Sept. 25, 2010

Courtesy of Tufts

MEDFORD,CT - It may have looked like the #3 Tufts University field hockey team was headed towards a convincing win against the Wesleyan Cardinals in the first few minutes on Saturday, but after a scoreless first half full of Tufts opportunities, the Jumbos found themselves in a deadlock at 1-1 at the end of regulation. It wasn't until over seven minutes into overtime that the Tufts offense closed the deal winning 2-1 in extra minutes.

Tufts controlled the pace of play for most of the first half with Wesleyan unable to reach their offensive zone but one time. However, the Jumbo offense saw nothing but near-misses and impressive goalkeeping from Wesleyan sophomore Tori Redding (Gullford, CT) as they rattled off seven shots forcing Redding to make five saves.

Tufts' momentum continued into the second half with a quick break-away just after the intermission. Less than five minutes past the break, the Jumbos earned a corner and senior Tamara Brown (Annandale, VA) combined with classmate and co-captain Jess Perkins (Barrington, RI) to put Tufts on the board at 30:05.

The lead would only last for 10 minutes though, as Wesleyan tied the score at 1-1 at 20:04. Senior midfielder Jamie Thabault (Colchester, VT) sent a hard ball to the left side of the cage where sophomore Taryn Murray (Hudson, OH) slammed it into the opposite corner of the net out of Tufts junior goalie Marianna Zak's (Concord, MA) reach.

Wesleyan fed off the goal, continuing to pressure the Tufts defense. Juniors Taylor Dyer (Windham, NH) and Sarah Cannon (Atkinston, NH) came up big however, stopping a series of Cardinal attempts to enter the circle.

After four Tufts corners and several close calls, time ran out with the score at 1-1.

In overtime, the Jumbos continued where they left off on offense, but a tired defense gave up a penalty corner just over five minutes into the period. Zak denied two consecutive shots for her first two saves in two games though, and cleared the ball to the offense who controlled the play for the rest of the game.

Two minutes later, Dyer pushed Wesleyan off the ball at midfield and passed to sophomore Lia Sagerman (LaJolla, CA) streaking up the right. Sagerman crossed the ball to Brown who was waiting in front of the net and finished the play in familiar fashion with a hard slap to the right of Redding.

Redding finished with 10 saves in the game while Zak made two. Tufts held the advantage in shots 19-8, as well as penalty corners 8-6.

The overtime victory leaves the Jumbos at 5-0, and 3-0 NESCAC. The Cardinals drop to 4-1 (2-1 NESCAC).