NESCAC Quarterfinal: No. 1 Tufts 2, No. 8 Bowdoin 1 (2OT)

Tufts Women's Soccer

Courtesy of Tufts Athletics

MEDFORD, Mass. -  Junior Sophie Lloyd tallied the game-winner as Tufts earned a 2-1 NESCAC Quarterfinal overtime victory against Bowdoin at Kraft Field on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, the Jumbos clinched home-field advantage for the rest of the conference tournament and will host both NESCAC semifinals and the championship game next weekend. The Jumbos advance to the next round with a 12-2-2 overall record, while the Polar Bears finish their season at 7-8-1. 

In the 104th minute, the Jumbo offense earned a corner kick opportunity where Lloyd found the ball at her feet to net the game-winning goal on an assist from fellow junior Liz Reed. On the corner kick, Reed drove the ball towards the crowd of players in front of the net. After the ball was knocked down by Polar Bear goalkeeper Penny Rocchio, Lloyd was able to put it in the back of the net on a second-chance opportunity. Lloyd has now scored the overtime game-winning goal in back-to-back contests against the Polar Bears, including in Tuesday's 1-0 victory in the regular-season finale.

The first half consisted of strong defensive play by both teams as very few scoring chances were awarded. The best offensive opportunity in the first half for the Jumbos came off the foot of senior co-captain Izzy Moore as she took the ball herself to the goal. Running past several Polar Bear defenders Moore was able to find enough space to fire a shot on net, but her attempt was turned away by Rocchio. 

In the final 10 minutes of regulation, with the score tied, 0-0, the Jumbos would score first as Reed netted her ninth of the season in the 81st minute to give Tufts a 1-0 advantage. Another corner kick opportunity by sophomore Lily Sykes drove the ball towards the front of the net. The Jumbos were able to get an initial shot on, but it was turned away by a Bowdoin defender. Reed received the ball at her feet and then chipped it inside the right post over the Polar Bear goalkeeper to give Tufts the lead.

Following the Tufts goal, Bowdoin wasted no time in finding a scoring chance to even the score at 1-1. On a Tufts defensive miscue, Polar Bear first-year Rachael Peacock was able to attack a lane towards the net and pass to a wide-open Annie Pyne on the doorstep. Pyne buried a shot into the bottom right corner past Tufts goalkeeper Hayley Bernstein with exactly seven minutes on the clock. 

In overtime, the Jumbos earned two scoring chances before the eventual game-winner. Senior co-captain Jenna Troccoli created enough space to fire a deep strike on the net that was turned away by Rocchio. Afterward, the Bowdoin defense committed a foul giving the Jumbos a free kick opportunity just outside of the goal area. Sykes' shot was blocked by a Polar Bear defender and a second-chance shot by Reed went wide of the net. 

The Jumbos finished with 29 shots in the contest with nine making it on the net, while the Polar Bears finished with 12 in the game (eight on goal). 

Berstein recorded seven saves on the eight shots on target in the quarterfinal victory. Rocchio ended the contest with seven saves for Bowdoin on nine shots that were on target. 

The Jumbos will host Amherst College Saturday, November 9 on NESCAC semifinal, while Middlebury and Williams square off in the other semifinal. The conference championship game is slated for Sunday at Kraft.