Women’s Soccer | Jumbos fail to score again, but manage draw against No. 19 Wheaton
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
The scoring woes continued for the Jumbos on Wednesday night, but an incredible performance from junior keeper Kristin Wright and a quickly improving backline combined to help the team hold on for a 0−0 draw on the road at nationally−ranked No. 19 Wheaton.
Wright finished the 110−minute shutout with 12 saves, and had to be at the top of her game throughout as the Lyons fired off 25 shots and took eight corners. She was in action from the second minute, when she denied an attempt from senior quad−captain midfielder Tara Caney, all the way to the 110th, when she held on tightly to a header from a substitute, freshman forward Julia Cipriano.
Tufts was slow to work its way into the game, and Wheaton dominated early, forcing Wright into two saves in the first five minutes. But the Jumbos eventually had some opportunities, with senior tri−captain Rachel Aronchick firing off two dangerous attempts in quick succession. Things got chippy towards the end of the half, with Tufts committing three fouls in under ten minutes as they tried to slow the Wheaton attack. But the aggressive play paid off, as the Lyons managed just two shots on target over the course of the final 40 minutes of the half.
But from halftime on, the game was all Wheaton. They outshot the Jumbos 17−2 the rest of the way, with Tufts failing to challenge freshman keeper Taylor Wilson for the final 67 minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Wright was everywhere, diving to stop an attempt from Cipriano that was headed for the back of the net in the 81st minute and denying Wheaton with a full−extension leap in the 95th. The shutout was Wright’s second of the season and the eighth of her career.
Despite the gap in shots between the two teams on Wednesday, earning a draw against such a highly−regarded team is sure to bolster Tufts as the team heads into a vital game against Colby on Saturday afternoon. After losing their first two NESCAC games, the Jumbos’ conference home opener is about as much of a must win as you can get five games into the season. But the Mules are unlikely to roll over, having won three of their first four, including a 2−1 conference win over Conn. College.
Colby features a high−scoring offense, with junior forward Crysti Tsujiura at the helm. Tsujiura already has three goals this season, and will likely threaten the Tufts defense throughout the game. But if Tufts can put together the type of performance they did against Wheaton, and finally find the back of net, it has a strong chance of earning its first NESCAC result of the year.