Field Hockey

2016 NCAA Tournament Final Four | 4 NCAA Tournaments | 2 Conference Championships

Game Preview: No. 5 Field Hockey vs. No. 2 Tufts

Game Preview: No. 5 Field Hockey vs. No. 2 Tufts

No. 5 Field Hockey at No. 2 Tufts
Tuesday, September 12—5 p.m.
Ounjian Field—Medford, Mass.

Babson and Tufts will meet for the 24th time on Tuesday evening in a series that dates back to 1994. The Jumbos have won 20 of the previous 23 meetings between the two teams, although the Beavers were victorious in their last trip to Medford. 

Annie Artz scored the go-ahead goal with 6:49 remaining in the second half to lift then-12th-ranked Tufts to a 2-1 win over then-10th-ranked Babson on September 13, 2006, in Babson Park. Senior Elise Towers also scored in the 54th minute for the Beavers. 

Junior Catherine Gilman scored midway through the first half and goalkeeper Kayla Costa '15 made seven saves to help visiting Babson College stun then-seventh-ranked Tufts University, 3-0, on September 15, 2015, in Medford. Junior Ashley Tango and Victoria Spofford '17 also notched goals just four minutes apart midway through the second half for the Beavers. 

No. 2 Tufts (1-0) began the season with a 3-0 shutout win over NESCAC rival Colby on September 9. Senior Mary Travers, junior Gigi Tutoni and sophomore Rachel Hamilton all scored for the Jumbos, while junior goalie Emily Polinski made four saves in the victory. Tufts returns nine starters from its 2016 team NCAA Tournament runner-up squad, including ALL-NESCAC first-team selections Ellexa Thomas on defense and Travers (9-8-26), who finished second on the team in scoring, on offense. Polinski returns in the cage after ending going 18-2-1 with a 0.59 goals against average, a .803 save percentage and 11 shutouts in 2016. 

Gilman and Tango netted two goals apiece as No. 5 Babson (4-0) downed Wesleyan, 5-1, on Saturday. Sophomore Kate Driscoll also had a goal, while Towers and junior Lauren Drakeley chipped in with assists for the Beavers, who extended Division III's longest road winning streak to 15 games. Tango (3-5-11) has eight points over the last two games, Gilman (4-0-8) has scored three times over the last two matches, and senior Jacki Merrigan (4-0-8) owns two game-winning goals to lead the offensive attack. Sophomore goalie Deirdre Barry has recorded a 4-0 mark and two shutouts to go along with a 0.57 goals against average and a .800 save percentage this fall.

Drakeley, who earned conference defensive player of the year accolades last season, was tabbed as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. 

Babson has won 23 of its last 24 games in the month of September since 2015. Its lone loss during this stretch was last year's 2-1 defeat to Tufts. 

The Green and White owns the nation's longest road winning streak at 15 games, while the Jumbos have won eight straight and 12 of their last 13 at home dating back to the start of last season.

Including last sesaon's 2-1 loss, six games between Babson and Tufts have been decided by a single goal going back to 2006. 

The Beavers are 69-3 when allowing one goal or less dating back to October 22, 2012.