Experienced Women's Soccer Squad Looks for Continued Success in '18

MEDFORD - The Jumbo women's soccer team enters the 2018 season with nine players returning who appeared in all 19 games a season ago giving them depth in all three facets of the game. Tufts will be looking to get back to the NESCAC Championship Game for the second straight season and hope to see their name in the NCAA bracket once again.

In a strong 2017 season the Tufts Women's Soccer team finished with a record of 10-6-3 (6-2-2 in NESCAC). They entered the NESCAC Tournament as the fourth seed. The Jumbos reached the NESCAC Championship Game after wins over Trinity and Hamilton in the earlier rounds. Tufts fell 2-1 in OT to Williams in the NESCAC title game. The Jumbos were selected as an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament and fell 3-2 to Virginia Wesleyan in the first round.

Co-Captain Emma Ranalli is among several veteran returnees who will provide leadership to the Jumbos

Head Coach Martha Whiting comes into her 20th season as the leader of the Jumbos after being named the 2017 NESCAC Coach of the Year. Last season was the fourth time Coach Whiting has won the NESCAC Coach of Year Award. Behind her leadership, the Jumbo hope to pick up where the left off last season.

"Our team's strengths are our experience and our culture," Whiting said. "We have 19 returning players many of whom have logged significant minutes over the past few years and have helped maintain an amazing team culture."

The Jumbos are led by First Team All-NESCAC senior goalkeeper Emily Bowers, who also received third team All-America honors. She enters her senior campaign with plenty of experience as the starter in all 51 of the team's games since her freshman year. Bowers posted a .812 save percentage and only conceded a goals against average of 0.96 per game.

Offensively, the Jumbos are led by the return of a pair of sophomores. NESCAC Rookie of the Year and Second-Team All-NESCAC forward Sophie Lloyd scored a team-leading 11 goals a season ago including four game-winners. The Jumbos' forward had 23 points on the season. Reed was very productive in her freshman campaign last year as well with six goals and three assists for 15 points.

The Jumbos' offense netted 26 goals overall last season. Other returners looking to have a continued impact for the offense include seniors Alessandra Sadler (team-high five assists last season), co-captain Emma Ranalli and Sarah Grubman, juniors Sarah Maloney, Jenna Troccoli and Paige Vigliotta, as well as sophomore Hannah Isenhart. Senior co-captain Alex Aronson and junior Ashley Latona will also seek to produce.

Supporting Bowers in front of the goal, the Jumbos' defense is anchored by Second Team All-NESCAC senior back Taylor Koscho. Koscho started all 19 games for the Jumbos and was one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league.

Tufts allowed 19 goals a season ago and will look to be even stingier. Other Jumbo veterans returning on the back line include senior Jamie Corley and junior Tally Clark, who both started all season last year. Sadler, mentioned earlier as the team's assists leader, is another veteran defender on the roster.

"We will continue to work on our overall team defense," Whiting said. "If we defend well as a team all over the field we will put ourselves in a position to be successful."

To the team's strong returning core Coach Whiting and her staff have added eight freshman to the Jumbo roster.

The team opens the season on the road on Wednesday September 5 against Emerson College at 6:30 p.m. Tufts will play their home opener and third game of the season on Sunday, September 9 against Keene State at 1:00 p.m. The home opener is the first of seven straight home games for the Jumbos.

Written by Athletics Communications Intern Bryan Costello