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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, December 3, 2023

Field hockey’s cohesive forward line flattens Colby

Jumbos avenge 2022 loss to the Mules with shutout victory.

Andrea DelGiudice pictured playing against Hamilton on Sept. 23, 2023.

Andrea DelGiudice pictured playing against Hamilton on Sept. 23, 2023.

Following their first loss of the season to the No. 2 ranked, Babson, Tufts field hockey rebounded with a 2–0 victory over Colby on Saturday, completing a quest for revenge sparked in the fall of 2022. In last October’s matchup against the Colby Mules, the Jumbos lost 2–1 on home turf at Ounjian Field, so they entered this past weekend’s contest hoping to set the record straight and remain undefeated in NESCAC play. The anticipation continued to build throughout the course of the scoreless first half. Neither team earned a penalty corner or even took a shot for the entire opening quarter, and while Tufts increased the excitement with six penalty corners in the second quarter, Colby blocked three shots at the end of the half to maintain the 0–0 stalemate.

The Jumbos took the field with renewed energy in the second half, applying continuous pressure to Colby’s defense that led to a costly mistake by the Mules, who knocked the ball into their own net off a penalty corner to give Tufts a 1–0 lead. The momentum stayed with the Jumbos for the rest of the game, as they ultimately outshot Colby 12–4 and earned 13 of the game’s 17 penalty corners. In the fourth quarter, sophomore forward Hannah Biccard buried her sixth goal of the season to secure the 2–0 win for Tufts and exact the Jumbos’ revenge.

“One thing that you can't do in the NESCAC is you cannot consider your team better than another team [just] because you beat them the year before,” Biccard said. “Teams are always changing, so for us, this [was] a revenge game, and it [was] time to set the table straight.”

The team’s mentality has evolved from the 2022 season into a more determined approach that formed the foundation of their success against the Mules, yet another NESCAC opponent.

“We were all really hyped to play. We were [thinking], ‘it's our time to prove ourselves now,’

because I think last year we took it for granted,” Biccard said.

Biccard’s sophomore campaign is off to a strong start. The offensive powerhouse has started in all eight games so far, tallying 15 shots on goal and 329 minutes played, but she credits much of her success to the chemistry of the entire forward line.

“I think a large amount of it has to do with working as a team. None of us would be able to score if we didn't have midfielders that pass or forwards that moved around and created space for another forward,” she said. “It's nice to put the ball in the goal, but a lot of the time I attribute a lot of my success to … players that move for me, pass for me and to me … I think we’re working more together this year as a forward line, which is definitely helping us.”

The explosive second half against Colby created a memorable win for Tufts, and Biccard admired her team’s ability to find another gear in key moments.

“The second half we played harder, and we scored two goals in that half,” she said. “Looking back at the game, [I’ll remember] being able to switch it and really turn it on when we needed to.”

The Jumbos will be back on Ounjian Field looking to maintain their perfect NESCAC record on Wednesday against the 6–2 Wesleyan Cardinals.

“We’re so excited to play on our field,” Biccard said. “We've played [at] … four or three different field turf games in the last two weeks. That's not our hockey, so we're just excited to play our game on our turf.”