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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Full team effort secures thrilling overtime victory for field hockey

Fierce rivalry game sees Jumbos maintain their undefeated 2023 record

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Senior midfielder Andrea DelGiudice pictured against MIT on Sept. 12th, 2023.

Field hockey battled under Friday night lights in a display of gritty defense and overtime heroics as Tufts edged out Amherst 2–1 for their fourth straight victory. The game was largely a war of attrition, with zeroes lighting up the scoreboard for three quarters. Amherst broke through first when junior forward Sam Maynard scored in the 52nd minute to put the Mammoths ahead 1–0. The clock was winding down, along with the Jumbos’ hope to preserve their undefeated record, until sophomore forward Hannah Biccard and junior forward Kylie Rosenquest connected on a penalty corner. Biccard swiftly handled a rebound off of a shot by senior midfielder and co-captain Andrea DelGiudice and redirected to Rosenquest who buried it to tie the game.

Neither team got another shot off in the remaining few minutes of regulation, and the Jumbos faced an overtime matchup with the Mammoths for the second season in a row. The overtime period yielded four corner opportunities for Tufts, three of which occurred consecutively. On the final chance, DelGiudice called the game with a hard shot from the top of the circle that zipped past the Mammoth defenders and gave the Jumbos the win.

Tufts is ranked No. 6 in the nation in Division III this season, maintaining their dominance throughout the past few years. In 2022, Tufts barely lost in the NESCAC championship game to Middlebury 2–0, but still secured a bid to the NCAA tournament. They made it to the round of 32 before being knocked out by No. 5 ranked Messiah University. However, the team brings ferocity and fire to each and every game they play, no matter the opponent.

“They’re a really good team, and we were trying to keep up with them for a really long time, but I think it really came down to hustle and heart,” DelGiudice said postgame.

The victory mirrored the 2022 regular season matchup between Tufts and Amherst, one that also ended with the Jumbos winning 2–1 in an exciting overtime.

“We went into overtime with them last year, and another overtime win this year is just really special to us,” DelGiudice said. “This is our first time going into overtime [this season], and this is just going to set us up on an upward trajectory for the rest of the season.”

Tufts anticipated Amherst’s defensive prowess and the consistency of Amherst senior goalie Sara Nidus with her 77.6% career save percentage. Sophomore Lydia Eastburn proved herself as a formidable match for the veteran, recording 10 saves in the Jumbos’ net to keep the Mammoths at bay.

The team’s focused preparation throughout the week allowed them to face the Amherst defensive juggernaut with a plan they successfully executed.

“They have really good defensive sticks,” DelGuidice said. “We were working on getting rid of the ball really quickly, lifted passes and having layers on defense.”

Tufts had seven penalty corner opportunities throughout the course of the game, four of which came during overtime, but the Jumbos only capitalized twice — both times in the final minutes. Their homecoming weekend game looms, and DelGiudice jokingly alluded to what the focus will be for the team at practice this week.

“[I learned] that I love this team, and we need to work on our corners more,” she said.

The Jumbos will shoot for their fifth win in a row against the Hamilton Continentals on Sept. 23.