MEDFORD – Tufts Men's Soccer opened its 2018 campaign in front of an electric crowd with a 3-0 victory over UMass Boston at Bello Field.
|Mati Cano scored his first career goal in the Jumbo victory|
The Jumbos (1-0) jumped out early against the Beacons (0-3) when junior midfielder Gavin Tasker netted the first goal of the season in the fourth minute of the game. Fellow junior midfielder Zach Lane and senior defensemen Jackson Najjar tallied assists on the play.
The Beacons attempted to make a push after allowing the goal, and had an opportunity in the 29th minute, but missed the shot just high. The Jumbos' defense did a great job recovering on that play and Tufts quickly struck back with another goal in the 32nd minute from sophomore forward Mati Cano. That strike resulted in the first goal of Cano's career.
In the first half the Jumbos attempted six corner kicks opposed to the Beacons' one corner. Both teams attempted four shots in the first 45 minutes of the game.
The Jumbos continued to control the ball in the Beacons' half of the field early in the second half and generated more corner kicks. Tufts struck again in the 71st minute on a goal by junior midfielder Travis Van Brewer to extend the lead to 3-0. Beacons junior goalkeeper Omar Castro-Dreher saved two of the Jumbos' shots in the second half.
Tufts senior backs Sterling Weatherbie and Jackson Najjar led the tenacious Jumbo back line in a game where the Beacons were only able to muster one shot on goal. Senior goalie Conner Mieth recorded one save and was constantly in the right place. The #5 ranked Jumbos found their rhythm tonight and never looked back.
This was a physical game which saw 27 total fouls and four cards. The Beacons attempted six shots to the Jumbos' 10. UMass-Boston junior forward Raffi DeSouza led the game with three shots. Van Brewer and Joe Braun each attempted a team-high two shots. Twenty Jumbos participated in tonight's season-opener.
Tufts' next contest will be a conference matchup at Colby on Saturday at 3 p.m. This will be the Jumbos' first NESCAC game since they won the NESCAC Championship a season ago. UMass-Boston will have its next match on Friday when they host SUNY Plattsburgh at 1 p.m.
Written by Athletic Communications intern Bryan Costello