MEDFORD - The Tufts University women's lacrosse team earned the sixth seed in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and will play at #3 seed Trinity College in the quarterfinal round of the conference championship on Saturday at noon.
The Jumbos (10-5 overall) finished 5-5 in the NESCAC this spring with wins over Connecticut College, Williams, Amherst, Bates and Bowdoin, but losses to Middlebury, Colby, Trinity, Hamilton and Wesleyan.
Trinity (12-3) was part of a logjam at the top of the conference this season as four teams finished at 8-2. After conference tie-breaking guidelines were applied, the Bantams came out with the third seed due to their losses against Middlebury and Hamilton. Those are the top two seeds, respectively.
Tufts will be looking to change its fortunes historically in the NESCAC Tournament. Though the team is making its 14th appearance in the 17-year history of the conference championship, the Jumbos have just a 3-13 record in the tournament. Conversely, Trinity is a five-time league champion and two-time runner-up which has a 20-7 record in all-time NESCAC Championship play.
When the teams met during the regular season on March 25, Tufts had an 8-7 lead at halftime. However, the Bantams out-scored the Jumbos 7-3 in the second half to take a 14-11 victory. Junior Grace O'Donnell and sophomore Mary French each netted hat-tricks to lead Trinity, while freshman Emily Games scored six goals for the Jumbos.
Tufts defeated Trinity 10-9 during the 2016 season. When the teams met in the semi-finals of the NESCAC Championship in 2015, Trinity edged Tufts 8-7 in overtime.
The top two scorers in the league will play in the game. Tufts' Games leads NESCAC with 46 goals and 60 points. Trinity senior Clare Lyne is second in the conference with 57 points on 39 goals and 18 assists.
By the statistics, Trinity junior goalie Zoe Ferguson had the best season in NESCAC this spring with a league-leading .543 save percentage and a second-best 6.95 goals against average. Tufts also has sophomore Dakota Adamec, whose 49 draw controls are fourth in the league. She has also scored 34 goals, including a league-best 14 on free-position shots.
Tufts boasts the third-best offense in NESCAC this year with 12.67 goals per game, though Trinity counters with the third-ranked defense allowing a 7.02 goals against average. The Jumbos enter Saturday with a 9.02 goals against mark for seventh in NESCAC, while Trinity's 10.80 goals per contest are sixth in the league.
Trinity College will have a live webcast of the game at https://www.nsnsports.net/colleges/trinity/ as well as live statistics at http://www.gotuftsjumbos.com/sports/wlax/2016-17/boxscores/20170429_r21l.xml.
Read NESCAC's full preview of the women's lacrosse championship here.