Field Hockey Drops Opener At #4 Tufts

September 11, 2010

In a season-opening showdown between national top 10 NESCAC programs, #4 Tufts took a 3-0 victory over #8 Middlebury in field hockey at Bello Field on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Tamara Brown, the all-time leading scorer in Tufts field hockey history, led the way with two goals. The Jumbo defense was solid, allowing just one Middlebury shot on goal. Tufts managed an 18-4 advantage in penalty corner opportunities.

After mostly neutral play for 25 minutes of the first half, Tufts turned it on offensively in the last 10 minutes. Senior Melissa Burke scored the first goal of the season with 7:10 on the clock. Brown played the ball into the Middlebury defense, then Burke used her long reach to whack a loose ball into the cage for a 1-0 Jumbo lead.

Tufts maintained the momentum, earning three penalty corner opportunities in the next few minutes. At the four-minute mark, Brown stick-handled herself into a scoring opportunity and finished for a 2-0 Jumbo margin. That was the score at the half.

The visiting Panthers had momentum early in the second half. Junior Heather Karpas fired an open shot that Tufts junior Marianna Zak kicked away. Shortly later, Panther Lauren Greer had a break-in that Zak deterred by coming out of the net and forcing a wide shot.

Tufts extended its lead to 3-0 when senior co-captain Jess Perkins hammered a ball in from the top of the circle that Brown converted for her second of the game. Later on, Middlebury's Madison Kahn made a defensive save on an arching flip shot by Tufts junior Sarah Cannon to prevent further damage.

Sophomore Madeline Brooks finished with nine saves in the Panther goal. The Jumbos ended the game with a 29-9 count in shots.