MEDFORD – Sterling Weatherbie, Joe Braun, Gavin Tasker, Brett Rojas, and Biagio Paoletta of the Tufts University men's soccer have earned New England Small Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference honors for the 2018 season.
Weatherbie, Braun, and Tasker were selected first team All-NESCAC. Rojas and Paoletta were chosen to second team All-NESCAC. The Jumbos ended the regular season with a 13-0-3 mark and were 8-0-2 in the conference to earn the #1 seed.
Weatherbie, a senior back, is receiving All-NESCAC honors for the second time in his career as he earned second team honors in 2017. The senior co-captain from Cape Elizabeth, Maine has been a crucial part to this Jumbo defense that is tough to break through against. He also was clutch for Tufts' offense as he is tied for second on the team with nine points and has game-winning goals against Bates and Bowdoin in NESCAC contests. Weatherbie and the defense have only allowed 46 shots on goal all season long (2.87 per game).
Braun, a junior forward from Yardley, Pa. leads the NESCAC in points with 20 and goals with eight. He had at least one point in nine of the team's 16 regular-season contests. The forward scored two goals in games against Trinity and Williams. He also led the team with four game-winning goals including against Wesleyan and Hamilton. Braun scored seven of his eight goals in NESCAC games. The junior has been an important piece in the Jumbos' offense which is second in the NESCAC with 33 goals. His 18 shots on goal were also a team high.
Tasker, a junior midfielder from Concord, Mass. is second on the team with 10 points on the year. The junior netted four goals in the regular season and recorded a point in six games. He was aggressive in pushing the ball up the field and helped provide a jolt in the Jumbo offense. Tasker started 14 games and recorded the game-winning goal in the season-opener against UMass-Boston. The midfielder was second on the team recording 13 shots on goal.
Rojas, a junior midfielder, leads the Jumbos in assists with seven and has tallied the third-most assists in the NESCAC. From Madison, N.J., he had a season-high two assists in a non-conference match against Babson. He recorded assists in five out of the last seven Tufts games. The midfielder had the game-tying goal in a NESCAC contest against Bowdoin. He is a great passer who can beat the defense with lob, through, and touch passes. The Jumbos' offense led by Rojas is second in the NESCAC with 29 assists on the year.
Paoletta, a sophomore back from Fairfield, Conn., started 14 games for Tufts' defense. In seven of the games he played, the Jumbos recorded shutouts. The sophomore often cleared the ball out of the defensive zone and broke up corner kicks. His physical, not-afraid-to-mix-it up play has helped the Jumbos' defense post a 0.54 goals against average. Six of their nine shutouts came in conference play.
Tufts' three first team honors was the second-most of any team behind Connecticut College's four. The Jumbos' five All-NESCAC honorees are the most of any team in the conference.
The brown and blue enter the NCAA Tournament having won two of the last four national championships. Tufts will host the first round of NCAA's at Bello Field on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 10-11). The Jumbos earned a first round bye and will play the winner of Gordon and Stevens Institute of Technology on Sunday at 1 pm.
Written by Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello