|Head coach Josh Shapiro and his staff have Tufts in the Final Four for the third time in five seasons|
MEDFORD – Leaders of the undefeated (16-0-3) Tufts University men's soccer team which is currently in Greensboro, North Carolina playing in the "Final Four," the Jumbo coaching staff was announced this morning as the United Soccer Coaches Division III New England Regional Staff of the Year.
Tufts' staff consists of head coach Josh Shapiro, assistant coaches Jordan Ciuffetelli and Matt Zinner, and goalkeeping coach Fernando Valencia.
That group has directed Tufts into the national semifinals, where they will play Rochester on Friday. A berth into the NCAA Final will be on the line. The Jumbos have defeated Stevens (1-0), Amherst (3-0) and Montclair State (4-0) so far in the NCAA Tournament. Tufts received one of two first-round byes in the nation and hosted the NCAA Regional and Sectional rounds at Bello Field.
Tufts went undefeated (8-0-2) in the competitive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCACS), which has produced two of the last three NCAA champions (Tufts 2016 & 2014, Amherst 2015). The Jumbos earned the #1 seed for the conference championship tournament. The Jumbos also won all five of their regular-season non-conference games.
Entering Friday's game, Tufts is ranked sixth nationally with their 0.45 goals against average. Additionally, the Jumbos' 41 goals this fall are the most by a Tufts team since the 2014 national champions tallied 49. Their 2.67 goals per game in NCAA play, which is fourth-best among the tournament field, is another sign of team's offensive improvement this fall.
The Jumbos had five players recognized as All-NESCAC, including three on the first team. Three were United Soccer Coaches All-Region first team selections. Junior Joe Braun was announced as a United Soccer Coaches first team All-American last night.
Nine team members earned NESCAC All-Academic recognition for carrying grade point averages of 3.50 or better this fall.
Shapiro is in his ninth season as head coach of the Jumbos. Ciuffetelli is the team's top assistant for the second year. Zinner, who played for Shapiro's NCAA championship teams in 2014 and 2016, is in his first year on staff. Valencia is in his third year as goalkeeping coach.