MEDFORD - The NESCAC champion Tufts University women's lacrosse team will open NCAA Tournament play on Sunday (May 9) against Cabrini University at Colby College. The second round game is scheduled for 2:30 pm.
Head coach Courtney Shute's Jumbos won the conference title on Saturday with a 14-3 victory against Wesleyan to receive the NESCAC's automatic NCAA berth. First-time league champions, Tufts will be making its sixth NCAA appearance and third in a row. The 2020 tournament was not played due to COVID-19.
Tufts is 6-0 overall and has outscored its opponents 98-30 this spring. They won the four-team NESCAC East Division with a 3-0 mark to earn the right to host the West Division winner in the conference championship game. Tufts is the only NESCAC team in the NCAA Tournament, which includes 37 squads overall this spring.
Cabrini is the Atlantic East Conference Tournament champion, defeating Marymount 21-11 on Saturday. The Cavaliers, who are 8-2, are playing in their 16th NCAA Tournament overall.
The Jumbos are 8-5 overall in the NCAA Tournaments since receiving their first bid in 2009. Tufts teams also qualified in 2011, 2015, 2018 and 2019. Cabrini qualified seven straight years from 2012-18 among their 15 previous NCAA berths. They have a 3-15 mark in NCAA play.
NCAA Statistics had not yet been updated to include last week's games, but the Jumbos were 14th nationally allowing 5.40 goals per game through April 29. Tufts' 16.80 goals scored per game ranked 27th. Cabrini's numbers were at 16.56 goals per game (29th) while allowing 8.22 (48th).
When we last saw the Jumbos in the NCAA's, they were the first team in program history to reach the "Final Four" in 2019. In order to repeat that feat, they will have to get past Cabrini and then win two games in the Regional round at Colby again May 15-16. The NCAA semi-finals and final will be played May 22-23 at Kerr Stadium in Salem, Virginia.
At Regionals, the Tufts-Cabrini winner would play the winner of Westfield St. (8-1) and Roger Williams (6-0) in the "Sweet 16." Other teams the Jumbos or Cavaliers could face as they move on in the tournament are Western Connecticut (9-0), Johnson & Wales (7-3), Babson (4-1) and TCNJ (7-2).
Tufts could not meet the NCAA's requirements for hosting tournament games due to its COVID-19 policies on campus this year.