MEDFORD - Tufts senior goalkeeper Emily Bowers saved 12 shots in a shutout on the way to a Jumbo double-overtime tie at fourth-ranked Middlebury College last Saturday, earning her New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Soccer Player of the Week.
Tufts had just the one game last week, however the Jumbos needed to travel to undefeated and untied Middlebury who sat atop the NESCAC at 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the league. Bowers would be put to the test early and often by the talented Middlebury forwards, facing 20 total shots throughout the 110-minute game.
In the first half alone, Bowers was tested several times with one-on-one fast breaks. Each time the senior goalkeeper would step up aggressively, forcing the opponent's shots wide. Things ramped up in the second half as Middlebury settled into their offense, producing consistent high-level scoring opportunities through corners and clean passing. An offense which hasn't been stopped all year was no match for the experienced senior Bowers as she turned away headers with diving saves, and punched corner kicks out of the danger zone.
The Jumbos escaped the double-overtime battle with a tie, despite the lopsided total of shots on goal at 12-1. Bowers' 12 saves marks both her career- and season-high, as well as her seventh shutout of the year. Bowers has been a consistent piece of this Tufts team that is off to a 6-2-2 start, ranking 23rd in the country.
This prestigious honor is nothing new for the senior goalkeeper as she has been able to earn NESCAC Player of the Week all four years at Tufts. Her previous awards came on October 5, 2015, September 26, 2016 and October 30, 2017. Bowers currently ranks fourth in the NESCAC in saves with 46 on the year, and would likely have more if not for an experienced Jumbo backline.
Bowers and the Jumbos return home to Kraft Field on Tuesday to face off against Salem State at 3 pm.
Written by Athletic Commmunications Intern Garrett Kerr