SOMERVILLE, Mass. - The Tufts men's soccer team advanced to the NESCAC semi-finals for the first time since 2001 after eliminating Bowdoin, 3-0, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at Kraft Field.
The Jumbos (9-3-3) will play host and #1 seed Williams in the semis next Saturday. Bowdoin finishes its season with a record of 8-5-2.
With around 16 minutes remaining in the first, Bowdoin had its biggest chance of the opening half. Defender Ben Brewster caused a crafty turnover at midfield and led a nice counter pass up to Zach Danssaert in the Tufts box, who missed a chance to put the Polar Bears up.
About 10 minutes later (40th minute), Tufts' Monil Patel sent a gorgeous free kick from around 40 yards out to the head of junior Scott Blumenthal, who buried a shot in the far side of the cage to put the Jumbos up 1-0. The score stood until halftime.
Sophomore defender Peter Lee Kramer put the Jumbos up 2-0 with 31:49 left in the second on another stellar header. Patel again sent the ball to the far post, and Kramer had a header attempt that bounced its way around Polar Bear keeper Will Wise and in for a 2-0 advantage. Blumenthal made it 3-0 Tufts by coming loose at the top of the box drilling the ball home at full speed.
Zeller made five second-half saves (none in the first half) to help propel Tufts. The Jumbos were hosting their first conference tournament game since 2001 as well. Wise had two saves in 84:15 of action, and senior Eric Edelman stopped a shot while finishing up for Bowdoin.