MEDFORD, MA (October 26, 2023) – Head coach Tina Mattera‘s Tufts University field hockey team finished the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) regular-season as the #2 seed and will host #7 seed Amherst College in a conference quarterfinal on Saturday (Oct. 28) at Ounjian Field.
The Jumbos, ranked seventh in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, were 8-2 in the conference and stand at 11-4 overall. The Mammoths, 15th in the national poll, were 5-5 in NESCAC this year and come into Saturday’s game at 9-6 overall.
2023 NESCAC Field Hockey Tournament Homepage
Opponent: vs. Amherst College (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC)
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Medford, MA – Ounjian Field (Directions)
Weather: Sunny, Low 80s, Chance of Rain: 5%, Wind: NW 5-10
Live Coverage: LIVE STATS – LIVE VIDEO
Mammoths vs. Jumbos Series
Tufts senior co-captain Andrea DelGiudice scored on a penalty corner four-and-a-half minutes into overtime giving the Jumbos a 2-1 victory against Amherst College at Ounjian Field on September 15. It was the seventh straight win for Tufts in the series, dating back to 2017. Last year’s game was also a 2-1 Tufts win in OT. The Jumbos have won nine of the last 10 games between the teams.
This is just the third time the Jumbos and Amherst have played in the NESCAC Tournament. Tufts won both previous games, 2-0 in the 2018 quarterfinals and 1-0 in the 2014 quarterfinals.
NESCAC Tournament History
The Jumbos, who qualified for the conference tournament for the 21st time, are seeking their third NESCAC title (2009, 2016). Conference runner-up five times, including last season and three of the last years, Tufts has a 25-18 NESCAC Tournament record overall. The Jumbos have earned a home berth for the NESCAC Quarterfinals in every season since 2015 (the tournament was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Amherst is seeking to change it’s conference tournament luck. They have not won a NESCAC quarterfinal since 2015. In 19 appearances overall, the Mammoths have a 10-19 record highlighted by a 2001 runner-up finish.
A Look At The Jumbos
Tufts finished its regular-season with a 2-1 overtime win at Bowdoin College on Tuesday night, with DelGiudice again scoring the game-winning goal. The Jumbos have gone to overtime five times this season, recording a 3-2 record in those contests.
Tufts is ranked #2 in Region 2 in the most recent NCAA Regional Rankings. The team solidified its #2 seed in NESCAC by sweeping a conference weekend against national Top 10 squads Bates College (2-0) on Saturday and Williams College (2-1 in OT) on Sunday October 14-15.
The Jumbos are ranked third in the league allowing 20 goals in their 15 games this season. Sophomore goalie Lydia Eastburn’s 1.26 goals against average is second in the conference, and her .743 save percentage ranks fourth. She backstops a defensive effort that includes senior co-captain Kate Lee and sophomore Carly Iacullo in back. The Jumbos also receive excellent defensive play from midfielders like DelGiudice, Lainie Pearson, Kayleigh McDonald and Ashley Zolin among others.
DelGiudice, junior Claire Gavin and sophomore Hannah Biccard lead Tufts with seven goals each. Biccard has added five assists for 19 points, which stands 16th in league scoring. DelGiudice’s four game-winners is tied for the most in NESCSAC. The Jumbos are ninth in NESCAC with 33 goals scored overall.
Tufts is 6-1 at home on Ounjian Field this fall.
A Look At The Mammoths
Among their nine victories this season, Amherst has had five on the road. Perhaps their most impressive win on the year was a 4-1 final at home on September 23 over a Bates College team that finished as the #3 seed in NESCAC. They also defeated (3-1) a Wesleyan University team that topped Tufts in overtime. Amherst, Bowdoin and Wesleyan all finished 5-5 in NESCAC this season with the Mammoths getting the seventh seed after tie-breaking procedures were implemented.
Saturday’s visitors enter with 44 goals this season, fourth-most in NESCAC. They have two of the top six goal-scorers in the conference with Sam Maynard’s 15 and Muffie Mazambani with 13. Maynard’s 32 points overall lead the team and are tied for third in NESCAC. Her fourth-quarter goal gave Amherst a 1-0 lead at Tufts earlier this season before the Jumbos rallied to win in overtime.
The 24 goals that head coach Carol Knerr’s Amherst team has allowed in 15 games ranks sixth in the league. Sara Nidus, a second-team All-Conference selection in 2022, has started 14 of Amherst’s 15 games this season. She brings a 1.63 GAA and .638 save percentage into Saturday’s quarterfinal game.