Women’s Soccer | Tufts takes down Suffolk handily after dropping NESCAC matchup with Williams
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 09:10
Tufts fell to Williams 3-1 on the road Saturday in a lopsided and disappointing performance against one of the top teams in the NESCAC. The Jumbos rebounded on Monday to beat Suffolk 7-2 in their last non-conference game of the season, however, which brings their overall record up to 7-5.
Looking solely at the numbers, Williams dominated Tufts. The Ephs took 29 shots on goal to the Jumbos’ six, with 13 of those shots on target. Senior goalie Kristin Wright managed to save ten of those shots and kept the Jumbos in the game, but her efforts were not enough. Williams outpaced the Jumbo defense, and players were often left unmarked in the box, giving Williams many dangerous chances, according to coach Martha Whiting.
“Kristin made some really good saves, but we put her in some really tough situations,” Whiting said. “Too many times we left players unmarked just a couple of feet away from her. As a goal keeper it’s really hard to deal with that.”
The Ephs came out firing from the start, with the Jumbos playing a complacent and less confident game. Wright made two saves within the opening five minutes, and the Ephs took another three shots on goal before sinking one in 13 minutes into the half.
A cross came in from the left side, and a Williams player, who had been left unguarded in the box, got a shot off from the six-yard line. Wright deflected the shot and sophomore Nicole Campellone tried to clear it, but freshman Audrey Thomas managed to knock it in for her first goal of the season. According to Wright, one of the main problems on the defensive end was organization and failure to mark players, especially in the box.
“They got off more shots than we were hoping they would,” she said. “It would have been better for us on defense if we had been able to block off shots before they happened, but they were pretty good about crossing it in and would shoot from far out.”
Williams controlled the pace of much of the first half, taking 15 shots to Tufts’ four, but neither team saw the back of the net for the rest of the first half.
The second half was a new game for the Jumbos. Senior tri-captain Anya Kaufmann tied the game up ten minutes into the second half off a ball played through by junior Victoria Stoj. Kaufmann got a step on her two defenders and was able to send the ball past the keeper.
The goal was a morale boost for Tufts, but the Ephs broke open a lead with ten minutes to go, scoring back-to-back goals. The first, off a free kick, put the Ephs in the lead, and the second sealed the deal when freshman Katie Wardlaw was left unmarked in the box, in what Whiting called a “mental mistake.”
Williams came into the match with a five-game winning streak and a reputation as one of the NESCAC’s best. Williams has won five out of the last six conference championships in a league that is filled with strong teams. According to Kaufmann, Williams has a legacy of being a perennial contender for the championship, which may have contributed to the lack of confidence on the field.
“Every year we play them and they are a really good team,” Kaufmann said. “Teams have a legacy and sometimes we come in with those ideas in our mind. Those reputations stay, and Williams has that reputation of being good.”
According to Whiting, the team did not react well in the face of the competition and instead played a less aggressive game.
“In the first half it looked like we were playing scared for some reason, and I don’t know why,” she said. “Williams has been on a winning streak, but I can’t quite pinpoint why we were playing that way.”
After a productive practice on Sunday, the Jumbos bounced back against Suffolk with a decisive 7-2 win in Boston on Monday. Kaufmann broke the school record for points, tallying seven against the Rams on three goals and one assist. She now has eight goals on the season, the highest total on the team since 2007.
The other standout performances came from freshman Jess Capone, who tied the Tufts record for assists with three and added a goal of her own; freshman Brooke Fortin, who scored two goals and Stoj, who tallied a goal and an assist. First-year Alex Pius also had a notable game, providing the assists for Kaufmann’s second goal and Capone’s lone goal.
“We were lucky enough to have a game against Suffolk and be able to come around and show that’s not really who we are,” Wright said. “There is nothing more frustrating than having a bad game and then having to wait a week to play.”
The team faces off against seventh-seeded Hamilton this weekend in its second to last conference game.