HADLEY, Mass. - Trinity locked up the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC championship with an 11-6 win over Amherst on Wednesday evening. The Bantams have secured home field throughout the tournament for the fourth year in a row. They will begin their quest for a third consecutive conference crown when quarterfinal round action gets underway on Saturday, April 27. Middlebury, Bowdoin, and Colby have also earned the right to host quarterfinal round contests. The highest remaining seed following this weekend will host both semifinals and the championship game on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5.
Trinity (14-0, 10-0 NESCAC) went unbeaten in NESCAC play for the second time in three seasons. The defending national champions look for their third straight NESCAC Championship after winning their first league title in 2011. Trinity owns a 9-6 record in NESCAC postseason play, going 6-0 in the last two NESCAC tournaments. This season the Bantams have won eight of their games by eight goals or more, ranking second in the league with 186 goals scored. Trinity leads the NESCAC by allowing just 70 goals, surrending an average of five goals per game.
Up first for Trinity will be eighth seeded Tufts (7-7, 3-7 NESCAC). After dropping their season opener, the Jumbos went on a three-game win streak and earned league wins over Connecticut College, Williams, and Wesleyan. Tied with Williams at 3-7, the Jumbos’ 12-5 victory over the Ephs on April 6 locked up the eighth seed, giving Tufts its fifth straight quarterfinal appearance. In their only postseason meeting, Trinity defeated Tufts 13-12 in the 2011 semifinals, while the Bantams picked up a 13-4 regular season win in March.
Second seeded Middlebury (13-1, 9-1 NESCAC) will be looking for its seventh NESCAC title and first since 2007 when tournament play begins on Saturday. The Panthers’ only loss this season was to Trinity, a 10-9 setback in Hartford, Conn. on April 13. Middlebury’s road to its second straight championship appearance will begin with a quarterfinal round match-up against seventh seeded Bates (8-7, 4-6 NESCAC). The Bobcats sealed their spot in the championship by defeating Wesleyan, Williams, Tufts, and Connecticut College during the regular season. Bates and Hamilton both finished with 4-6 NESCAC marks and a 9-8 Hamilton win on April 6 gave the Continentals the sixth seed, while Bates settled for the seventh seed for the first time in their six postseason appearances. Middlebury and Bates have met once in the NESCAC quarterfinals, with the Panthers earning an 18-4 win in 2009. The Panthers took a 20-4 win from Bates in the teams’ first NESCAC contest this season.
Bowdoin (13-2, 8-2 NESCAC) will once again look to challenge for the conference crown, making its tenth quarterfinal appearance. Last year, fifth seeded Bowdoin fell 9-7 to fourth seeded Amherst. The Polar Bears dropped a 14-6 decision to Middlebury in their only title game appearance in 2006. With its only two losses this season coming to Middlebury on March 30 and Trinity on April 6, Bowdoin has rattled off seven straight wins heading into quarterfinal play, including a 12-6 win over Tufts to close out the regular season. The Polar Bears host sixth seeded Hamilton (8-7, 4-6 NESCAC), who they defeated in a dramatic 10-9 overtime affair in Clinton, N.Y. on March 22. Hamilton makes its second straight quarterfinal appearance, and its first against Bowdoin in NESCAC postseason play. Last season, the seventh seeded Continentals upset Colby in the quarterfinals before falling to Trinity 8-7 in overtime in the semifinals.
The remaining quarterfinal round game will feature fourth seeded Colby (11-3, 7-3 NESCAC) and fifth seeded Amherst (9-5, 5-5 NESCAC). This will be the third postseason meeting between the programs, with the Mules holding a 2-0 advantage, most recently defeating Amherst 8-7 in overtime in the 2010 semifinals. Colby opened the season riding an eight game win streak, before falling 8-4 to Trinity on April 7. The Mules made five straight semifinal appearances, before being upset by Hamilton in last season’s quarterfinals. Amherst opened the season with a 10-7 loss to Colby before winning six of their next seven games. The Jeffs were riding a three-game win streak heading into the regular season showdown with Trinity. Amherst made the 2012 semifinals, topping fifth seeding Bowdoin at home in the quarterfinals before falling to third seeded Middlebury, 7-6. Both teams have made five-straight NESCAC championship appearances, with Colby appearing in the championship games from 2007-2011 with back to back titles in 2008 and 2009. Amherst was in the finals from 2001-2005 and is searching for its first NESCAC championship.
Results for the NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.