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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

Field hockey team shuts out Gordon 5-0

Tufts senior midfielder Allison Rolfe attempts to gain possession of the ball against Colby on Sept. 12.

The No. 10-ranked field hockey team improved upon its solid start to the 2015 season with an out-of-conference win over Gordon on Saturday. The Jumbos blanked their opposition en route to a 5-0 victory.

For Tufts, the game improved its record on the season to 5-1, including 3-0 in NESCAC play. The Jumbos have yet to play a road game, having started their season with a six-game home stand that concluded Saturday at Bello Field.

Tufts got the scoring started early, notching a goal off a penalty corner just over a minute into the contest from junior tri-captain forward Dominique Zarrella. Senior midfielder Dakota Sikes-Keilp assisted Zarrella’s goal.

The Jumbos added to their lead a little over 10 minutes later with a goal from Sikes-Keilp. The goal again came off a penalty corner, but this one was assisted by senior tri-captain forward Maggie Chapman.

Tufts was able to further pad this lead before the break, tallying a third goal in the 25th minute. After a shot by first-year midfielder/forward Gigi Tutoni was saved by junior goalie Shannon Hicks, the rebound went straight to senior forward Hannah Park, who fired the ball into the net. The goal was the last in a first half thoroughly dominated by Tufts.

The Jumbos had 24 shots in the half, 13 of which were on goal, and 16 penalty corners. Defensively, meanwhile, Tufts did not allow a single shot or penalty corner.

“I think we came out super pumped up and were able to put a lot of pressure on their defense in their defensive 25, which caused some turnovers that led to shots on goal,” Zarrella told the Daily in an email. “We also did a really good job getting either a corner or a shot as soon as we got into the circle, which is something we've been working on at practice.”

The Jumbos’ strong play continued into the second half. In the first five minutes following the halftime break, Tufts extended its lead to a five-goal margin.

Just a minute into the second period, junior midfielder Elle Chrupcala scored off an assist by Chapman, again coming off a penalty corner. Four minutes after that, Zarrella picked up her second goal of the day.

The goal was Zarella's fifth of the season and fourth of the last two games. She credited both her teammates and attention to detail for facilitating the offensive outbursts.

“I've been trying to just go back to the basics, focus on fundamentals, do the little things right and just have fun," Zarrella said. "I've got an awesome group of teammates who've been playing great and getting the ball to me, which makes my job easier.”

Zarrella’s second goal ended the scoring, but the Jumbos kept the pressure up for much of the second half. Tufts had 15 shots in the final half-hour of the game but was unable for find the back of the net. Overall, the team finished with 42 shots, 26 of which were on goal, and 30 penalty corners. Gordon, however, was not able to produce similarly impressive statistics. Not only were they kept off the scoreboard, but the Fighting Scots also did not register a single shot or penalty corner during the game.

"It started from our goalie and defenders," Park told the Daily in an email. "They kept the communication up all game, positioning the midfielders and forwards in the correct spots. It was a team effort."

The Jumbos were able to finish their season-opening six-game home stand on a positive note. 

"It was very important that we have a good start this season," Park said. "We want to get better every game. I think having every member on the team believing in the system and the team has helped to keep the momentum going."

The only Tufts defeat thus far came on Sept. 15 to non-conference opponent Babson, which the Jumbos dropped 3-0. Since then, the team has rattled off four straight wins. The Jumbos next take the field today, as they travel to Wesleyan for another NESCAC showdown.

“I think the loss to Babson was a wake-up call," Zarrella said. "They're a competitive team, but I think it made us realize we have to treat every game like it's the last game we're going to play. But I'm super excited about the first few games we've played and the talent we have.”

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