MEDFORD – Junior Rachel Hamilton scored the game-winning goal for the No. 3 Tufts field hockey team, as the Jumbos defeated conference opponent No. 14 Hamilton College Sunday 2-1 at Ounjian Field.
|Junior Rachel Hamilton scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win|
With the win, the Jumbos improve to 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. Head coach Tina Mattera set a milestone collecting her 200th win for Tufts, in her 15th season. The Jumbos will play a NESCAC showdown on the road next Saturday against No. 1 Middlebury, with a 1 pm start. The Continentals fall to 7-2 with the loss, and 4-2 in conference play. They host William Smith College this Wednesday night at 7 pm.
The Jumbos were tested again today, facing another very good conference opponent to wrap up Homecoming weekend. As the first half started, the Continentals wouldn't need much time to get on the board. Just two minutes in, Hamilton got an early penalty corner. Tatiana Bradley was the inserter, dishing a pass off to Sarah Kane at the top of the circle. Kane put a shot towards goal which was deflected by Sarah Pierpont in front and it snuck through Jumbo goalie Emily Polinski.
The Continentals held on to their 1-0 lead going into half, with superb defensive play and good shot blocking. Polinski made a key save against Bradley midway through the first half, coming out of net and stopping a hard strike. The Jumbos were unable to capitalize on their five penalty corners in the first 35 minutes, although they had key chances from Hamilton, Hanaa Malik, and Marguerite Salamone all stopped by goalkeeper Julia Booth for Hamilton.
As the second half started, the Jumbos looked for a way to even the score. Like Hamilton did in the first half, Tufts struck early. Freshman Sophie Schoeni threw an odd-angled shot on net, which was padded away by Booth. Sophomore Beth Krikorian handled the rebound and threw another shot on net, this time it was blocked. Senior co-captain Gigi Tutoni was in the right place at the right time and was able to clean up the mess and put the ball past Booth, evening the score.
A little more than ten minutes later, the Jumbos had another opportunity. Sophomore Melissa Manzello had possession dribbling on the right sideline, and was able to find a gap in the defense. Manzello proceeded to center the ball as she stood outside of the circle. Hamilton was planted in the center of the circle and was awaiting the oncoming pass. She handled it and ripped a shot past Booth for a 2-1 Jumbo lead.
Surviving a late Continental push, the Jumbos walked away with a 2-1 win. Hamilton pulled Booth with a little more than three minutes left to get an extra attacker. Despite a late game press, the Jumbos were able to hold on defensively, and didn't allow much to happen in front of Polinski.
The Jumbos had a total of 16 shots, while the Continentals only had four. Tufts had 11 penalty corners compared to Hamilton's two. Hamilton led the Jumbos with five shots, while Booth had five saves for Hamilton.
Written by Athletic Communications Intern Ryan Servant