SOMERVILLE - Junior Sophie Lloyd netted a goal just 34 seconds into overtime to lift #13 Tufts University Women's Soccer over Bowdoin College 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Kraft Field. The game was the regular-season finale for both squads.
|Junior Sophie Lloyd scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Jumbos.|
With today's victory, along with a Middlebury College 0-0 tie against Williams College, the Jumbos earned the #1 seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship giving them the opportunity for home-field advantage throughout the conference tournament. They will host Bowdoin again on Saturday in the quarterfinals with the game time to be announced. This is the fourth time in program history and the first time since 2010 that Tufts has earned the #1 seed. Previously, they were atop the conference in 2002, 2005, and 2010.
The Jumbos wasted no time in the overtime period today as sophomore Stephanie DeLeo handled the ball in the center of the field and sent a long pass down the right sideline to freshman Claire Wilkinson. She sent a crossing pass towards Lloyd who was rushing to the center of the goal area. Lloyd's first attempt deflected off a Bowdoin defender's leg, but in a relentless second effort Lloyd was able to fire the ball past Polar Bear goalkeeper Penny Rocchio for the win.
With the victory, the Jumbos finished the regular season with an 11-2-2 overall record (7-2-1 NESCAC), while the Polar Bears fall to 7-7-1 (3-6-1 NESCAC). Bowdoin earns they #8 seed for the conference championship.
Both teams battled for the entire 90 minutes of regulation despite not being able to find the back of the net due to strong defensive play. The first half was home to multiple offensive opportunities for the Jumbos as they looked to crack the Bowdoin defensive scheme. The first scoring chance came as a result of a beautiful crossing pass from junior Hannah Isenhart connecting inside to a header from freshman Madeleine Pero that was stopped on a diving save by Rocchio.
The next scoring opportunity came off the foot of junior Liz Reed as she looked to give the Jumbos the advantage midway through the first half. Reed found herself in the middle of the goal area managing to gain enough space to fire a shot towards the bottom right corner of the net. The result of the shot was another diving save from Rocchio.
Tufts outshot Bowdoin 10-4 four in the first half, with five of the Jumbos' shots getting on net.
Tufts was able to earn the first two shots on goal in the second period by senior Izzy Moore and Reed, but both were turned away by Rocchio. Tufts and Bowdoin found scoring opportunities that would deflect off the crossbar as the second half continued. After a recent substitution, Bowdoin's Isa Quintana received the ball in the center of the Tufts zone with a lane to shoot. She fired a shot that was just too tall for Jumbo freshman goalkeeper Hayley Bernstein, but it hit the crossbar and deflected out of bounds.
The final shot of regulation was on a free kick for the Jumbos in the 88th minute. Sophomore Lily Sykes put her hand up to indicate to her teammates to rush the net for a potential chip, but instead elected to shoot the ball. Sykes fired a strike towards the Bowdoin net as it hit it the crossbar and bounced into a scrum of players. The ball was eventually cleared out by the Bowdoin defense.
The Jumbos finished with six penalty corners in the first half and in eight total, while the Polar Bears finished with four in the game (three in the second half).
Berstein recorded four saves in the shutout for Tufts (her seventh, the team's eighth). Rocchio ended the contest with nine saves on ten shots that were on target. Tufts had a 21-9 advantage in shots overall.