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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Women's Soccer | Jumbos plow through Polar Bears

The seventh-ranked women's soccer team tied a 26-year-old school record on Saturday afternoon, defeating 20th-ranked Bowdoin 3-0 amidst heavy rain on Bello Field.

Junior goalie Annie Ross was named NESCAC Player of the Week yesterday after posting back-to-back shutouts against Brandeis last week and Bowdoin on Saturday. Ross was remarkable between the posts all afternoon, making ten saves in her fourth shutout of the season, and her second against conference opponents.

"The ball was really slippery and tough to handle, especially for the keepers," freshman Maya Shoham said. "But Annie really minimized their second chances by handling it cleanly."

The win moves the Jumbos to 4-1 in the NESCAC, half a game behind Williams at second place in the conference. Due to the inclement weather conditions, the Jumbos were forced to play on the turf field, home to the field hockey team, rather than its own Kraft Field.

Playing on the turf was an adjustment at first, but turned out to play to Tufts' advantage.

"We were all nervous to play on the turf, but we adjusted fine," senior tri-captain Ariel Samuelson said. "On a rainy day it's hard to play on a gross field and often times, the worse team gets an advantage because it levels the playing ground, but on the turf the better team usually has the advantage because there are fewer mess-ups."

The Jumbos came out strong to open the game, dominating the Polar Bears on both sides of the field. Tufts got on the scoreboard immediately, when Samuelson sent a perfect through-ball to classmate and fellow tri-captain Lindsay Garmirian. The senior broke away from the defenders and ripped a shot past Bowdoin senior keeper Anna Shapell to give Tufts a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

The Jumbos continued to play strong throughout the half, with the defense keeping Bowdoin's attack at bay and the offense applying constant pressure on Shapell and her back four. Defense was particularly tricky on the turf because the slippery ball had a tendency to skip, but the Jumbo defenders and Ross were able to keep control and prevent any Bowdoin scores.

"The ball skipped a lot so it was great that the defense was able to limit [Bowdoin's] shots and really shut down their good strikers," Samuelson said.

Tufts tallied its second goal of the half with just two minutes to play when sophomore Lauren Fedore gained control 40 yards away from the net. She dribbled the ball down field and drilled a shot from 25 yards out that appeared to be sailing over the cage. At the last second, however, it dipped underneath the post and into the back of the net to put Tufts up by a deuce.

The Jumbos let down slightly in the second frame, but responded well to the increased Bowdoin pressure and kept them off the scoreboard. Tufts' final goal came when sophomore Martha Furtek sent a cross into the box and Samuelson flicked a header at the far post to put the Jumbos up 3-0. The goal was Samuelson's eighth of the season, putting her atop the conference in both scoring and total points (18).

The Jumbos earned the decisive victory without senior tri-captain Sarah Callaghan, who was nursing a sprained LCL but hopes to return on homecoming Saturday for Tufts' matchup with Trinity.

"Losing [Callaghan] was huge because she works so hard up top, checking to the ball and transitioning quickly back on defense," Garmirian said. "It's almost like having another center mid as well as a forward. This victory was key because it showed our depth, shifting players around to get the win."

Fedore moved up to forward in Callaghan's place, with junior Kim Harrington getting the nod at outside mid in place of Fedore.

The Jumbos have little time to rest after Saturday's big victory, as they are back in action today against the Wesleyan Cardinals in Middletown, Conn. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m.