MEDFORD - NESCAC champions in 2021, the Tufts University women's lacrosse team will open its defense of the conference title on Saturday when it hosts Trinity College in the quarterfinal round at noon on Bello Field.
The Jumbos finished the NESCAC season as the #3 seed with a 7-3 record (12-3 overall). The Trinity Bantams earned the #6 seed with a 5-5 mark (9-6 overall). The teams met during the regular-season with the Jumbos winning 13-5 at home on March 26. Tufts is #9 in the most recent IWLCA national poll and Trinity is 17th.
This is the 21st NESCAC Championship, with the tournament beginning in 2001. Last season the 2021 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship was modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic to feature the top team from East and West Divisions, and Tufts defeated Wesleyan in the final 14-3. This year has returned to the eight-team format. Tufts is making its 18th appearance in the tournament, and along with winning last year they were the runner-up in the 2019 NESCAC Tournament, falling to Middlebury by a 10-9 score. Trinity's five conference titles are second-most in the league, and they are a three-time runner-up. They were last in the tournament final in 2017.
The Jumbos were the second-highest scoring team in NESCAC during the regular-season with 15.20 goals per game, while Trinity ranked sixth with an 11.87 average. Defensively, the teams had the same rankings with Tufts allowing 7.02 goals per game (2nd) and Trinity 9.30 (6th).
Among the team leaders on both sides, Tufts senior goalie Molly Laliberty is first in NESCAC with a .539 save percentage. Christine Taylor from Trinity is the most active offensive player in NESCAC with nearly seven shots attempted per game. Anna Clarke from Tufts and Samantha Booma from Trinity are two of the league leaders in draw controls.
Saturday's winner will advance to the conference semifinals to be played at the site of the highest seed. Undefeated and national #1 Middlebury College is the top seed in NESCAC followed by Colby College.