[Athlete to watch]
Emily Bowers, women’s soccer
The top goalie in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) returns for her senior season this fall. A first team All-Conference selection and All-American last season, Bowers led the league with eighty-two saves, spurring Tufts to the conference championship game and its first NCAA tournament berth since 2007. Bowers is also one of the top student-athletes in her sport, receiving United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America first team honors. What’s more, the biopsychology major has made the dean’s list every semester to date.
[Rivalry to watch]
Tufts vs. Williams, football
There was a time when Williams dominated Tufts on the gridiron, posting a 19-0-2 record against the Jumbos from 1986 to 2007. Tufts has lately turned it around, though, taking four in a row from the Ephs—including last year’s 21-13 final in Williamstown. Both teams finished last season with winning records, which should add extra spice when they meet this season on October 20. (Good news! Tufts won 28-21, making it five in a row over Williams.)
[Coach to watch]
Cora Thompson, Volleyball
Thompson, A99, has led the Jumbos to twenty consecutive victories in conference play, and has been named NESCAC Coach of the Year six times, including the past two seasons. She was also selected as the American Volleyball Coaches Association Northeast Coach of the Year for 2017. Her team this season includes all but one player from last year’s squad, which finished with a 23-7 record.
[Storyline to watch]
Men's Soccer Ready for Redemption
The men’s soccer team has won NCAA championships in the past two even-year seasons, 2014 and 2016, under head coach Josh Shapiro. What will 2018 bring? Well, the Jumbos will no doubt be hungry for redemption after last season ended in disappointment—a 1-0 overtime loss to Brandeis at home on Bello Field in the NCAA quarterfinals. However, the Jumbos did win their first-ever NESCAC title last year, and All-Conference selection Sterling Weatherbie returns to a defense that allowed just two goals during the 2017 season.