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Jumbo Teams Off To Strong Start

Jumbo Teams Off To Strong StartThe Jumbos are off and running this fall sports season, with the men’s cross country and women’s soccer and sailing teams holding top spots in the country.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.14.05] As Tufts fall sports teams prepare to take the field this Homecoming weekend in front of crowds of alumni, students, families and friends, many of them head into competition at the top of their game. Over a month into the 2005 season, several Jumbo teams, including women’s soccer and sailing and men’s cross country, are ranked in the top 10 in New England and nationally.

With its eighth straight win on Oct. 8, the women’s soccer team tied a University record for the longest winning streak in program history. Junior goaltender Annie Ross, who has allowed a conference-low of 0.76 goals per game this season, shut out Bowdoin and was selected as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women’s Soccer “Player of the Week.”

Women’s soccer tri-captain Ariel Samuelson earned those same honors earlier this season in September after tying a Tufts record by scoring all three goals in the team’s 3-0 win over Middlebury College, The Boston Globe noted. Samuelson is only the seventh player in Tufts history to score a hat trick in a game.

Ranked ninth nationally and number one in New England, the men’s cross country team is also having an all-star season. Senior Matt Lacey took fifth place at the All-New England Cross Country championships at Boston’s Franklin Park on Oct. 8, helping Tufts to take sixth place, the top Division III finish at the race.

The women's cross country team is off and running this fall, as well. Currently, the team is ranked 11th nationally and fifth in New England. The women finished 13th at the All-New England Cross Country championships on Oct. 8, with a strong performance from sophomoreCatherine Beck.

Both the women’s and co-ed sailing teams are off to strong starts this season, as well, with Sailing World ranking the women seventh nationally and the co-ed team tenth.

On the football front, the 2-1 Jumbos are preparing to take on Trinity this weekend. Over the past few weeks, senior quarterback Casey D’Annolfo has stepped up, earning “Player of the Week” honors after his career-best performance at Bates College on Oct. 1. He guided the Jumbos to a 34-7 victory over the Bobcats, the 20 th consecutive victory for Tufts over Bates.

Junior wide receiver Brian VonAncken also stood out in the Bates victory, breaking a Tufts record for touchdown receptions in a game with three. VonAncken and D’Annolfo are the number one single-game touchdown pass connection in Tufts football history.

Junior Ryan McGeary also had a star performance in the Jumbos season-opener against Wesleyan. The nose guard, with five tackles and two tipped passes, had a strong hand in the Jumbos 16-6 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 1 and earned “Player of the Game” honors that day.

On the volleyball court this season, freshman setter Kaitlin O’Reilly is making an impact for the Jumbos. In September, O’Reilly was named NESCAC “Player of the Week” after she averaged 11.37 assists and added 11 kills, four aces and 39 digs in 19 games overall. The volleyball team is 16-3 this season, with match-ups against Amherst and Middlebury ahead this weekend.

Last weekend, the Tufts golf team played the NESCAC Championship at Williams College, finishing fifth out of 11 teams. Junior tri-captain Justin Meier led the team with a 150 (+8) and tied for third overall, a performance that earned him a spot on the NESCAC First Team. Meier, who will join six other golfers on the First Team, was the only Tufts athlete selected for the team.

Meier and his teammates will head to the New England Championships this weekend.












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