MEDFORD – After helping lead the Tufts women's soccer team to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship game and the program's most wins in 10 years, four Jumbos and head coach Martha Whiting were recognized with All-NESCAC honors announced today. Juniors Emily Bowers, Emma Ranalli, Taylor Koscho and freshman Sophie Lloyd joined Coach Whiting as the league's top performers this season. The Jumbos are entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 this weekend.
The four players named All-NESCAC is the most for Tufts women's soccer since 2011. All four Jumbos are receiving the honor for the first time.
Junior goalkeeper Emily Bowers was selected for the All-NESCAC First Team. Bowers has played every minute in goal this season making 76 saves over 18 games which ranked her second in the conference in total saves. Her .826 save percentage and 0.85 goals against average was the best in her career at Tufts. In NESCAC competitions, she gave up a total of six goals in 10 games with a .882 save percentage. Bowers received the NESCAC Player of the Week honors on October 30 after she made seven saves in two 1-0 wins. In the Jumbos' NESCAC Quarterfinal match against Trinity, Bowers had the assist on Sophie Lloyd's goal after drop kicking the ball the length of the field to the other penalty area. She played a major role in the Jumbos' seven shutouts this season as they approach the start of the NCAA tournament.
Freshman forward Sophie Lloyd has been recognized as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year and an All-NESCAC Second Team honoree. She led the Jumbo offense in goals with 10 which ranked her second in the NESCAC. She also led the team in points with 21 landing her in third overall in the NESCAC. Lloyd scored the game-tying goal against Connecticut College on September 16 and went on to score a goal in each of the next four games solidifying her role as the top scorer of the Jumbo offense. She led the team in game-winning goals with four, and one of them came in the NESCAC semifinal game. Lloyd scored twice against Hamilton College sending the Tufts team to the NESCAC Championship game for the first time since 2005.
Junior midfielder and co-captain Emma Ranalli earned an All-NESCAC Second Team selection as she was the leader in the midfield for this Jumbo team. She started every game this season as a holding midfielder where she showed the ability to facilitate and set up the offensive attack as well as hold down the defensive movement which led to a successful season on both sides of the ball. A smart and technical player who runs the show and directs her team on the field, Ranalli is also a great ball winner and leader for this Jumbo squad.
Junior defender Taylor Koscho was selected for the All-NESCAC Second Team. Koscho was part of the last line of defense protecting the net with teammate and fellow All-NESCAC First Team honoree Emily Bowers. She started every game this season and played a significant role in keeping the ball out of the Jumbo half of the field. As one of the best one-on-one defenders, Koscho did not let much get by her. She constantly came up big in pressure situations. One of the standout moments for Taylor this season was at Williams College in the NESCAC Championship game. Bowers was out of position and Koscho made a last-second diving save to keep the score tied at 1-1 forcing an overtime period. The Jumbos gave up an average of 0.85 goals per game this season which is the team's lowest average since 2010.
Martha Whiting received her fourth NESCAC Coach of the Year award after leading her team to a 10-5-3 overall and 6-2-2 NESCAC record. Tufts' conference record was its best since 2010. The Jumbos hosted a conference quarterfinal and defeated Trinity 1-0 to reach the NESCAC "final four" for the first time since 2013. Over the course of her 19-year tenure as a Jumbo, Whiting also won the honor in 2002, 2005, and 2010.
With four players on the All-Conference teams and six honors won overall, the Jumbos were second to NESCAC champion Williams College in both categories.
The Jumbos are headed to Ewing, N.J. to continue their season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they will play Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
> 2017 NESCAC Women's Soccer All-Conference Teams
Written by Colin Mason, Athletic Communication Intern