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

Women's Soccer | Tufts squad steps it up, but settles for tie at Amherst

The women's soccer team took a much-needed step forward in the rain at Amherst yesterday, earning a 2-2 tie against the undefeated Lord Jeffs. The Jumbos remain winless, but a solid performance against a quality team is a sign of improvement for the struggling Jumbos.

The tie gives Tufts a conference record of 0-1-2 and an overall record of 0-2-2. The Lord Jeffs slipped from the top spot in the league to third with a NESCAC record of 2-0-1.

Unlike previous games in which the Jumbos spent much of the game playing catch-up, the first half of the game was all Tufts. The team dominated possession and took seven shots to Amherst's two.

"We finally looked like we were comfortable playing with each other," junior midfielder Martha Furtek said. "We were passing well and making good runs off the ball. We were finally connecting well as a team."

There was no scoring in the opening half, as both keepers held strong. Tufts senior tri-captain Annie Ross made all three of her saves in the first half to keep the game deadlocked at the break.

All four of the game's goals were scored in the second half, knotting the score at two at the end of regulation. Amherst junior forward Katie Coffey struck first in the 46th minute. Coffey was able to beat Ross off of a nifty pass through the defense. The Jumbos countered in the 58th minute with a goal from freshman forward Fanna Gamal.

"Coming into the game, we were really determined to win," junior defender Joelle Emery said. "Once they scored on us, we came together, and the desire to prove ourselves motivated us. We have a lot of talent, and we knew the goals would come for us."

The back-and-forth struggle continued with Amherst's second tally in the 65th minute. Freshman forward Meg Murphy collected the ball off a corner kick and shot it off the hand of Ross and into the net.

After Murphy's goal, it looked as though the Jeffs would escape with the win, but Furtek, falling into the role of go-to player this season, tied the game for the Jumbos with under 10 minutes left to play in regulation.

The junior was able to get a step on a defender to the left of the goal and fired a hopeful shot toward the back post. Amherst senior co-captain and goalkeeper Piper Crowell was unable to control the ball, and she deflected it into the corner of the net.

"We have been trying to get away from taking the perfect shot and shoot whenever we get any kind of open chance," Furtek said. "The conditions were tough for the goalies, so getting shots on goal was important."

Neither team was able to break through in overtime, with each team taking three shots, but neither making any serious threats to score. Crowell had two of her six saves in overtime to preserve the tie.

"It was very even in overtime," Emery said. "We were a little tired and could have come out a bit harder. It was back-and-forth in the middle for just about all 20 minutes."

The improved play is a good sign for the Tufts squad, but it needs to continue, as the Jumbos face another test at home against Babson on Tuesday. Tufts beat Babson 3-1 last season, but Babson is undefeated in 2006 with a 5-0-2 record.

"It's obviously frustrating to play 110 minutes and control the game and not win," Furtek said. "We scored more in this game, and that's a step in the right direction. We've been playing better every game, and I think we're ready to step up and get our first win."

The Jumbos will need to keep up the intensity to beat a strong Babson team. Earning their first win of the season on Tuesday could be exactly what the team needs to explode down the stretch.