Tufts men’s soccer faced mixed results in last weekend’s double header, although they were able to end the weekend on a positive note. The team’s Saturday game against Colby College resulted in a draw of 1–1. Despite this disappointing result, the Jumbos stepped onto Bello Field the following day and took care of business, picking up a resounding win of 5–1 against the Trinity College Bantams.
The men’s team recognizes the importance of capitalizing on every game, as it tries to climb the NESCAC table and build momentum for the postseason. This sentiment, as well as their responsibility to defend their home field, were on the forefront of the players’ minds as they prepared for the weekend.Sophomore center midfielder Taylor Feinberg shared his perspective on the team’s mindset going into the weekend.
“We prepared just like we would for any other week and knew the importance of a doubleheader NESCAC weekend in which we needed to get points,” Feinberg said.
Prepared and entirely motivated to get a result, the Jumbos leapt into the Colby game focused, despite the rainy weather conditions. While the game took shape into a relatively even match, in the 25th minute, sophomore starting center back Alex Wall was stripped of the ball by Colby forward Ethan Franco, who finished the opportunity, placing it just out of Tufts goalkeeper Erik Lauta’s reach.
With plenty of time to come back from this deficit, Feinberg spoke to the team’s mentality moving forward.
“After we went down a goal, we just stayed focused and continued to play our game because we were creating a ton of chances. We knew eventually … one would fall for us,” he said.
While the Jumbos came into the second half still down a goal, they continued to press the Mules’ defense, creating an array of opportunities. Tufts’ offense was able to generate 20 shots on goal to Colby’s five, a testament to the intense pressure the Jumbos had placed on the Mules’ back line. Finally, with 13 minutes to go, Tufts’ attacking efforts came to fruition with a goal scored by Feinberg. When the Colby defender headed the ball out to clear it, sophomore midfielder Ethan Feigin took a one-time volley at the top of the box which was redirected into the goal by Feinberg, who took advantage of the keeper’s leap in the wrong direction.
While the goal lifted the Jumbos’ energy, the team was unable to put another one away, ending the game in a draw. Tying up the game was immensely important, because every point is incredibly important in the NESCAC. The team remained unsatisfied with the score, however, as a winning result would have better helped advance its standings.
With this in mind, the Jumbos came into Sunday’s game hungry and eager to prove themselves. Collectively, the team came into the locker room with positive energy.
“Our game plan was the same going into Trinity. We created tons of chances on Saturday, … and we knew that we needed to be dangerous again on Sunday and that if we create a ton of chances, the goals would come. We also knew that because it was Sunday and the second day of the doubleheader, [we needed] to come in with the same intensity and work rate,” Feinberg said.
The energy of Tufts men’s soccer played into full effect. The team made a statement early, as senior forward Sean Traynor put away a goal in the 13th minute. The Jumbos continued to command the game with a series of goals following in immediate succession. Feinberg scored his second goal of the weekend, and this was followed by first-year forward Henry Perkins scoring his first collegiate goal.
This energy carried into the second half where the Jumbos continued to dictate the possession of the game and ended up winning 5–1. Such a strong collective effort led Tufts to come off of the weekend on a high, motivated to keep its momentum up for this week’s games.
“We were definitely happy with the win and that we were able to convert chances, because that’s been a huge struggle for us this season. … We would’ve liked to get 6 points on the weekend, but we’re happy with the win on Sunday going into our 10-day break from a game and know that we need to improve and work hard in training going into our final stretch of the season,” said Feinberg.