MEDFORD – With their 14-8 quarterfinal victory over Trinity on Saturday, the Tufts University women's lacrosse team advanced to the NESCAC Championship Semifinals and will play Colby College on Saturday, May 7 at Middlebury College.
The Jumbos entered the NESCAC Tournament as the #3 seed, finishing the regular-season with a 7-3 conference record and are now 13-3 overall. Head coach Courtney Shute's team ended this regular season tied with Wesleyan in the NESCAC standings, but the Jumbos had the tie-breaker having beaten the Cardinals 16-11 on April 16. Tufts takes a six-game winning streak into Saturday.
The Colby College Mules earned the #2 seed with a 9-1 NESCAC record and are 14-2 overall. The Mules had a 10-game winning streak earlier in the season and have won 13 of their last 14 games.
These two teams met on March 5 in the season-opener, with the Mules taking a 9-4 victory in Maine. Colby is currently ranked third in the most recent IWLCA national poll and Tufts comes in at #9.
Tufts is the defending NESCAC Champion. In 2021, the top teams from East and West Divisions squared off in the championship game as the season was modified due to COVID protocols. The Jumbos defeated Wesleyan 14-3 to claim their first NESCAC title in program history. This is the 13th consecutive tournament appearance for Tufts and their 17th total. They have appeared in two conference finals.
The Mules have never missed a NESCAC Tournament, qualifying every year since the tournament started in 2001. This season marks their 20th consecutive appearance. They have advanced to the finals six times in program history with three NESCAC Championship titles. Their last title came in the 2017 season.
The Jumbos are the second-highest scoring team in the conference with 15.13 goals per game compared to Colby's third-most at 14.69. Defensively, Tufts is ranked second in goals against average (7.09) while Colby ranks fourth (7.89).
Individually, Tufts goalie Molly Laliberty leads the conference with a .536 save percentage while Colby's Gianna Bruno leads the NESCAC in assists per game (2.63) and points per game (4.38). Annie Eddy is tied for first in the conference with 3.38 goals per game for the Mules. Tufts' Anna Clarke and Colby's Eliza Dean are the top two in the conference in draw controls per game as Clarke has 5.13 and Dean has 5.06.
The winner of Saturday's semifinal matchup will advance to the NESCAC Championship Game on Sunday, May 8 hosted by the #1 seed Middlebury College. The Panthers play #4 seed Wesleyan in Saturday's other semifinal. The championship game will be played at 1 pm.
Written by Tim O'Brien, Athletic Communications Intern