Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Tufts

MEDFORD, MA - In Saturday's NESCAC semi-finals, the one-seed Tufts field hockey team advanced to the championship game with a decisive 3-0 victory over sixth-seeded Trinity, the only team who had beaten them previously this season.

Tomorrow, the Jumbos will take on second seed Bowdoin in the NESCAC final at noon on Bello Field. The Polar Bears won 3-2 in overtime against Amherst in the other semi-final.

Though the Jumbos took the offensive momentum out of the gate against Trinity, they were unable to break onto the scoreboard until the 21st minute when sophomore Lia Sagerman (LaJolla, CA) found herself with a one-on-one on the left side of the field. Crossing her defender, Sagerman was able to beat Trinity junior goalkeeper Gina Dinallo (West Hartford, CT) with one shot for a 1-0 Jumbos lead.

Tufts continued to dominate on both sides of the ball for the rest of the half as the offense racked up nine shots and four corners while the defense gave up nothing in either category.

Just over five minutes after the break, Sagerman struck again to put the Jumbos up 2-0. The play began on the left side when junior defender Sarah Cannon (Atkinson, NH) received a pass just outside the striking circle and found senior forward Tamara Brown (Annandale, VA) who easily drew Dinallo to the left and slipped the ball to Sagerman on the opposite post.

Though the goal perked up the Bantams' offense, Tufts would score once more before any real threats reached junior goalie Marianna Zak (Concord, MA). This time, sophomore Missy Karp (Berwyn, PA) earned a Jumbo penalty corner on the right side just past the 15-minute mark. Senior Tess Guttadauro (Carlisle, MA) sent a flat insert to classmate and co-captain Jess Perkins (Barrington, RI) who slammed the ball on cage. Brown got her stick on it and deflected it in for a 3-0 lead.

Then, Trinity went to work. After earning their first corner five minutes later, the Bantams were able to string together a series of shots. On their second, senior co-captain Robyn Williams (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) ripped a chest-high shot from the left. However, Zak's hands were ready and she deflected the ball out of bounds for her only save of the game.

With six minutes remaining, Trinity again found themselves in front of the net, but sent a shot wide. A minute later, Jumbo defender Taylor Dyer (Windham, NH) was forced to make a sweeping defensive save to preserve the shutout. As the clock wound down under two minutes, the Bantams had been effectively silenced and Tufts began to stall.

Tufts outshot Trinity 17-7 in the game and held a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners. Dinallo finished with five saves for the Bantams.