Kelsey Perkins (8) of Tufts University kisses the champioship trophy after the Division III Women's Field Hockey Championship held at J.J. McCooey Memorial Field in Geneva, NY. Tufts defeated Montclair State 2-1 to win the national title. Kevin Colton/NCAA Photos
Kelsey is a senior member of the team.
The Jumbos overcame a 1-0 deficit in the championship game, which was played at William Smith College’s McCooey Field in Geneva, N.Y.
The championship was the culmination of a season that started with uncertainty for Tufts. The Jumbos trailed at Middlebury College 5-0 in the season-opener on Sept. 8 and eventually lost 5-2. One-goal wins over Babson, Wesleyan, UMass Dartmouth, and Colby put Tufts on a winning streak, but the Jumbos didn’t seem to be the dominant team that they had been in recent years.
A turning point came on Sept. 23 at Trinity when Tufts defeated their rivals 2-1 in overtime. A week later they won in overtime again at home against Amherst, 4-3. A third overtime victory came at Connecticut College on Oct. 6 as Barrington’s Kelsey Perkins scored to run the Jumbo winning streak to eight games.
After earning the seventh NCAA berth in team history, and the fourth in the last five years, Tufts’ tournament opener was mostly memorable because of the weather. Playing in a snow/ice mix that covered Bello Field, the Jumbos defeated Castleton 8-0. In the second round, Tufts eliminated William Smith 4-2 to set up another rematch against Bowdoin in the third round. This time, the Jumbos overcame a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 and earn their first playoff victory against the Polar Bears since 1996.
The victory punched the team’s ticket into the NCAA semi-finals for the third time in team history. In the semi-finals, they beat DePauw 2-0 to advance to the NCAA final for the second time in team history.