The Ewo entered the series determined to earn a spot at Nationals. Despite terrible weather, the Ewo only allowed 11 points to be scored against them at D-I Metro Boston Conference Championships, defeating teams Harvard, Northeastern, BC, BU, and MIT to finish 1st.
Tufts entered the New England D-I College Regionals seeded 1st. The New England region was unable to secure team or region strength bids to Nationals, leaving the region with only one bid due to the new college series restructuring. Due to the single-elimination play Sunday, teams fought hard through every point to keep their seasons going.
Saturday went smoothly for the Ewo, with decisive victories over BU, Amherst, and Harvard. The Ewo experienced a challenging first game on Sunday against BC. The score oscillated in the beginning of the game as both teams traded points, until Tufts came back from being down 6-7 to take half 8-7. After half, Tufts was better able to contain BC’s offense, breaking away to end the game with a 15-9 victory. Next, the Ewo played Dartmouth. Tufts was able to contain Dartmouth’s offense, relying on smart matchups and aggressive defense to contain Princess Layout’s fast cutters. Although Dartmouth played hard through every point, Tufts won 15 to 7.
Matched up in the finals for the second year a row, Tufts and Middlebury were both aware that the final game would determine which New England team would compete in Boulder. Looking to avenge last year when Tufts fell to Middlebury 8-9 on universe point after taking half at 8-6, the Ewo lost no time getting focused. Tufts started the game off strong and took an early 4-1 lead. Midd connected on a big flick huck to bring the score to 4-2. Midd tried to challenge Tufts defensively with a 4-man cup, but Tufts continued to score almost every O point due to minimal wind, patient offense, and accurate over the cup hucks. Tufts maintained their slight lead, again ending the first half with a 8-6 lead. Midd started out on offense during the second half. Both teams continued to trade points until midway through the second half when Tufts was able to earn multiple breaks, bringing the score to 14-10. Midd scored once more, making the count 14-11. Receiving the pull, Tufts patiently worked the disc down the field and ended the game with a 15-11 victory to clinch a spot at Nationals!
Returning to Nationals after a 4-yr break since the Ewo qualified in 2006 and 2007, the Ewo were excited to face off against the nation’s top teams. Unable to find our groove and affected by the altitude, the Ewo experienced two tough losses on Friday. The Ewo stepped it up on Saturday, scoring 9 points against both Nationals winner UCSC and runner-up Michigan. Sunday the Ewo beat Washington University to finish tied for 15th.