MEDFORD- The Jumbos defeated the Wesleyan Cardinals in the NESCAC Women's Soccer Quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon 2-0 behind two goals from sophomore Liz Reed on Bello Field.
|Liz Reed knotched her second two-goal game of the season in the win.|
Tufts would host a quarterfinal game for the third straight year, this time as the fourth seed against the fifth-seeded Cardinals. The two teams met once during the regular season with the Jumbos winning 2-0.
The Jumbos would come out of the gates ready, going all-out applying pressure in the first ten minutes. This would produce several scoring chances for them before Wesleyan could advance the ball to Tufts' defensive third of the field. It seemed to be only a matter of time before a Jumbo forward would capitalize on one of the opportunities.
In the 25th minute Reed found herself breaking apart from the Cardinal defense with a quick burst of speed. With just the goalie to beat, Reed kept the shot low, and wrapped it just inside the left post despite an aggressive charge from the goalkeeper.
Tufts' midfield may have had their best game all season. The offense was often set up from midfielders Jenna Troccoli and Lily Sykes winning balls out of the air on goal kicks, thus containing the ball in the Wesleyan defensive end. Tufts would dominate ball possession throughout the entirety of the game.
The second half held more of the same tenacious defense and hustle from the Jumbo squad that is hungry to make it back to the NESCAC championship. Early pressure out of the half would pay off once again for Reed, who made a straight-line cut in front of the net as fellow sophomore Sophie Lloyd tracked down a loose ball in the corner. Lloyd sent a precise grounded pass to Reed who just redirected the ball enough to slip by the goalkeeper for her second goal of the game.
Freshman defender Kylie Metcalf drew the start in her first career postseason game. Metcalf showed no signs of inexperience however, as she played all 90 minutes in a shutout for the Jumbo backline as well as getting her head on a few corner kicks in the box.
Tufts was able to control the ball and slow down play as the clock wore down, giving the Jumbos a 2-0 victory, propelling them to the semifinals. Lloyd and Reed led the way offensively for the Jumbos with Lloyd firing six shots, while Reed converted on her two shots on goal.
Wesleyan had a balanced attack as three different players fired shots during the game. Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Hammond managed to save five of the seven shots she faced.
Tufts will return to action on Saturday to play a semifinal matchup at #1 seed Williams College. The game will begin at 11 am.
Written by Athletic Communications Intern Garrett Kerr