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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Field hockey fights to the finish to secure a road victory over Bates

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The Tufts women's field hockey team is pictured a game against Wellesley at Ounjian Field in Oct. 2022.

The Tufts field hockey team continued its conference success with a road win against Bates over the weekend. The matchup proved competitive, as the Bates Bobcats struck first with a goal in the second quarter, but the Jumbos reset during halftime and responded with a vengeance, scoring two goals in the third quarter and maintaining the lead to secure a 2–1 victory.

Extensive preparation and understanding of their strengths helped the Jumbos achieve success, despite the Bobcats out-shooting them 12–9 and earning double the amount of corners. Sophomore forward Kylie Rosenquest, who led the offense with four shots and one goal, commented on how the team prepared for the contest. 

“We scout out their specific corners … [and] certain tactics that they have, and then we try to formulate a plan to break that,” she said. “We knew going into it [that] Bates was going to be a good game. … They have a similar style of play, and they’re just a strong team.”

The Jumbos’ defense continually denied the Bobcats during the second half and promptly snuffed out their fourth quarter spark, departing Maine with a victory. Bates veteran and team captain Paige Cote found two opportunities off corners and had seven shots throughout the game, but Tufts senior goalie Sam Gibby kept the net on lockdown to preserve the lead. 

The strong defense invigorated the offense and gave Rosenquest confidence to attack aggressively. 

“I like to think that the best form of offense is a good defense,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you sort of mess up on your offensive as long as you can get it back defensively.”

Anticipation got the better of the Jumbos early in the game, opening the door for Bates to score first, but a team reset during halftime restored their focus. 

“We came out really amped but almost a little frantic,” Rosenquest said. “We knew we were knocking at the door; we just needed to settle down and continue to play our game.”

Team chemistry was bolstered by the mantra “Fight to the Finish,” which each player wrote on their arm, to form the foundation of the Jumbo mentality and had allowed the squad to reclaim the momentum in the second half. 

“Everybody in general had the same mindset of: We know what’s coming, we just need to calm it down and play our game,” Rosenquest said. 

The Jumbos face NESCAC titan and nationally ranked No. 2 Middlebury on Saturday in a true test of grit and determination. 

“[Bates] was a game where it was completely and 100% about hustle,” Rosenquest said. “It could’ve gone either way, but we outworked and outhustled them … and that’s exactly what we need to do in order to beat Middlebury.”

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