Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information
MEDFORD, Mass. – Tufts University women's lacrosse opened the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament with an 18-0 win over Plymouth State on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Bello Field in the second round. It's the fourth shutout in NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship history and first since 2015.
This was the Jumbos' second shutout of the season, with the first coming on March 9 in a 21-0 win against Wellesley College. The Jumbos will face The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in the "Sweet 16" with the date and site to be announced.
Tufts improves to 17-2 overall and recorded its sixth NCAA Tournament win in program history. The Jumbos also set a school record with their 17 wins so far this season with today's victory. Plymouth State ends its season with a 12-6 overall record.
The Jumbos were locked in from the opening draw control and showed no signs of rust after earning a first-round bye. Tufts senior goalie Audrey Evers got the Jumbos going with a nice save on Plymouth State sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin. Jumbo senior Courtney Grygiel then earned a free-position attempt but sophomore goalie Meaghan Allard recorded a stop on the shooter. Allard then recorded another save on a shot from junior Emily Games, but the Jumbo offense broke through with a goal from first-year Colette Smith. Smith earned a free position attempt a little over a minute later and converted the free position shot to extend the lead to 2-0. Tufts' next goal came off a free-position shot from Games on a man-up opportunity.
Tufts defense continued to apply pressure to the Plymouth State players after the Games goal and forced two turnovers within a minute timespan. Jumbo first-year Mae Briody had a shot stopped by Allard, but Briody got her own rebound, passed it over to senior Cecily Freliech, and Freliech put the ball in the back of the cage to give Tufts a 4-0 advantage. The Tufts offense continued to attack the Panther defense after the Freliech goal with goals from Briody, sophomore Catherine Lawliss, Grygiel, and senior Annie Sullivan over a five-minute stretch to take an eight goal lead with 10:16 left in the first half. Briody and Grygiel's goals during that stretch were free position goals.
Sullivan netted her second goal of the game after junior Margaret Chase caused a turnover to take a nine goal lead. Tufts seniors Gabby Vinci and Maria Dattolo connected after Vinci dished it over to Dattolo on a free position attempt. Plymouth State senior Sam Fiore then had a good opportunity to score, but Evers made a nice save on the ball in net. Grygiel netted the final goal of the half to give the brown and blue an 11-0 edge at the half. Lawliss had a chance with 0:19 left in the first half to score, but again Allard made a nice save in the cage.
Plymouth State junior Sydney Dubois attempted the first shot on goal for the Panthers out of the half after making a nice move into the middle of the defense, but first-year goalie Molly Laliberty made a low save on the shot. Vinci and first-year Molly Seibel had shots saved by senior Emilee Wargo early in the half. Tufts first-year Kathryn Delaney scored the first goal of the half after knifing her way through the Panther defense. Fiore then had the contests next chance, but Laliberty recorded her second save of the game. Jumbo senior Megan Toner scooped up a ground ball around midfield and ran the distance to beat Wargo for Tufts 13th goal of the afternoon.
Tufts sophomore Claire Wright snuck in a goal less than two minutes later off a nice feed from Dattolo. Wargo came up big in net after the Wright goal and stopped shots from Dattolo and Seibel. Vinci and Games connected with 11:16 remaining to give the Jumbos a 15-0 advantage. Plymouth State got quality chances from senior Veronyca Daniels and Dubois towards the end of the game, but Laliberty saved both chances.
The Jumbos defense was outstanding all day long as they forced 27 Plymouth State turnovers. Sullivan, Games, Grygiel, Vinci, and Smith each recorded two goals in the contest for Tufts. Dattolo and Briody each recorded a goal and an assist. Senior Hedy Veith scooped up a team-high three ground balls. Delaney won three draw controls for the Jumbos. Evers recorded her 12th win on the season in net.
Allard and Wargo each stopped seven Jumbo shots in the game. Daniels attempted a team-high four shots. Dubois won a game-high four draw controls and scooped up three ground balls for the Panthers. Senior Kimberly Zuccaro forced three Jumbo turnovers.
Tufts and TCNJ met earlier this season, with the Jumbos prevailing 8-7.