Women’s field hockey continued its reign of domination with a 2–0 away victory over the Hamilton Continentals on Saturday, officially making them 7–0 for the season before dropping a 1–2 loss to Babson. Additionally, the Jumbos now lead the NESCAC at 5–0 in the conference season, outranking historically competitive teams like Trinity and Middlebury. While the game remained tied at 0–0 until the fourth quarter, the Jumbos led the game in offensive possession with 14 total shots on goal, six of which were in the first quarter alone. Offensively, this game belonged to Tufts as in addition to their abundance of shots, the Jumbos racked up 12 penalty corners in comparison to the Continentals’ one.
The Jumbos played true lockdown defense that not only limited Hamilton to a single shot on goal, but also managed to avoid all fouls, ejections and cards throughout the game. Although the ‘Bos kept the ball out of their circle like pros, an offensive push to the back of the net was not seen until late in the fourth quarter.
Freshman midfielder Meghan MacDonald, who broke the 0–0 score in minute 49, spoke on Tufts’ control and process throughout the first three quarters.
“We dominated the whole game, kind of put a lot of pressure on them,” MacDonald said. “And then we just kept knocking on the door, and in the fourth quarter we were finally able to put the ball in. That led to more momentum, and then we [were] able to get another goal to solidify the win.”
Even though it was late in the game, once the Jumbos’ dynamic offense got going they could not be stopped. With a 1–0 lead and less than ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Jumbos did not just run out the clock, but they also earned a penalty corner. With a rocket insert from sophomore midfielder Mia D’Angelo and a controlled assist from senior midfielder Reegan McCluskey, from the wing, junior midfielder Andrea DelGiudice was able to bring the score to 2–0.
“We always say you have to win by two,” MacDonald said.
Fortunately through a full-team effort in the 52nd minute, that goal was achieved. The freshman midfielder also commented on the team's chemistry and energy going into this game.
“Now we’re about halfway through the season,” MacDonald said. “I think our team is really starting to gel together. … We’re getting used to playing with each other and things are just really clicking now, so that’s really been great for us as a whole as a team.”
MacDonald also talked about her experience on the team as a freshman and the impact of losing a number of starters last year.
“I know last year [the team] graduated a lot of seniors that played a big role in their wins, and they were all in their starting lineup,” MacDonald said. “So this year, it’s kind of nice that we’ve been able to sort of replenish that team. We are a young team, and I think that makes us special because we have a lot of new talent that’s coming up.”
While this was a strong game that ended up with a Jumbo victory, MacDonald thinks the team could improve on taking advantage of good field position.
“I think the biggest thing was capitalizing on opportunities,” MacDonald said. “We’re really good in the field, and I think we’ve been doing a really good job with transitioning the ball and working it up the field. Our next step is just being able to finish on all those opportunities and turn those offensive forces into goals.”
The Jumbos do not plan to let off the gas just yet and instead look far ahead into the future.
“Our goal is to be the No. 1 team in the NESCAC this year, [and] Middlebury will be a big game for us for that reason,” MacDonald said. “[Being first] would be really nice because then we'd be able to host the NESCAC Championships which would be really cool.”
The team will return to Ounjian Field to play against conference rivals Colby and Trinity on Oct. 1 and 2, respectively.