MEDFORD – For the fifth time in the last 11 seasons, the Tufts University field hockey team will play in the NCAA "Final Four" this weekend (Nov. 17-18) in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
Head coach Tina Mattera's Jumbos (18-2) received a first round bye into the tournament after finishing as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) runner-up. The Jumbos traveled to Salisbury University in Maryland for an NCAA Regional this past weekend and won their second-round game versus Smith College 3-0 on Saturday. Tufts advanced to the final four by defeating host Salisbury 1-0 on penalty strokes (3-2) on Sunday.
The Jumbos will play Johns Hopkins University in the national semi-finals on Saturday starting at 11 am at Spooky Nook Sports Complex. Middlebury and Rowan will play in the other semi-final on Saturday at 2 pm, then Saturday's winners will meet for the national championship game on Sunday at 1 pm.
The Jumbos are playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 when they advanced to the national championship game and lost on penalty strokes to Messiah. Tufts won the 2012 national title under Coach Mattera, and the Jumbo program has a 17-8 overall mark in NCAA Tournament play following last weekend's two victories. They were the national runner-up in 2008 and a semi-finalist in 2009. Tufts is in its 10th NCAA Tournament overall.
John Hopkins (19-2) won the Centennial Conference championship and then hosted a Regional and defeated FDU-Florham 4-0 and Messiah 3-2. The Blue Jays are making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2008. In the final four for the first time, JHU is 2-8 all-time in the tournament.
Undefeated Rowan (22-0) is the New Jersey Athletic Conference champion making their 19th NCAA Tournament appearance. They improved their NCAA record to 18-17 with wins over Lynchburg (1-0) and Rochester (4-0) while hosting a Regional last weekend. The Profs are playing in their fourth final four, including winning the 2002 NCAA title.
Middlebury (19-1) is the defending NCAA champion and has won two of the last three national titles. The Panthers, who have won three championships overall (including 1998), are in their 19th NCAA Tournament. The NESCAC champions hosted a Regional and defeated Keene State 8-0 and The College of New Jersey 5-1 in the second and third rounds, respectively. In their 10th final four trip, Middlebury is 39-16 in their NCAA Tournament history.