MEDFORD – The Tufts University men's soccer team started off their national title defense with a commanding 4-0 victory over Framingham State University in non-conference action on Tuesday evening at Bello Field.
|Zach Lane scored the first goal of the season for the Jumbos just four minutes into the match.|
The Jumbos are 1-0 on the season with the win while the Rams suffer their first lost of the season and are now 1-1.
Senior Zach Lane got the scoring started in a hurry as he found the back of the goal in just the fourth minute. A Framingham State goal kick was sent towards midfield where Tufts senior back Will Raphael won possession with a header forward to classmate Joe Braun. Braun forced a ball through the Ram backline, and it appeared as though keeper Corey Davidge was going to make a play on the loose ball. However, Lane came charging in and found the ball and room to shoot with a near empty net in front of him to give the Jumbos a 1-0 lead.
In the 15th minute, senior co-captain Gavin Tasker found himself a gift of a rebound in the box to extend the lead to two. After a strong push down the sideline by Drew Stern, he earned enough space to fire a cross that found Braun. His shot was blocked, but a rebound found the foot of Travis Van Brewer who would have netted the goal if Odane Scale was not in position to make a goal line stop for the Rams. However, the attack would prove too strong as Tasker fired home the rebound.
The Rams did not go away quietly in the half. A strong drive down the sideline by Gustavo Cassemiro allowed for him to get a shot away that forced Jumb junior goalkeeper Will Harned to make a save. The rebound would pop out to Bryce Nardizzi, but he could not get a shot away. Another opportunity for the Rams came just minutes later as Akeem Bucknor found a loose ball at the top of the box. He started to cut in towards the middle of the field, but was swarmed by the strong Jumbo defense.
Tufts found the goal again late in the first half. Stern reached Raphael with a throw in and he sent a cross to Mati Cano who headed home his first of the season.
The Jumbos started out the second half strong as they added another tally in the 50th minute. Senior Brett Rojas sent a corner kick to the middle of the goal, which found Braun's head. The deflection found a crashing Ian Daly who finished off the play with the fourth goal for Tufts.
Another opportunity came in the second half for the Rams. They earned a corner kick and after some give-and-go play between Bryce Nardizzi, Bryant Nardizzi, and Nahuel Algibay gave them some room for a clean shot. Algibay was at the top of the 18-yard box and fired a shot to the right of Harned which forced him to make a diving save to keep the shutout alive.
Isaac De Souza led the Ram offense with three shots in the contest. Tasker, Braun, and Rojas had three shots each for Tufts. James Hartshorn saw his first collegiate action when he was brought in to replace Davidge in the second half for Framingham. Freshmen Woovin Shin and Ian Sinkowitz both made their collegiate debuts for the Jumbos in the contest.
Tufts has not lost a contest since the NCAA Sectional Final in November 2017. That is 22 consecutive contests they have either won or played to a draw (19-0-3).
The top ranked team in the country, Tufts hits the road to open up NESCAC play at Williams on Saturday. They will kick-off at 3 pm. The Rams are back in action on Saturday as they travel to MIT for a 7 pm start.