe Braun and booted a right-footed shot into the back of the net past Heintzelman to give the Jumbos a 1-0 edge in the third minute of the game. The goal was Tasker's third of the season and Braun recorded his third assist of the season.
For the next 10 minutes, the action was back and forth with neither team recording a shot as the defenses wouldn't budge. Tufts sophomore midfielder Travis Van Brewer had a chance in the 14th minute with his left foot to double the Jumbos' score, but Heintzelman came out to make a save. Junior midfielder Jack Delaney took the first corner of the game in the 24th minute as the Jumbos generated another opportunity.
The Beavers created their best chance in the 26th minute when junior forward Alex Crompton kicked a ball along the right sideline back to sophomore back Andrew Josephs. He crossed the ball into the middle of the field for senior midfielder Noah Parker who booted a shot over the head of Jumbo senior goaltender Conner Mieth to even the score at 1-1. The goal was Parker's third of the season. Crompton and Josephs each tallied their first assists of the season.
The Jumbos came right back up the field when sophomore forward Max Jacobs had a chance in front of the net in the 29th minute, but Heintzelman made another key stop for the Beavers. Each team's defense clamped down as no shots went on goal again until the 39th minute.
The goal by Raphael in the 39th minute was Raphael's second of the season and Rojas picked up his third assist.
In the first half, the Jumbos outshot the Beavers eight (five on goal) to one (one on goal). Heintzelman recorded three saves in the first 45 minutes of action. Tufts had the only two corner kicks of the first half.
The Jumbos came out pushing the ball early in the second half and junior Zach Lane created a shot on goal in the 53rd minute that was saved by Heintzelman. In the 60th minute, it looked like Parker had a chance to score, but the Jumbo defense blocked his shot. Sophomore forward Max Jacobs received a pass from fellow sophomore midfielder Mati Cano with a great scoring chance for Tufts, but the kick was wide left in the 65th minute.
Tufts struck again in the 81st minute as Lane made a nice juke move to get the ball to his right foot and put it in the back left corner of the net to give the Jumbos a 3-1 advantage. Lane picked up his second goal of the season.
The Beavers had their best opportunity to cut into the brown and blue's lead in the 86th minute when senior defenseman Jackson Greenspan had a header go right above the goal. After the Greenspan header, the Jumbo defense didn't allow a shot for the final four minutes.
For the game, Tufts outshot Babson 16 (eight on goal) to five (one on goal) as the Jumbo defense led by senior backs Jackson Najjar and Sterling Weatherbie was stingy. Heintzelman recorded five saves in the contest. The hosts generated two corners to the Beavers' one. Lane led the game with three shots on goal.
Tufts will next play on Saturday when they travel to fourth-ranked Connecticut College in a battle of top five NESCAC teams at 2:30 pm. Babson's next game will be Saturday for a road NEWMAC match against Wheaton at 3:00 pm.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello