NCAA Tournament Second Round
Keene State 1    Tufts 0

At Norton, Mass.
Saturday, November 16, 2002

Tufts (13-4-1) 0 0 = 0
Keene State (20-2-1) 0 1 = 1

Scoring: K, Tufts Own Goal 56:10.

Saves: K, Michelle Mason 8; T, Meg McCourt 7. 

Shots: K, 5; T, 11.

NORTON, MA- An own goal posted in the 57th minute proved to be the game winner, as second-seeded Keene State College advanced to the NCAA New England Regional Tournament final with a 1-0 shutout of third-seeded Tufts University on a mud-soaked Elms Field at Wheaton College Saturday afternoon. With their 11th consecutive victory, the Owls improve to 20-2-1 overall and will face top-seeded Wheaton in tomorrow afternoon's regional final. Tufts, the 2002 NESCAC champion, finishes its season at 13-4-1. 

Scoring opportunities were almost instantaneous to open the game, as both teams had chances to take an early lead. In the third minute, Jumbo senior midfielder EA Tooley (Syracuse, NY) drilled a shot from the top of the penalty area, only to have it deflected off the crossbar. Keene State countered a little under 10 minutes later, as senior Colleen Antonini's (Plymouth, MA) shot was blocked by Jumbo defender Jess Lovitz (Fairfield, ME). In the 28th minute, Tufts had another chance to take the lead when a Jumbo centering pass deflected off Owl defender Missy Mengual (East Berlin, CT) and right to the foot of Tufts junior Becca Doigan (West Bloomfield, MI). Doigan followed with a perfect shot on goal, only to see it stopped by Keene State sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Mason (Fairport, NY).

In the second stanza, the weather conditions played a heavy factor as activity was centered at midfield for much of the opening minutes. In the 57th minute, the Owls caught a break when junior forward Erin Lester (Walpole, NH) sent a shot that went just left of the goal. However, Tufts' attempt to clear the ball went right into the back of the net, giving Keene State a 1-0 advantage.

With the season on the line, Tufts took over the final 25 minutes of play, finding themselves with a number of opportunities to tie the game. At 20:49, the Jumbos were awarded a penalty kick when Mason was whistled for taking down a Jumbo forward in the penalty box. On the ensuing kick, sophomore Jen Baldwin (Medway, MA) missed her shot wide left and the game remained, 1-0. Just over seven minutes later, Tufts missed another opportunity when Tooley unleashed a shot that just missed the net wide right by six inches.

With under eight minutes remaining in the game, the Jumbos found one last opportunity to knot the score when freshman Ariel Samuelson (Newton, MA) found classmate Sarah Callaghan (Northborough, MA), who sent a shot inside the right post. Mason dove to her left and came up with the save, preserving the shutout victory. Mason finished with eight saves for the Owls, while Jumbo sophomore Meg McCourt (Rochester, NY) recorded seven stops. Tufts outshot Keene State, 11-5, while Keene held an 8-7 advantage on corner kicks.