MEDFORD - The Tufts University Field Hockey team scored 3:30 into the game and made it stand for a 1-0 victory over Skidmore College in the NCAA Championship Quarterfinals at Ounjian Field Sunday afternoon. The win earns the Jumbos a trip to the national semi-finals.
Tufts (18-2) will face Salisbury in the NCAA semi-finals next Saturday at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Game time is 2 pm. Head coach Tina McDavitt's Jumbos will be making their fourth appearance in the NCAA "Final Four," and first since 2012 when they won the national championship.
Skidmore, the Liberty League champions, finished the year at 16-6.
The Jumbos started fast today, earning a corner two minutes into the game with Thoroughbred sophomore goalie Elizabeth Coughlin making a save on a shot by Tufts junior Celia Lewis. Tufts immediately received another corner and Coughlin stopped a succession of shots by junior Mary Travers.
However, the hosts came through after a third corner opportunity. During a scrum in front of the goal, junior Mary Kate Patton passed to sophomore Gigi Tutoni who put the ball into the cage with 31:30 on the first-half clock.
Minutes later Travers maneuvered to break in towards the Skidmore goal, but Coughlin charged off her line to break up the play. The ball squirted to Patton, but her shot was deflected wide.
After withstanding the opening pressure down just 1-0, the Thoroughbreds began to even the play. They put their first shot on goal at the 19-minute mark with sophomore Gabby Hyman's attempt that Jumbo junior Emily Polinski saved.
The Thoroughbreds would later clear a Tufts corner attempt at the other end and create a scoring opportunity of their own. Freshman Miranda Davenport found junior Seeley Fancher in close and the shot had to be kicked aside by Polinski.
The Jumbos would gain some momentum back late in the period and earned a corner as time expired. Coughlin finished a good half with a save on Lewis' shot. The Skidmore sophomore finished the period with five saves.
Tufts had a 12-2 advantage in shots and 5-0 in corners for the first 35 minutes, but led only 1-0.
The first half of the second period produced little offense by either side until Tufts earned a corner with 23:20 on the clock. Nothing materialized, and a second Tufts corner two minutes later saw junior Erin Sanders just miss finding Tutoni open at the left post.
Skidmore would have the better of the play over the next few minutes and earned their lone corner of the game with eight minutes remaining in regulation. However, the ball hit a Thoroughbred foot during the play to give Tufts possession.
The visitors pulled Coughlin for an extra attacker with 3:57 remaining, and when Tufts was whistled for a green card Skidmore had a two-man advantage. While they had strong possession for a few minutes, they did not attempt a shot during this span and time expired on their season.
Tufts finished with a 19-4 advantage in shots for the game and 7-1 on corners. Coughlin had six saves for Skidmore while Polinski finished with two for the Jumbos.
Babson and Messiah also advanced to the "Final Four" today.