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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Women's Soccer: Tufts battles to a 1-1 tie in double OT at Amherst

A short lapse of intensity on the defensive side late in the second half led to another disappointing finish for the women's soccer team, which left Pratt Field in Amherst, Mass. still winless on the season.

The Jumbos, who had scored earlier in the second frame, came away with a 1-1 deadlock against Amherst, their second tie of the season, to move to 0-2-2 overall (0-1-2, NESCAC) and into a tie for seventh place in the conference with Connecticut College.

Despite not coming away with the win, the Jumbos were happy with their play and felt they dominated the game.

"I think we played much better today than we have in previous games," senior co-captain Becky Greenstein said. "We were clicking in the midfield and with our forwards, and really moving the ball well."

The Jumbos welcomed back three of its starters with open arms on Saturday, as senior Jen Baldwin and juniors Sarah Callaghan and Lydia Claudio were available to play. However, the absence of senior center fullback Catherine Benedict due to a stomach injury, combined with Tufts' lack of offense over the past few games, forced coach Martha Whiting to shake up the lineup a little bit.

Senior Alina Schmidt moved from center defensive midfield to replace Benedict at center fullback, while Greenstein moved over from the right side to play center mid, and junior Lindsay Garmirian started at right halfback. In addition, Whiting inserted two freshmen, Martha Furtek and Joelle Emery into the lineup, with Furtek starting at offensive center mid and Emery at right fullback.

Junior Ariel Samuelson started at forward alongside Baldwin, with Claudio and Callaghan coming off the bench.

"The different lineup we had today really worked well," Greenstein said. "We decided we would just go out and play today, not stress about the win, and that's what we did."

Senior goalie Meg McCourt started the game in goal and was relatively untouched in the first half, only having to make one save. Whiting substituted Annie Ross in the second half, who made two saves but surrendered the game-tying goal. McCourt was reinstated for the overtime periods and again held the Lord Jeffs scoreless.

After a scoreless first half on both sides of the ball, Baldwin and Greenstein were finally able to put the Jumbos on the board, ending a scoreless streak of over 290 minutes of play spanning four games. Baldwin took a nifty feed from the co-captain, turned, and ripped a shot past Amherst sophomore goalie Piper Crowell to put Tufts up 1-0 at the 52:15 mark.

However, over the course of the next 15 minutes, the Jumbos experienced what Greenstein called a "mental slip." In the 67th minute, the Jeffs took advantage of a free kick inside the 20 yard line, and senior Ashley Harmeling, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Year playing in her first game of the season, snuck a shot past Ross to knot the game at one.

"They took the free kick so quickly that we did not have a chance to set up for it," Greenstein said. "They had an opportunity and capitalized on it, good work by them, but I still feel we dominated the majority of the game."

The squads battled through both overtime periods, but neither was able to score, ending the game at a 1-1

stalemate.

The Jumbos head into a three-game homestand this week virtually needing to go 3-0 to build some much needed momentum. The action starts up on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. against the non-conference Gordon Scots, a team Tufts smoked 7-0 early last season.

On Saturday, Tufts faces off against a tough Bates team in its first of two Homecoming contests, while the squad will take on non-conference Worcester State on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.