Introduction of Tamara Brown, presented by Gigi Tutoni, Class of 2019 and Field Hockey Team member
One of the Jumbo teams most responsible for Tufts’ rise to national athletics prominence since the year 2000 was the field hockey team. And without question, one of Jumbo student-athletes most responsible for that rise was Tamara Brown.
After arriving at Tufts in 2007, Tamara did not waste much time making her mark on the Jumbo field hockey program. She scored an astounding 28 goals in 21 games as a sophomore, which is still a single season record, and she led her team to its first Final Four in school history. Facing off against the #1 ranked team in the country in the national semifinal, the Jumbos found themselves tied 2-2 with Messiah at halftime. In the second half of that game, a total of three goals were scored – and all three of them were scored by Tamara, as the Jumbos won 5-2. Tufts fell to Bowdoin 3-2 in the NCAA championship game with two more goals by Tamara, but the Jumbos had announced themselves as national contenders, and Tamara had established herself as one of the top offensive threats in the country.
After suffering a torn ACL after her freshman season, Tamara had been determined to recover in time for her sophomore season. When her injury prevented her from participating in out of season workouts with her teammates, she used the time to get better. Her comments about that period of time provide a glimpse of her remarkable competitive spirit. “I am really not great at sitting out,” Tamara said. “I just get so antsy and want to do something to help. So, instead of just sitting there and watching, I'd bring my stick and just work on my skills on the side. I can't even count how many hours during that six months I spent just dribbling on my own.”
With stick skills as the signature of her game, and with her knee injury behind her, Tamara followed up her sophomore season by scoring 21 goals and tallying 13 assists as a junior. Complimenting a very strong defense, Tamara’s offensive dominance helped lead the Jumbos to their first NESCAC title in program history that year and a second consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance.
By the time Tamara graduated, she would hold the top three single-season scoring totals at Tufts, including her record 61-point performance in 2008. For her career, Tamara is the program’s all-time leading scorer with a staggering total of 182 points on 78 goals and 26 assists. To put that achievement into perspective, Tamara’s total points is 79 more points than the next Jumbo on the career scoring list.
Tamara was a Hester L. Sargent Award recipient as best Tufts female athlete, and over the course of her career, Tamara was a three-time All-American and two-time NESCAC Player of the Year.
Tina Mattera, Tamara’s coach at Tufts, said, “While Tamara’s talent was undeniable, what made her special was her incredible work ethic, her grit and her ultra-competitive spirit. Her drive to compete and get better, and her passion for the game were so impressive. She helped lay the groundwork for our national championship run in 2012, and she is one of the best Jumbos I’ve ever had the privilege to coach.”
Please join me in congratulating Tamara and welcoming her to the stage to receive her award.