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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, December 10, 2023



Spanish legend Gerard Piqué retires from football

From lifting the World Cup in Johannesburg 12 years ago, to his iconic ‘manita’ wave in the Camp Nou after a 5–0 humiliation of Real Madrid, to forming the bedrock of a Spanish defense in its greatest era, to playing with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerard Piqué has lived the dream. More importantly, he has lived his dream as he powerfully explained in his farewell video: “From a young age, I didn’t want to be a football player, I wanted to be a Barça player.” 


Strong women’s soccer season stubbed by William Smith in NCAA second round

Following a NESCAC tournament run that came to a close with a double overtime 1–0 loss to No. 8 Amherst in the semifinals, the women’s soccer team was excited to see just how well it could perform in the NCAA tournament. In Saturday’s first-round matchup, the No. 22 Jumbos took down Denison 1–0 in about as comfortable fashion as that score allows, but the squad fell to No. 6 William Smith 1–0 on Sunday despite a valiant effort. Since William Smith was the highest seed in the bracket region, the team hosted in Geneva, N.Y. at Cozzens Field. With the addition of this weekend’s performances, the Jumbos finished the year with an overall record of 11–6–2, a conference record of 4–4–2, a trip to the NESCAC semifinals and a run to the NCAA second round. Yet, the stories of success in the tournament and the season are not fully understood by those numbers.


Keeping Up with the 617: Reality Check

In a year where the NFL is as unpredictable as the New England weather forecast, the New England Patriots continue to prove to this fanbase how a mediocre offense can’t win the “big games.” Sure, the Patriots currently occupy the final playoff spot heading into Week 11, which should shock many NFL pundits; they currently are ranked No. 26 in total yards per game, a statistic that should worry many fans. Although Matt Judon is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and this defense continues to dominate the gridiron, there remains multiple questions on the offensive side of the ball, particularly with quarterback play.


Volleyball falls to MIT in NCAA Sweet Sixteen

The Jumbo volleyball postseason campaign was cut short this past weekend in the Sweet Sixteen. After winning the NESCAC title and earning host privileges, the team took down Johnson & Wales on Thursday and Babson on Friday. On Saturday, however, the No. 18 ranked MIT Engineers prevailed in a hard fought, energetic Sweet Sixteen battle. The Jumbos end their season with an impressive 23–6 overall record, 9–1 conference record, a NESCAC title and a third round finish in the NCAA tournament. Junior setter Maddie Yu said she is proud of the team’s season.


Sports and Society: It's hard to hate the World Cup

I don’t want to hate the World Cup. Yet the 2022 World Cup in Qatar seems to want nothing more than for me to avert my eyes — disgusted by the human rights calamity and deplorable assertions that the sports world is apolitical — and go back to watching football, the American kind, as I usually do in November. 


Jumbos dominate senior day with massive win over Middlebury, set new school records

The Tufts Jumbos dominated from start to finish on senior day, trouncing the Middlebury Panthers 65–34 in emphatic fashion. In an incredible day, school records were shattered, and the finishing touches were put on a very successful season for Tufts. The Panthers came into the game with a record of 7–1, having only lost to the No. 1 Trinity Bantams. The Jumbos knew they would have a tough task ahead of them if they were going to pull off a win in the final game of the season.


Extra Innings: MLB Award Predictions

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced its finalists for the 2022 MLB awards on Nov. 7, and the winners will be revealed throughout this week. Here are the finalists and my thoughts on who should win each award. 


Tufts football alum joins staff as new athletics civic engagement coordinator

In October, Tufts welcomed back star wide receiver and double Jumbo Frank Roche as the new athletics civic engagement coordinator. The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life funded the position in hopes of facilitating more opportunities for athletes and coaches to engage in civic life on campus and in the community. Roche said he is excited about the role and working with some of the preexisting engagement from teams and athletes. 


Men's soccer enters NCAA tournament with heads held high

The Tufts men’s soccer program is widely renowned as one of the best in Division III. The team has won four national championships and has made 10 NCAA tournament appearances in its history. In what is always a tough conference, the Jumbos consistently compete for the top spot in the NESCAC. This season proved to tell a slightly different story. In what was an uncharacteristic stretch of games, Tufts finished 7–2–7 overall, with a conference record of 3–2–5. 


Tufts volleyball wins NESCAC tournament after a successful regular season

Tufts volleyball won the NESCAC championship last Sunday, defeating the Wesleyan Cardinals to clinch the title. Previously, the Jumbos had taken down Trinity and Williams in order to secure their shot to take down the top-seeded host, Wesleyan, in the finals. The Jumbos had a 21–5 regular season record and 9–1 record in conference. The team avenged its only conference loss of the regular season to Wesleyan on Sunday by beating them to claim the NESCAC title.  


Football secures winning season with NESCAC victory over Colby

The Tufts Jumbos prevailed over the Colby Mules this past weekend in a statement win to improve their standing in the conference. Both teams came into the weekend with records of 4–3 overall and were reasonably well-matched entering the game. Tufts held the slight advantage with the benefit of having the top offense in the NESCAC in terms of total yards. The Jumbos have won their last eight head-to-head matchups against Colby, dating back to 2014. 


The Final Whistle: The scandal of Qatar

In Berlin's historic Olympiastadion, host to the 2006 World Cup final, league leader Bayern Munich took on the struggling Hertha Berlin. Among the roaring fans was a red banner with white letters reading “Schämt Euch,” German for, “shame on you.” These were the words written by Bayern fans in protest of the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup. “15 thousand dead for 5,760 minutes of football,” the banner also said. Hertha fans also held a banner that condemned the tournament. About 400 kilometers west, Dortmund’s iconic yellow wall displayed a collection of critical banners, one clearly capturing the Bundesliga’s sentiment — boycott Qatar 2022. 


Extra Innings: This one's for Dusty

Almost everyone in America outside of Houston, Texas, wanted the Philadelphia Phillies to take down the Astros in the 2022 World Series. After all, the Phillies were the unquestioned underdogs of this story. They were the last team to clinch a spot in the playoff field at 87–75, were making their first postseason appearance since 2011 and no one expected them to make it to the Fall Classic. 


A look at the 2022 women's soccer season as the Jumbos head into NESCAC semifinals

On Saturday, the Tufts women’s soccer team traveled to Williams for a 2022 NESCAC tournament quarterfinal matchup. They came away with a 2–0 victory over the Williams Ephs, who were the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Goals were scored by first-year forward Elsi Aires in the 75th minute and senior midfielder Maddie Pero in the 84th minute. The upset victory avenged Tufts’ 1–0 loss at Williams earlier in the season and boosted the Jumbos’ chances of earning an NCAA Division III tournament bid. It also represents a turning of the tides between the two women’s soccer programs, as the Jumbos had gone 15 years — between 2006 and 2021 — without beating the Ephs, but have now won two of the last three matchups.


Tufts club cricket makes triumphant return to the field

If you passed by Tufts’ Ounjian Field this past Saturday just before 4 p.m., you would have seen each player of the 15-member club cricket team with their arms around each other’s shoulders. They were taking part in a pregame huddle led by senior captain Pranav Jain, senior vice-captain Archit Jain and senior team president Saumya Mehta in advance of their match against Harvard. A team huddle before any sports game is not uncommon.