HADLEY, Mass. – Wesleyan, the defending NESCAC Champion, is the No. 1 seed for the 2018 NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship which begins on Saturday, April 28 with quarterfinal round action at the higher seeds. The highest remaining seed will host the semifinal and championship on May 5 and 6.
Wesleyan, Amherst, and Tufts all finished with identical conference records of 9-1. In head-to-head competition, all three teams went 1-1. In results against the top four teams, all three teams were 2-1. In results against the top eight teams, all three teams were 6-1. In comparing results against teams in rank order, all three teams posted wins against Williams, Connecticut College, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, Trinity and Hamilton. Per NESCAC tiebreaker protocol, a random action was used to determine that Wesleyan as the No. 1 seed, Amherst as the No. 2 seed and Tufts as the No. 3 seed.
Wesleyan (12-2, 9-1 NESCAC), which is the top seed for the first time in program history, will host a quarterfinal for the fifth time in six years. The top-seeded Cardinals, who also won a NESCAC title in 2009, will meet No. 8 Bates (8-7, 4-6 NESCAC) to open NESCAC Tournament play. Wesleyan has won four straight entering the tournament and owns the top defense in the conference, allowing 8.46 goals per game. Bates defeated Colby, 20-15, in the regular season finale to qualify for the NESCAC Championships for the fourth year in a row. A semifinalist last season, the Bobcats are the No. 8 seed for the first time in program history. The Cardinals defeated Bates, 13-11, on March 10 in the regular season. The two teams have met once in the NESCAC postseason, with Bates prevailing in the 2015 quarterfinals.
No. 2 Amherst (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC) will host a quarterfinal game for the third time in five years when it meets No. 7 Bowdoin (8-6, 4-6 NESCAC) in the quarterfinals. Amherst is the No. 2 seed for the eighth time in program history and first time since 2016. Amherst is the top scoring offense in the league, averaging 19.20 goals per game. The Mammoths, who are seeking their first NESCAC title, have won five straight contests and nine of their last 10 entering the tournament. The Polar Bears have qualified for the NESCAC Championship for the 17th time in 18 years and are the No. 7 seed for the first time since 2011 and the fourth time overall. Bowdoin is looking to advance to the semifinals for the second time in three years as the Polar Bears chase their first NESCAC title. Amherst edged Bowdoin, 16-15, in the third game of the season on March 10 in Brunswick, Maine. In the NESCAC Tournament, the teams are 2-2 against each other. The Mammoths won the last meeting in the 2014 quarterfinals.
Tufts (13-1, 9-1 NESCAC) has qualified for all 18 NESCAC Championships and is the No. 3 seed for the fourth time in program history. The Jumbos will host a quarterfinal for the 11th time in 12 years when they face No. 6 Middlebury. Tufts has the second-best offense in the NESCAC, netting 16.50 goals per game. The Jumbos’ lone loss of the year was a 20-16 setback to Amherst. Middlebury (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC), the NESCAC Runner-Up last season, is in the NESCAC Championship for the sixth straight season and is the No. 6 seed for the second straight year and third time overall. A finalist the last two seasons, the Panthers look to return to the semifinals for the fourth season in a row. Middlebury owns seven NESCAC titles, winning all seven between 2001 and 2007. Tufts defeated Middlebury, 13-10, on April 21 in the regular season, and is 4-3 against the Panthers in NESCAC Tournament play. The two teams last met in the 2016 championship game, with Tufts coming away with the victory.
Williams (8-7, 6-6 NESCAC) has earned the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Connecticut College (10-5, 5-5 NESCAC) in the remaining quarterfinal matchup. The Ephs are in the NESCAC Tournament field for the fifth consecutive season and are the No. 4 seed for the first time since 2014 and second time overall. Williams enters the tournament having won four of its last five games. The Ephs won their only NESCAC title in 2008, and will be seeking their third semifinal appearance in five years when they meet the Camels. Connecticut College is the No. 5 seed for the second time in program history (2008). The Camels are looking to make their first semifinal appearance since 2013, as they seek their first league title. Williams edged Connecticut College, 11-9, in Williamstown, Mass. on March 17 in the regular season. Saturday’s quarterfinal will mark the first time the teams will meet in the NESCAC Tournament.
Results for the NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.