Women’s Soccer | Jumbos take down Lord Jeffs, drop home game against Bantams
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 02:10
The women’s soccer team came away from this weekend’s doubleheader with mixed feelings after winning a hard-fought game against Amherst in overtime on Saturday and then falling to NESCAC powerhouse Trinity with a lopsided showing on Sunday.
The Jumbos lost to the undefeated Bantams 3-1 in a loss that brought their four-game win streak to an end. The Bantams, who rank first in the NESCAC, are 8-0 so far this year, while the Jumbos saw their record drop to 4-3 and 3-2 in the NESCAC.
According to coach Martha Whiting, it was one of the tougher games that the Jumbos have played this season, and the first half was not representative of how Tufts usually performs.
“I felt that we were making mental mistakes, and that’s just not who we are,” Whiting said.
The Bantams came out hard from the start, marking two goals against the Jumbos in the first seven minutes of play. Junior Elisa Dolan sunk one into the top right corner of the net three minutes into the game, and four minutes later sophomore Abbey Lake scored her fifth goal of the season.
According to senior tri-captain Anya Kaufmann, the Bantams played a fast paced game and forced the Jumbos to play on their heels.
“It was hard to adjust because they moved the ball quickly and always had someone open,” Kaufman said. “They came out and scored two goals pretty early on us and that put us in the situation of fighting back.”
The Jumbos kept the pressure up on Trinity, and things looked up when junior midfielder Carla Kruyff lofted in a shot off of a free kick from 30 yards out. According to Kruyff, she usually passes the ball in on free kicks and then someone will try to knock it in, but here she decided to go for the shot. The ball snuck in just under the crossbar and put the Jumbos back in the game.
“Whenever anyone scores, the team just gets a lot of energy,” Kruyff said. “2-0 is a very difficult lead, and it’s a weird [score] to fight against. When we got into that position where it was a one-goal difference, the team got more energy to give that extra push.”
Trinity came back before the half was over with another goal and lengthened its lead to 3-1. Although the Jumbos came into the game stronger in the second half, they could not find the back of the net for the rest of the game. Whiting saw the play in the second half as a bit of redemption for the team as the players worked together to bring the intensity up.
Despite the loss, the weekend was not a failure for Tufts, as the team scored a key victory against Amherst on Saturday. Amherst controlled most of the play throughout the game, outshooting Tufts 29-15, but the Jumbos held their own.
The Jumbos took the lead 40 minutes into the first half when junior Victoria Stoj controlled a ball that was bouncing around inside the box and got a firm shot off. Amherst controlled the play for most of the second half, taking 11 shots to Tufts’ one in the first 25 minutes. Their efforts finally paid off when Chloe McKenzie dribbled past a pair of Tufts defenders and tied up the game.
The Jumbos pressed hard for the rest of regulation time with four more shots on goal but failed to capitalize on their chances.
Overtime play was evenly matched, but Kaufmann took the advantage with her game-winning goal a minute before the end of the first overtime. Kaufmann was able to gather the ball at the 18 and beat Amherst goalie, sophomore Holly Burwick, with a low, hard shot.
Whiting highlighted Kaufmann’s composure as she took her time and space in the box and got off the shot.
The Jumbos are now exactly halfway through their fourteen-game regular season, which lends itself to a moment of reflection on the scope of the season so far. But for Whiting, the focus is mostly on moving forward with the season by focusing on the present. The team has worked out some of the kinks from the beginning of the season and continues to take games on a day-to-day basis.
“We’ve tried to stay in the present; there are always things we can do better,” she said. “We are continuing to have fun and we have a really great group that loves the game and the team. It’s fun to work with them every day.”
Because it is such a short season, Whiting stressed that every game is important and that the team strives to go into every matchup with full intensity. This weekend’s game against Middlebury, while not an exception to that philosophy, is an important game for Tufts. The Jumbos are ranked one spot behind the second-place Panthers in the NESCAC, and Middlebury will come into the game with a string of three conference wins. A win for the Jumbos will put them solidly on track for a winning season while a loss will bump them down to 3-3 in the NESCAC and 4-4 overall.