Jumbos go 2-0 over weekend
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 02:09
The No. 2 field hockey team notched two more victories last week, extending its home winning streak to 11 as the Jumbos soundly defeated the visiting Babson Beavers 4-2 on Tuesday before finishing off conference rival Colby in a 3-0 decision Saturday.
The win over the Mules was a special one for the Jumbos, as Saturday marked the team’s alumni weekend and was preceded by a special banner raising in honor of Tufts’ National Championship last season.
“I think it really helped that the alumni were there because they gave us the extra motivation to know that the program has come so far,” senior midfielder Emily Cannon said. “We want to keep working every day in order to keep improving and making our team better.”
Just over 20 minutes into the contest, Cannon got the scoring started for the Jumbos. On a penalty corner opportunity, Cannon scooped the ball from sophomore midfielder Dakota Sikes-Keilp, firing it past Colby goalie Sarah Evans.
“[Junior forward Brittany Norfleet] had a really great insert,” Cannon said. “Dakota took the time to draw the fly and get a really good pass, and I wanted to move the ball in and get it on cage so that someone could tip or rebound it, but it happened to go in on its own.”
Just a minute later, Tufts doubled its advantage on a strike from senior co-captain forward Chelsea Yogerst to take a 2-0 lead going into the half.
“[Sophomore midfielder] Rachel Terveer took the ball down the left side of the field and passed it to me a little left of the goal,” Yogerst said. “I received the pass with my back to the cage, turned around and shot to the left of the goalie.”
The score held for nearly 20 minutes into the second period until Sikes-Keilp notched a goal of her own. In the 65th minute of play, sophomore Allison Rolfe pushed the ball to Sikes-Keilp who finished with a reverse chip to find the boards and put the Jumbos up 3-0.
Tufts finished the day with a 38 to nine advantage in shots and earned 29 penalty corner opportunities compared to Colby’s one. While Evans was forced to make 18 saves for the Mules, her team never pieced together a real challenge at the other end of the field.
“We worked very hard even though Colby kept putting immense pressure on us throughout the entire game,” Cannon said. “Their pressure and energy forced us to play even better. We were very determined to not let our intensity waver, and we kept pushing upfield and towards the goal as much as we could to earn those corner opportunities.”
Last Tuesday, the Jumbos’ contest with Babson seemed at times much more evenhanded than either of their NESCAC games thus far. Despite the up-and-down pace of the game, however, coach Tina McDavitt’s squad continued to dominate the box score, outshooting Babson 30 to eight and earning 11 penalty corners compared to the visitors’ three.
Sikes-Keilp led the day for the Jumbos, earning her first collegiate hat trick. Meanwhile, Babson senior keeper Kayla Florence posted a 17-save effort to keep her team in contention for the majority of the game.
“Babson was definitely doing a good job of keeping the pressure on our forwards, especially in the circle, but there were a few opportunities that we should have been able to capitalize on,” Yogerst said.
After a flurry of up-and-down rushes by both teams, Babson first-year midfielder Victoria Spofford took the ball at full speed, beating Cannon and sophomore midfielder Alexandra Jamison in transition.
Driving into the 16-meter circle, Spofford’s shot was tipped several times until the Beavers were awarded a costly penalty stroke. Senior forward Morgan Lockwood took the stroke and beat Tufts junior keeper Bri Keenan, launching a shot high-left into the cage to give the visitors a one-goal advantage.
The Jumbos, however, refused to give up easily. Norfleet worked the ball into the circle and earned a penalty corner for Tufts. Cannon got a stick on the insert and moved the ball to Sikes-Keilp, who hammered a hard shot straight into the back of the boards, pulling the Jumbos even with the Beavers.
“I think that we had enough trust and confidence in [our] abilities to know that we still had a chance to win if we remained calm and continued to play our game without becoming frantic,” Yogerst said. “That first goal also provided us with even more motivation to put the pressure on offensively.”