Top Tufts Athletic Moments of the Decade
By Paul Sweeney
As part of our series looking back at the decade just passed, Tufts Now casts an eye on the very successful past ten years in athletics.
There are so many great stories to tell, we could have easily had twice the number here and kept going.
Don’t forget our Top Ten Tufts Photos of the Decade, too.
May 2010 – Men’s Lacrosse Wins Tufts’ First NCAA Team Championship
Just six months into the new decade the Jumbos made history as the men’s lacrosse team won Tufts’ first-ever NCAA team championship. Head coach Mike Daly’s team defeated Division III powerhouse Salisbury University 9-6 in a game that was played at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The title was the first of three won by men’s lacrosse, including back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2015, to go with nine NESCAC championships during the decade. Photo: Doug Kapustin
May 2010 – Julia Browne Wins NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Crown
On the same day that men’s lacrosse won its title, Tufts junior Julia Browne was in Fredericksburg, Virginia winning the NCAA Division III singles title in women’s tennis. In a dominating display, Browne did not lose a set while winning six matches over three days at the championship event. She defeated Grace Baljon of Williams College in the final 6-2, 7-5. It was the first of 14 individual national championships won by Jumbos in the decade.
September 2011 – Jumbos Begin Relationship with Team IMPACT
In addition to their success on the field and in class, Tufts’ student-athletes are committed to community service. The group they were most involved with during the decade was Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit founded by Tufts alumni that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Joli Talusan, who joined the women’s soccer team, was the first of more than a dozen “teammates” drafted by Jumbo teams this decade. Photo: Alonso Nichols
September 2012 – Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center Opens
Among many athletic facility improvements at Tufts during the decade, the 42,000-square-foot Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center was opened as a beautiful new home of the Jumbos. Featuring a dramatic central plaza, an expanded fitness center, new locker rooms, a film classroom, and an expanded sports medicine suite, the facility enhanced the student-athlete experience and underscored the university’s longstanding commitment to healthy living. Photo: Emily Zilm
November 2012 – Field Hockey Captures Tufts’ 1st Women’s NCAA Team Title
The Jumbo field hockey team was already well known on the national scene after making back-to-back NCAA “Final Four” appearances in 2008 and 2009. In 2012 they returned to the Final Four and made history by becoming the first women’s team at Tufts to win an NCAA championship. Head coach Tina Mattera’s Jumbos rallied for a 2-1 victory over Montclair State University. The team went on to make national championship game appearances in 2016 and 2018 as well. Photo: Michael Okoniewski
March 2014 – Schmidt Wins Second NCAA Diving Title of Career
Capping his career in the most impressive way possible, Tufts senior Johann Schmidt won the NCAA Division III one-meter diving championship for the second time in his final competition as a Jumbo in Indianapolis. Schmidt, who added the title to his NCAA one-meter victory from his sophomore season in 2012, also graduated with six conference championships in the one- and three-meter diving events combined. Photo: Kelvin Ma
April 2016 – Black Selected for NCAA’s Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship
A four-time national champion in the 800 meters (indoors and outdoors) and a double major in mechanical engineering and astrophysics, Mitchell Black of the men’s track & field team was awarded the NCAA’s Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship. He was the first recipient ever selected from the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The $24,000 scholarship recognizes outstanding academic achievement and the potential for success in postgraduate study. Photo: Alonso Nichols
May 2015 – Softball Caps Epic 51-0 Season by Winning Third Consecutive NCAA Title
Finishing a perfect 51-0 season in dramatic fashion, the softball team won its third consecutive NCAA Division III championship with a 7-4 victory over the University of Texas at Tyler. Head coach Cheryl Milligan’s squad became the first Division III softball team to win three national titles in a row, including the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The victory extended Tufts' NCAA Division III record winning streak to 53 games and also tied the NCAA mark for most wins in a season (51) at the time. Photo: Matthew Healey
September 2017 – Tufts Establishes Athletics Hall of Fame
To celebrate the rich history of athletics excellence at Tufts spanning more than 150 years, Tufts established an Athletics Hall of Fame which has now inducted two classes. A total of twenty-one outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administrators along with four memorable teams have entered the Hall of Fame during sold-out induction ceremonies held during the month of April in historic Cousens Gymnasium. Shown here: the 1950 baseball team.
December 2019 - Men’s Soccer Wins Fourth NCAA Title in Six Years
The men's soccer team won its fourth NCAA Championship in the last six years with a 2-0 victory over Amherst College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Head coach Josh Shapiro’s team became just the third program in NCAA Division III men’s soccer history to win four or more national championships, including 2014, 2016 and 2018. While winning the eleventh and most recent NCAA team championship at Tufts, the Jumbos finished with a program record twenty victories. Photo: Brian Westerholt