Waterville, Maine - Wednesday night the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced its pairings for the first round of the conference playoffs. Colby will travel to Medford, Mass. for a 1:00 PM match this coming Saturday against the Jumbos of Tufts University. Tufts drew the third seed in the tournament while Colby landed in the sixth seed. The top four seeds host first round games.
The contest is a rematch from September 21 when Tufts pulled out the victory 3-2 at home on a score with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. At the time, Tufts was ranked third in the country by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and Colby was ranked #20, the first time since 2003 the program was voted into the ranking list (top 20 teams). Tufts scored two goals in the first six minutes, but the Mules battled back with a goal in the third quarter and then the tying goal with six minutes left to play in the fourth. The game-winning goal with seconds to play was heartbreaking, however the Mules would bounce back and win the next two games they played in overtime.
Playing close matches is a theme for both teams. Colby's victories over Wesleyan, Hamilton, and Conn College were all by one goal. Two of their losses also came by only one score, the Tufts match from September 21 and the Bowdoin match just over a week ago. Those two opponents are seeded 3rd and 2nd in the conference playoffs respectively. Out of the ten NESCAC matches the Jumbos played, nine of them came down to a single score.
This match projects to be one you cannot miss.
(photo courtesy of Calvin Wetmore '20)