Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, May 27, 2024

No. 3 women’s lacrosse takes down Trinity 20–6

14-goal run continues Jumbos’ undefeated season.

Tufts_Womens_Lacrosse_March 09, 2024_77.jpg

Ella Lesperance is pictured in the March 9 game against Trinity.

The Tufts women’s lacrosse team continued their undefeated season with a 20–6 victory over Trinity — who was No. 13 at the time — at home last Saturday. The win helped push Tufts up to a No. 3 ranking and a 5–0 record. With a strong showing across the field, the Jumbos proved that they’re a team to watch in the NESCAC and the NCAA this year.

Saturday’s game against Trinity was especially important because it celebrated “Scooter’s Game” to honor Madie Nicpon, nicknamed Scooter, a Tufts women’s lacrosse player who passed away in 2021. The Jumbos worked to celebrate her legacy and embody her energy during this game, senior midfielder Emma Joyce said.

“The focus was having fun, playing with her energy, being really positive throughout the entire game, and celebrating like she would. I think that was something that, ultimately, led to our blowout victory,” Joyce said. “The energy was contagious all over the field.”

Many alums and Nicpon’s former teammates returned to celebrate her.

“I knew that it was going to be a little bit emotional at times, but [we] also had a lot of excitement and a lot of love on the field,” senior midfielder Madeline Delaney said. “Especially with all of our alums being back, [there were] a lot of people who played with Scooter and knew her. Having everyone back together was a really exciting thing for our entire team.”

Beyond the celebration of their former teammate, Tufts played an incredible game of lacrosse. Though Tufts started on the wrong foot, with two Trinity goals to start the game, they quickly got back on track. Junior midfielders Ella Lesperance and Caroline Conaghan both scored goals off of free positions to put Tufts on the board. After a third goal from Trinity, Tufts started their run, where the Jumbos scored 14 unanswered goals against the Bantams. The run was indicative of every unit of the team working together and playing at their best.

Tufts started their dominance on the draw control, winning 21 of 28 draw controls. Junior midfielder Genna Gibbons and Delaney were instrumental in this, winning seven draw controls each. By gaining possession, the attack was able to push against the Trinity defense.

“Everyone just brought their A game, especially our attacking unit,” Gibbons said. “We were able to get them a lot of possession off the draw, and then they were totally executing every single play, picking apart Trinity’s defense, and really leaning into each other's strengths and finding the back of the net often.”

The Tufts offense proved unstoppable for Trinity through the Jumbos’ 14-goal run. This high-scoring game saw contributions from many players, though, in terms of scoring. The Jumbos were led by junior attacker Margie Carden’s four goals, as well as Lesperance and sophomore attacker Allie Zorn, who scored three goals each. 

“I think our attack this year really has a lot of threats, [so] then, when you get in that type of situation, when we are given possession from the draw team, we can make some good things happen,” Carden said.

The Jumbos’ defense was also essential in keeping the Bantams’ scoring to a minimum. The defense caused eight turnovers and junior goalie Pascale de Buren had seven saves.

Zorn explained that the depth of talent on Tufts lacrosse contributed to their success against Trinity.

“This year, especially, we’re rotating more attackers, we’re playing that second middie line [and] we have defenders coming in and out,” Zorn said. “Being able to show the other teams different matchups and different offensive skill sets [makes] it hard for the other team to get into a rhythm of defending us and trying to stop us because they have to adapt to what we’re showing them. If that’s constantly changing, it’s pretty hard to keep up.”

On Wednesday night, Tufts continued its undefeated streak, winning against No. 23 SUNY Cortland at home 19–4. Tufts will play Hamilton on Saturday in Clinton, N.Y.  

The Jumbos are hoping to build on these early season successes in anticipation of the postseason. Last season, Tufts fell in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, and hope to go farther this season, which has led to a renewed energy to start the season.  

“Last season we definitely were disappointed with our result. We thought we could have gone a lot further than that and had a pretty unfortunate ending,” Delaney said. “[That ending] just didn’t really feel right to us, so going into this fall, we definitely focused more on being prepared coming into preseason. I think our entire team bought into that whole mentality because they felt the disappointment of last season, and everyone knows how capable we are of taking it so much further than that.”

The strong start has given Tufts confidence in their team and abilities to go far in the postseason, Gibbons explained.

“This season has definitely been one of pure excitement … [and] every single person is completely dialed into what this team is all about, which is winning a national championship,” Gibbons said. “There has been so much intention around being the best teammates, being the best team all together as a unit, and that has led to success so far.”

Though Tufts hasn’t had a challenging start to the season, they know that with their training and impressive skill set to fall back on, the Jumbos will be able to face bigger challenges throughout the season.

“I think everyone’s in a really good mindset right now, and [we’re] really excited to continue the season with how we’re looking,” Joyce said. “It’s not always going to be this smooth, but trusting that, ultimately, we love and support each other is going to help us in whatever tough situations we find ourselves in.”