New England Soccer Today

NCAA: Tufts Claims D-3 Title

Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) claimed its first NCAA championship in program history after they grabbed a wild 4-2 win over Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) in Saturday’s Division III title game at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

Nate Majumder (38′, 82′) bagged a brace while teammates Peter Kramer (28′) and Gus Santos 50′) scribbled their names on the scoresheet for the Jumbos. Noah Anthony (54′, 60′) scored both goals for the Thunder. The Jumbos finished their title-winning season with a 16-2-4 record.

The Jumbos reached Saturday’s final after pulling the rug out from under heavyweights Messiah College, Ohio Wesleyan University earlier in the tournament, and did it one more time to Wheaton. The trio of schools have amassed a combined 14 national championships.

“We weren’t even sure we would get a bid,” Majumder told the Kansas City Star. “It’s been a magical run after that and I’m not even sure what’s going on right now.”

Tufts wouldn’t have to wait long for the magic to reappear on Saturday. In the 28th minute, Rui Pinheiro sent a free kick into the area, where Kramer sent it through at the far post to put the Jumbos up early.

Ten minutes later, Tufts were given an opportunity to double their lead when Matt Zinner was taken down inside the box, and a penalty was awarded. Moments later, Majmuder made good on that chance and the Jumbos enjoyed a two-goal advantage going into halftime.

Shortly after the interval, the lead went to three after another penalty was given when a Wheaton defender was called for a handball inside the box. This time, it was Santos from the spot, and the Jumbos were flying with nearly 40 minutes to go.

But the Thunder would prove to be a pesky opponent. A third penalty was issued, but this time, it was Wheaton’s turn, which was converted by Anthony in the 54th minute. Anthony secured another goal six minutes later when he tapped through the remnants of a Mar Hollingsworth cross into the back of the net to close the gap to one.

Tuft reclaimed some breathing room late when Jason Kayne played a ball across the box for Majmuder, who easily steered it through to put the Jumbos back in command once and for all.

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