WILLIAMSTOWN – The #4 seeded Tufts women's soccer team advanced to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship game after defeating Hamilton College 3-2 in a semi-final at Williams College on Saturday afternoon. Jumbo freshman forwards Sophie Lloyd and Liz Reed combined for all three goals to best the #6 seeded Continentals.
Sophie Lloyd scored twcie in the Tufts win
Head coach Martha Whiting's Jumbos (10-4-3) move on to play top-seed and host Williams College on Sunday at noon for the conference title. Hamilton finished their season with an overall record of 10-5-2.
The Continentals started the game off with a quick score by freshman forward Cat Gambino off an assist by senior midfielder Katja Dunlap only 39 seconds into the first half. Gambino received a cross from Dunlap and converted with a quick, strong finish to the lower-right corner of the net.
At the 20:06 mark, Lloyd - the Jumbos' leading scorer - tied the game 1-1 on an unassisted goal. After dribbling deftly through the box, she sent a well-placed shot into the bottom-left side of the goal.
Before the first half concluded, Dunlap added a score of her own off double assists by Gambino and junior forward Jessie Murray to but the Continentals back on top 2-1. Murray launched a low corner kick toward the six-yard line, and Gambino knocked the ball to Dunlap, who pushed it past Jumbo goalkeeper Emily Bowers.
Hamilton outshot the Jumbos 7-2 in the first half. However, the tide turned in the second half as the Jumbos poured on the offensive pressure putting up eight shots compared to Hamilton's three.
At the 64:38 mark, Reed put in the equalizer on an unassisted goal bringing her season total up to six. On a breakaway, she got behind Hamilton keeper Emily Dumont with a feint and slotted the ball into the back of the net to knot the game at 2-2.
Roughly six minutes later at the 70:34 mark, Reed connected with Lloyd for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal. Reed ran down the flank and crossed the ball to Lloyd, who scored with a low, powerful touch.
After putting in two goals this afternoon, Lloyd moved up to second in the NESCAC in goals scored with 10.
Bowers made three saves for Tufts in the win, while Dumon finished with four saves.
Both teams had equal shot attempts at 10-10 and corner kicks at 2-2. The Jumbos were called for eight fouls and Hamilton committed six.
Tufts was playing in the conference semi-finals for the first time since 2013. This will be their fourth appearance in the conference championship game. The Jumbos reached the NESCAC final for the first time since 2005. They won the conference title in 2002 and were also in the final in 2000.
The last time Tufts and Williams faced off was on October 21 at Cole Field in Williamstown where the Ephs topped the Jumbos 3-0.
Written by Colin Mason, Athletic Communications Intern
Portions of this release courtesy of Williams College