Former Torrey Pines High School star leads Tufts to NCAA title

helsea Yogerst hoists the NCAA trophy after Tufts victory in the national championship game.

Former Torrey Pines star Chelsea Yogerst helped lead Tufts University to the 2012 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III field hockey championship in November.

The Jumbos defeated Montclair State 2-1 in the final, played at Geneva in upstate New York, to a cap a Cinderella run for the national title that saw them upset a number of higher ranked teams. Tufts finished the season with 19 wins and only two losses, but many of the victories were nail-biters decided in overtime or by just one goal.

Yogerst topped the team in scoring with 13 goals and 27 overall points – the junior forward’s best stats in nine seasons of field hockey going back to seventh grade at Carmel Valley Middle School. She scored in three of the team’s five NCAA playoff games and seven out of eight straight games leading up to the Final Four.

After finishing second in their conference (NESCAC) to No. 1 ranked Middlebury and hovering at the lower end of the top 10 all season, nobody expected the Jumbos to make the Final Four, let alone take the whole thing.

Tufts started its championship campaign with an 8-0 win over Castleton State in a driving snowstorm on the Jumbos home field near Boston. In the Sweet Sixteen, Tufts pulled off a 4-2 upset of No. 9 ranked William Smith. Then they booked their spot in the Final Four with a 2-1 upset over former national champ and No. 6 ranked Bowdoin.

The Jumbos swept past DePauw 2-0 in the national semifinal and then took on No. 2 ranked Montclair State in the final. Tufts fell behind 0-1 early, but rallied for two second half goals to take the national trophy back to Boston.

Four other Tufts players hail from California, including Solana Beach native Brittany Norfleet, who played her freshman and sophomore years at Torrey Pines before finishing high school back east, and La Jolla native Lia Sagerman, who played her high school ball at Bishops.