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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, February 22, 2024

Field hockey stirs up the perfect storm as season takes off

The Tufts women's field hockey team is pictured against MIT on Sept. 13.

The field hockey team burst onto Ounjian Field last weekend, displaying fire and preparation in their home opener against Connecticut College and securing a dominant 5–1 victory over the Camels. The Jumbos made a statement to the entire NESCAC, scoring early and often via creative pass plays and consistent defense. 

Senior defender Jackie McCarthy scored the first two goals of her collegiate career in the first half, connecting with junior midfielder Ashley Zolin for assistance and emerging victorious over Camel goalie Sophie Moniz. The end of the first half packed just as much excitement as the start of the game, with sophomore duo midfielder Mia D’Angelo and forward Kylie Rosenquest bolstering the scoreboard. D’Angelo brought the Jumbo lead to 3–0 with five minutes remaining in the half, and Rosenquest tacked on a fourth goal with only 33 seconds left before halftime. 

Freshman midfielder Meghan McDonald proved herself a key contributor, scoring her first collegiate goal in the third quarter and giving the Jumbos an impressive 5–0 advantage. Though the scrappy Camels managed to find the back of the goal via a corner in the third, senior Sam Gibby’s seven saves combined with a commanding offensive performance propelled the Jumbos to a NESCAC win.

While the offense put on a show against Conn. College, defense controlled the game against MIT on Tuesday. A ranked matchup between the No. 4 Jumbos and No. 22 Engineers lived up to high expectations, with senior midfielder Reegan McCluskey scoring the only goal of the game in the first quarter, her first of the season. Goalie Gibby demonstrated grit and experience, facing unrelenting pressure from the MIT offense but remaining adamant in protecting the lead. Her seven saves proved crucial, as MIT outshot the Jumbos 10–8 throughout the game. But the Brown and Blue outlasted, capitalizing on the maturity of veteran defenders and refusing to give up an early lead.

The Jumbos sailed to a 3–0 record as a result of the perfect storm created by experienced veterans and young and hungry rookies. The victory against MIT handed the Engineers their first loss of the season and established the Jumbos as dominant within the region. The two recent games displayed the proficient offensive and defensive capabilities of the current roster, and the versatility of plays bodes well for the season ahead.

A road game against the 2–1 Amherst Mammoths looms as conference play continues, and spectators can expect to witness the dynamic style of play exhibited thus far. With Gibby in goal and depth throughout the midfield, the Jumbos built a solid foundation for the rest of their season. The early success, though invigorating, also placed a target on their backs as a team to watch out for within the conference and region.