Women’s Lacrosse Heads to Sweet 16

In their first NCAA appearance since 2011, Jumbos overcome Messiah 14–7

Tufts lacrosse players on the field running with Messiah college players

First-year Jenn Duffy and junior Caroline Ross scored two goals apiece, helping the Tufts women’s lacrosse team take an 8–2 halftime lead on their way to a 14–7 victory at Messiah College in the second round of the NCAA Division III championship on May 10.

Head coach Courtney Farrell’s Jumbos (12–6) move on to the third round, where they will play at Franklin & Marshall on May 16. Franklin & Marshall advanced with a 21–3 win against Rhodes on May 10.

Playing in their first NCAA contest since 2011, the Jumbos scored the first three goals. Duffy netted the first two in the opening five minutes, and Ross added another less than a minute later.

Back-to-back goals by Messiah’s Liz Brennan, assisted by Madi Brunk, closed the gap to 3–2 at the midpoint of the first half.

However, the Jumbos outscored the Falcons 5–2 over the final 16:13 of the period. Five different Jumbos scored goals during the span: Ross, senior Kali DiGate, senior Lindsey Walker, junior Brigid Bowser and first-year Taylor Meek. Ross and Meek both had assists during the run.

Tufts outshot Messiah 16–9 in the first half and had a 10–6 advantage on groundballs.

After Ross scored her third to open the second half, the Jumbos led 9–2. The teams traded goals over the final 24 minutes. Tufts led by as many as eight, 12–4, when Ross scored off a Meek assist with 7:12 on the clock.

Ross was tremendous for the Jumbos, finishing with five goals and three assists for eight points. Bowser tallied three times with an assist. Defensively, Tufts allowed just 12 shots on goal. Senior standout Emily Wright caused five turnovers and won six draw controls. The Jumbos caused 10 of the Falcons’ 18 turnovers. First-year goalie Hannah Wiltshire made five saves and led Tufts with six groundballs.

The Jumbos ended Messiah’s 11-game winning streak. Brennan and Stephanie Athens had two goals each for the Falcons (14–4), who won the Commonwealth Conference championship. They were making their fifth NCAA appearance overall.

Watch a postgame interview with women’s lacrosse coach Courtney Farrell and juniors Caroline Ross and Brigid Bowser after the Jumbos’ NCAA tournament first-round win over Messiah College.

Tufts Sports Information Director Paul Sweeney can be reached at paul.sweeney@tufts.edu.

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