MEDFORD - Head coach Martha Whiting's Tufts University women's soccer team earned its seventh NCAA Division III Championship berth and second in a row today when the Jumbos received an at-large invitation into the 2018 tournament field.
Tufts (10-5-2) will travel to William Smith College in Geneva, New York for a four-team NCAA Regional later this week. The Jumbos will play Penn St.-Behrend University (13-6) in the first round on Saturday at 1:30 pm. The host Herons (14-3) will face Westfield State University (10-6-3) in Saturday's other first-round game starting at 11 am. The winners will meet in the Regional final on Sunday at 1 pm.
The Jumbos were the #4 seed in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) this season with a 5-3-2 record. Tufts advanced to the conference tournament semi-finals where they lost 3-2 to Williams College.
Tufts has a strong NCAA history, as Coach Whiting has twice directed Tufts into the "Final Four." Tufts hosted the semi-finals and championship game on Kraft Field in 2001. The Jumbos advanced to the national championship game and lost 2-1 to The College of New Jersey. Tufts also earned a spot in the 2005 NCAA semi-finals. Tufts has a 10-5-4 mark in NCAA play overall with other berths coming in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017.
No team has participated in more NCAA Tournaments that William Smith, who has won national championships in 1988 and 2013. The Liberty League champions following a 1-0 win over RIT, the Herons earned their 29th NCAA berth overall and own a 53-21-9 mark in the national tournament. The Herons have advanced to 10 "final fours" and were national runners-up in both in 1987 and 1997.
Penn St.-Behrend and Westfield State will both be seeking their first NCAA victories. The Lions are the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference champs for the eighth year in a row with a 1-0 win over Mt. Aloysius. They have lost all 10 of their NCAA Tournament games though. Westfield, who won the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference title 3-0 against Salem State, has an 0-6-1 mark in six previous NCAA berths.
More information will be added to this release as it becomes available.