MEDFORD - Freshman Claire Foley earned New England Small College Athletics (NESCAC) Player of the Week honors after scoring two game-winning goals in two games, as Tufts field hockey defeated Haverford and conference opponent Williams last week.
Foley scored the game-winning goal against Haverford in a 2-0 win on Wednesday at Ounjian Field. This goal came in the second half of the contest, which propelled the Jumbos to a 12-1 record. Three days later, Tufts hosted a tough conference team in No. 16 Williams. Once again, Foley scored the game-winning goal in the second half, lifting the Jumbos to an important 2-0 conference win.
Her game-winning goal against Haverford came in the early stages of the second half. In a first half where each team fought for possession, it appeared that it would come down to whoever scored first. Foley, who has been a vital piece of the Jumbos' offense this season, has put herself in the right places at the right time. Fellow freshman Sophie Schoeni inserted a ball into the circle that was initially deflected by Foley on goal. Gathering her own rebound, she put it into the back of the net from point-blank range, giving the Jumbos the winning goal.
Just a few days later, the Jumbos were back at home as they faced Williams College on Senior Day. Foley, who is tied for fourth on the team in points, has started her last five games. Williams came to play on Saturday, when each team had quality chances in the first half. Keeping up the pressure ending the first half, Tufts' continued fast-paced play in the second half which led to more scoring chances. In the 41st minute, junior Rachel Hamilton dribbled past Eph defenders and dished a pass to sophomore Beth Krikorian at the top of the circle. Krikorian put a shot towards goal that hit a body in front, and fell to a waiting Foley. Doing what she does best, Foley quickly placed the rebound past the goalkeeper in traffic.
With these two game-winning goals, Foley helped lead Tufts to a 2-0 record during their brief homestand. In a league where every win counts, the Jumbos improved to 8-1 in NESCAC play and 13-1 on the season. Head coach Tina Mattera's team is currently No. 3 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association DIII rankings.
This is Foley's first conference honor. She is the second Tufts player to win NESCAC Player of the Week this season. Senior co-captain Gigi Tutoni earned this accolade after scoring five goals in three games earlier in the 2018 season. Foley is the first freshman in the confernece to win this honor since October 2016.
With four goals and one assist for nine points overall, Foley has scored seven points in her last five games. She has five points against conference opponents during this stretch.
The Jumbos will play their final regular season game Wednesday night as they are on the road against No. 11 conference opponent Bowdoin.