Women’s Soccer in NCAA Final Four
Despite what Lindsay Garmirian, A06, told her family, they went ahead and scheduled Thanksgiving dinner at their house as usual this year. With the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament “final four” for November 25–26 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Garmirian had warned them that she wouldn’t be home for the holiday. She expected to be in Greensboro with her Tufts teammates playing for the national championship, and that’s exactly what happened.
“Instead of canceling dinner, they are just eating at 11 in the morning and then most of them are flying down for the games,” Garmirian said at the time.
In fact, many family members and fans of the Jumbos either abbreviated or skipped their holiday traditions in order to join the team in Greensboro. Tufts lost to The College of New Jersey, 3–0 in the national semifinals, but the trip represented the team’s second “final four” appearance and ended an outstanding season with a 15–4–2 record.
“This is what you dream about,” tri-captain Sarah Callaghan, A06, said before the game. “You play the game to have an opportunity like this. Going to the final four is one of those things that you always talk about, but when it actually happens, it’s hard to comprehend. It doesn’t sink in right away.”
Tufts earned its ticket to Greensboro after a dramatic weekend of play in the NCAA Sectionals at Oneonta State University in New York, where they staged a prolific rally with five goals in the second half to take a 5–2 victory against Wheaton College. The match was essential for the NCAA New England title, which Tufts has won twice before, in 1998 and 2000.
The amazing comeback advanced Tufts to the NCAA quarterfinals and a match with the host Oneonta State Red Dragons. Tied at 1–1 after regulation and two 10-minute overtimes, the Jumbos advanced to the “final four” by winning the shootout round 4–3. Goalkeeper Annie Ross, A07, made the winning save.
The Jumbos hosted the NCAA “final four” in 2000 at Kraft Field. Their final record in 2005 is the most wins by the squad since that season. After losing their season-opening game this fall to Colby, they went undefeated for the next 11 to set a new school record.
Fourteen goals and 32 points by tri-captain Ariel Samuelson, A06, this season were second all-time to Lisa Raffin’s 15 goals and 41 points in 1981. Samuelson was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-American, just the second student so honored in Tufts soccer history.