NESCAC Quarterfinal: No. 3 Tufts 4, No. 6 Colby 1

Tufts Field Hockey

Courtesy of Tufts Athletics

MEDFORD, Mass. – Junior Beth Krikorian scored a hat trick to lead the Tufts University field hockey team to a 4-1 win over Colby College in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship Saturday at Ounjian Field.

The hat trick is the first at Tufts since the 2014 season and lifted the Jumbos into next Saturday's conference semifinals. Seeded third in the tournament, Tufts (13-3) will face four-seed Williams College in the next round. Host Middlebury will play seven-seed Hamilton in Saturday's other NESCAC semifinal.

Tufts led 2-0 at halftime today, but Colby improved their play in the second half and pulled within 2-1 early in the fourth quarter. However, Krikorian completed her first career hat trick with a pair of goals three minutes apart late in the fourth to put the game away for the hosts.

Colby, the sixth seed in NESCAC, finishes its season with a 9-7 record.

The Jumbos got on the scoreboard just 3:02 into the game when sophomore Gillian Roeca took a pass in the middle of the goal area, moved right to set up her shot and then blasted the ball past Colby starting goalkeeper Savannah Shaw for a 1-0 Tufts lead.

The Mules earned the first corner of the game with 9:39 on the clock, but couldn't do anything with it.

Back-to-back corners later in the period would result in another Jumbo goal. A clean insert by senior Marguerite Salamone went to Krikorian at the top of the circle and she fired one home with 2:52 remaining in the opening period.

Neither team mounted much offense in the second quarter and the game went to the half with Tufts up 2-0. The hosts had leads of 4-1 in shots and 3-1 in corners for the first 30 minutes.

The Mules would have the better of the play in the third. Consecutive shots by junior Myriam Skodock forced Tufts sophomore goalie Andie Stallman to make her two saves of the game during the first five minutes of the frame. A later attempt by Mules freshman Kaitlyn Smith had to be saved away by Jumbo senior defender Bridget Gliwa. Colby finished the third 4-0 in shots and 2-0 in corners over the Jumbos, but could not score.

That changed six minutes into the fourth. On a corner inserted by Smith, junior Ally Corbett's shot from the top was deflected in by junior co-captain Delaney Keithley to pull the Mules within 2-1.

Tufts took back the momentum shortly after that though as Krikorian scored her second goal of the game three minutes later, knocking in a shot from the left side after Salamone had sent the ball into the fray in front of the net. Less than three minutes after that, Krikorian got her third (and sixth of the season) and the Jumbos soon celebrated the 4-1 victory.

The stats were close as Tufts finished with a 7-6 advantage in shots and corners were tied 4-4. Stallman made two saves in the Tufts net and Shaw stopped one shot for Colby.

Head coach Tina Mattera's Jumbos are into the conference semfinals for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.