No. 3 Tufts holds off field hockey 2-0 in NESCAC quarterfinals

Lauren Foster and Bates field hockey fell 2-0 at top-seeded Tufts in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Championships tournament on Oct. 29, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Tufts) 

MEDFORD, Mass. -- The top-seeded and No. 3 nationally ranked Tufts field hockey team hosted eighth seeded Bates in the NESCAC Championship quarterfinals on Ounjian Field on Saturday, and the Jumbos earned a 2-0 win with goals from junior Mary Travers and senior Annie Artz.

Eighth-seeded Bates (9-7) finishes the season with a winning record for the first time since 1999. The Bobcats were making their sixth NESCAC tournament appearance and second in a row since the tournament began in 2000.

With the win the Jumbos (14-2) advance to the NESCAC semifinal round to be played at Tufts next Saturday. The winners of the two Saturday semifinal games will play for the conference title on Sunday. Hamilton, Middlebury and Williams were also quarterfinal winners on Saturday. 

The Bobcats were the ones able to generate some offensive pressure early as they were able to keep the ball on the Jumbos' end of the field for the first ten minutes of the first half. They were able to draw a couple of penalty corners, but the Jumbo defense kept them off the board.

Towards the middle of the first half, the Jumbs put some offensive pressure on the Bobcats, but it wasn't until just under two minutes that they were able to get on the board. After drawing a penalty corner, Travers inserted to classmate Celia Lewis, who fired a shot at the goal that Travers deflected past Bobcats sophomore goalie Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.), to give the Jumbos the 1-0 advantage. 

The Bobcats had a great chance to tie the game with just about 30 seconds left in the first half, but sophomore Taylor Lough's (Little Compton, R.I.) shot was saved by a diving Emily Polinski to keep the visitors off the board. 

The Jumbos put the pressure on the Bobcats in the second half, but Durand played well along with the Bobcat defense to keep the score at 1-0. With just under five minutes remaining in the game, Artz gave the Jumbos an insurance goal. Artz had the ball at the top of the circle and drilled a shot past Durand's left to give the Jumbos a 2-0 advantage. 

Tufts finished with the advantage in shots (23-6), shots on goal (11-4) and penalty corners (12-3). Durand made nine saves for the Bobcats in the loss, while her Jumbo counterpart, Polinski, made four saves in the shutout win. 

Lough, first-year Alexandra Leahy (Cohasset, Mass.), junior Sydney Beres (New York, N.Y.) and sophomore Jessie Moriarty (Springfield, Mass.) all put shots on goal for the Bobcats.