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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Field hockey increases win streak to six games with elite play execution and mentality 

The Tufts University Women's Field Hockey Team is pictured.

On Sept. 21, the women’s field hockey team’s winning streak reached six games after a 2–1 victory over the Wesleyan Cardinals on their home turf. Successful corners in the first half gave the Jumbos a two-goal advantage, and they held onto that lead for the entire game despite frequent threats and a fourth-quarter spark from the Cardinals. The Jumbos capitalized on penalty instances, exhibiting finesse and offensive preparation when the Cardinals lost a player due to a green card, racking up a total of five shots compared to the Cardinals’ three. 

Corners controlled the game, with the Jumbos earning four and Cardinals earning five. Finding the back of the net as a result of corner opportunities proved crucial in the Jumbos’ victory, and lockdown defense preserved the lead in the face of Cardinal momentum. Wesleyan earned two corners in the fourth quarter, one of which resulted in their first and only goal of the game and cut Tufts’ lead in half. With tensions rising as the clock ticked down, a save by senior goalie Sam Gibby clinched the win for Tufts, now ranked No. 3 in the NFHCA Division III National Coaches Poll and consistently dominating the NESCAC.  

Junior Lainie Pearson commented on the plan of attack that allowed the Jumbos to take the lead early against a solid Cardinals team in a message sent to the Daily.

“Our number one priority is always to come out strong from the beginning,” Pearson wrote. “The earlier we can score, the earlier we can put ourselves in a good spot physically and mentally.” 

Wesleyan never let up, holding Tufts off for three quarters and tacking on a goal of their own to close the gap late in the game. Nonetheless, the Jumbos remained solid and returned to campus victorious.

“We always remind ourselves to play ‘our game,’” Pearson wrote. “We continued to communicate after we were tired and we were able to maintain the lead.” 

The win at Wesleyan improved Tufts’ record to 6–0 on the season, but an undefeated run brings additional pressure and can affect the mental game. Pearson explained that the win is the result of the Jumbos' hard work at practices.

“I think it’s not so much pressure, but more motivation to keep pushing ourselves harder each game,” Pearson wrote. “Each win comes from the work we put in at practice.” 

As they climb through the ranks within the conference and nationally, the Jumbos rely on each other and the quality of their opponents to stay grounded and humble. 

“Every team we play is extremely talented, and each game is a fight, but we have so much grit, and that is something very special,” Pearson wrote.

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