Field Hockey Takes First Loss of Season at MIT, 1-0

CAMBRIDGE – The #3 Tufts University field hockey team could not find the back of the cage as they fell to MIT, 1-0, in nonconference action on Wednesday night at Jack Barry Field.

Junior Beth Krikorian led the Jumbos with three shots on goal.

Tufts suffers their first loss of the season and is now 3-1 while MIT improves to 4-2.

The Jumbos earned a penalty corner in the second minute. Freshman Reegan McCluskey fired a shot towards the goal, but it was blocked by a defender to clear the opportunity. MIT nearly had the first goal of the contest just a few minutes later, but a foul was ruled on the Engineers which negated the attempt.

The teams traded possessions with no strong chances coming for either side until the Jumbos earned their second penalty corner of the first period, which was in the 12th minute of play. Senior Beth Krikorian fired a shot that went wide.

Sophomore Claire Foley earned the first shot on goal just minutes into the second quarter, but it was saved. The ensuing rebound earned Tufts another penalty corner. A McCluskey blocked shot paved way for a rebound shot by Krikorian. MIT goalkeeper Grace Moore made the save. A foul on Tufts allowed MIT clearance from their defensive zone and a transition which resulted in their first penalty corner of the contest. Laura Chen set up the play in left corner and sent a pass to the top of the circle where Taylor Grey took a step forward and fired home her shot to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead.

Another strong fast-break by the Jumbos led to another penalty corner. Junior Alexis Chauvette fired a shot that was blocked away, but resulted in the fifth penalty corner of the half. That resulted in a McCluskey shot wide.

A green card was issued to MIT's Amanda Garofalo in the 24th minute of play, but the Jumbos could not capitalize on the extra-player opportunity. Garofalo returned to the field on the attack and forced a turnover at midfield. She drove down the right sideline and fired a shot, but it was blocked by the Tufts defense.

With time winding down in the half, the Jumbos applied offensive pressure that resulted in a penalty corner taken by senior Marguerite Salamone. Classmate Brigid Gliwa earned two shots on goal in the closing seconds, but both were saved and the teams headed to the half with MIT leading 1-0.

The Jumbos jumped on the attack early and continued pressure for most of the third period. Their greatest opportunities came within the first six minutes of the quarter. Tufts earned three shots on goal, all saved. One was by Salamone and the other two were by sophomore Gillian Roeca. That resulted in a penalty corner and then a penalty shot by senior Rachel Hamilton. The penalty shot was saved by Moore, who dove to her right to keep MIT in the lead. The continued attack led to two more corners and another shot on goal, this one by Foley.

MIT cleared their defensive end, but only briefly as Tufts remounted an attack with a shot by Krikorian that was saved. With less than two minutes to play in the third period, the Jumbos earned their ninth penalty corner of the contest. A strong shot by sophomore Sophie Schoeni went just wide on the right side of the cage.

After strong attack by Tufts to start the fourth quarter, MIT responded with a penalty corner on their next possession. Garofalo received the pass from Laura Chen and fired a shot that was saved by sophomore Andie Stallman.

MIT's Pagie Forester was issued a green card. With less than five minutes to play, the Jumbos earned a penalty corner. Schoeni fired a shot, but again Moore made the save. Tufts was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as Forester returned to the field just seconds after the save.

A swarming MIT defense and strong goalkeeping down to the final buzzer closed out the contest and kept Tufts off the board.

Stallman made one save on two shots on goal in the losing effort. She is now 3-1 on the season. Her counterpart, Moore, made 12 saves on 12 shots on goal. She is now 4-2.

The Jumbos return to play on Saturday when they host Colby College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play at Ounjian Field. They are scheduled to start at noon. MIT opens New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday at Babson College. They start at noon as well.