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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Women's Soccer | With streak over, Jumbos look to win last regular season game

The Women's soccer team saw its 11-game win streak come to a surprising end Wednesday as it lost to ninth place Wesleyan Cardinals.

Coming off a hard-fought tie at Williams last Saturday the team just could not put it together and finish shots. The final score was 1-0.

Cardinal junior Danielle Crystal scored the only goal just 4:38 into the contest, as she jumped on a botched goal kick and punched the ball into the right corner of the net. The Cardinals held on thanks to freshmen goalies Gavi Elkind and Andrea Giuliano. They made seven saves apiece to clinch the victory.

Tufts is now in a three way tie for first place in the NESCAC with Williams and Amherst at 5-2-1.

"It was just one of those games," coach Martha Whiting said. "It seemed to be a bad combination of us being a little off and them being very on."

Senior tri-captain Sarah Callaghan, who has been out for the last three weeks with a sprained LCL, saw similarities between the game and the match against Colby, Tufts' only other loss this year.

"There were people who played really well as individuals, but we just didn't come together as a team," she said.

The Wesleyan team, already eliminated from playoff action, was gunning for an upset.

"They were playing their best and you could tell they wanted to be spoilers," Whiting said. "It was their Senior Day and a very emotional game for them, so they came out excited and played like it."

Though the loss hurt, it was not the end of the world.

"If we are going to lose, that was the time to do it," Whiting said. "It is much better than losing next week [in the playoffs.] We know what we are capable of, so now it's more a matter of settling back into our groove."

The Jumbos have little time to dwell on their loss. They are preparing for their final regular season game Saturday at Connecticut College. Whiting is not planning to change anything on the field heading into the team's final matchup.

"I don't think we have any tactical or strategy problems," she said. "I think it's more of a mental issue. We just need to get that confidence back."

Connecticut College is a very winnable match for Tufts. At 2-6, the Camels sit in eighth place in the NESCAC but are coming off two consecutive victories, including a 2-0 win at Trinity.

There will not be any lack of motivation in the game. With a win, the team still has a very good chance of hosting the NESCAC Tournament and earning a crucial first round bye.

"One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to host the tournament, so it is definitely on our minds," Whiting said. "We have a team that knows how to win, so we just need to rise to the challenge. I am confident that we will."

Though it is the third straight game on the road, the team knows that as long as it stays focused good things will happen.

"At this point of the season, every game is the biggest game of the year, so we have to continually increase our intensity level," Callaghan said. "We can't be afraid that we are going to lose, and that has to start on Saturday."

The Jumbos are a little banged up and not quite as healthy as they would like to be. The team missed sophomore Lauren Fedore, who injured her knee in the game at Williams. Fedore and Callaghan will be out until the playoffs.

"At the end of a season it's normal for people to feel tired and sore, but the adrenaline of the upcoming playoffs has to overcome that," Callaghan said.

Whiting said that every team in the conference is in the same boat.

"It's a possibility that we are a little worn down, but you can say that about anybody, so we aren't using it as an excuse," she said. "I think we've done a good job of giving days off and not overworking the girls. We'll be ready."