HADLEY, Mass. - Middlebury is the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship and will hold home field advantage throughout the tournament for the seventh time in program history. The defending conference champions start their chase for a ninth conference crown when quarterfinal round action gets underway on Saturday, April 29. Hamilton, Trinity 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 6 and Sunday, May 7.
The four quarterfinal hosts all finished with identical conference records of 8-2. In head-to-head competition, Middlebury and Hamilton went 2-1 and Trinity and Colby went 1-2. Middlebury defeated Hamilton to earn the No. 1 seed, while Hamilton earned the No. 2 seed. Trinity defeated Colby to earn the No. 3 seed and the Mules finished as the No. 4 seed.
Middlebury (12-3, 8-2 NESCAC) is the defending NESCAC Champion. The Panthers enter the tournament having won six of their last seven games and own the top defense in the conference with a 6.85 goals against average. Middlebury is 5-3 in quarterfinal games, and will host eighth-seeded Amherst (6-8, 3-7 NESCAC) in the opening round. Amherst has the second-best defense in the league, with a 6.89 goals against average. The Mammoths are 12-4 in the quarterfinals and are seeking their first NESCAC Championship. Middlebury posted a 13-3 win over Amherst on April 1 and is 8-0 against the Mammoths in the tournament series, including a 13-4 win in last year’s semifinals.
Second-seeded Hamilton (11-4, 8-2 NESCAC) is hosting a quarterfinal matchup for the first time since 2015 after earning the highest seed in program history. Following a 1-3 start to the season, the Continentals went 10-1, including five straight wins to close the regular season. The Continentals are 2-2 in the quarterfinals and looking to get back to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. Hamilton will host No. 7 Bowdoin (10-5, 5-5 NESCAC) on Saturday. The Polar Bears return to the NESCAC Tournament after a one-year hiatus and are the No. 7 seed following a 13-12 loss at Tufts in the regular-season finale. After a strong start to the year with a 6-1 record, Bowdoin went 4-4 in April. The Polar Bears are searching for their first conference title and look to return to the championship game for the second time in three years. Bowdoin is 5-8 all-time in the opening round of tournament. The Continentals earned a 12-7 win over the Polar Bears during spring break in Florida on March 16. The two teams only meeting during tournament play came during the 2013 quarterfinals, which Hamilton won.
Trinity (12-3, 8-2 NESCAC) is the No. 3 seed for the first time since 2008 and will host a quarterfinal game for the 11th consecutive season. The Bantams started the season at 11-1, but fell in consecutive one-goal games versus Middlebury and Hamilton before rebounding with a win over Amherst to wrap up the regular season. Trinity owns a seven-game win streak in quarterfinal matchups and has won five NESCAC titles in six years. If the Bantams are to claim their sixth championship, they will have to get past Tufts (10-5, 5-5 NESCAC). The Jumbos earned the No. 6 seed following a 13-12 win over Bowdoin on Wednesday. Tufts is in the quarterfinals for the 10th straight season and chasing its first conference championship. Tufts enters the tournament having won seven of its last nine games and ranks third in scoring, averaging 12.67 goals per game. The Jumbos are 3-10 in the quarterfinals. Trinity defeated Tufts, 14-11, on March 25 in Hartford, Connecticut during the regular season. The Bantams own a 3-0 advantage over the Jumbos in the tournament, with Trinity pulling out an overtime win in the 2015 semifinals in the most recent meeting.
Fourth-seeded Colby (12-3, 8-2 NESCAC) will host a quarterfinal game for the second straight year. Colby is making its 17th straight NESCAC Tournament appearance and is looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2014. The Mules have the highest scoring offense in the league, averaging 12.73 goals per game. After dropping three of their first five games to start the season, Colby has won 10 straight games. The Mules, who have two NESCAC Championships in their history, are 10-6 in quarterfinal games. Colby will face fifth-seeded Wesleyan (11-4, 7-3 NESCAC) on Saturday. The Cardinals are making their first NESCAC Tournament appearance since 2009 after garnering the highest seed in program history. The Cardinals set a program record for most NESCAC and overall victories this season, and have won five of their last six games heading into the championship. Wesleyan is seeking its NESCAC Tournament victory. During the regular season, the Mules defeated the Cardinals, 12-6, in Waterville, Maine on April 2. The two teams have met only once in the postseason, with Colby earning a win in the 2009 quarterfinals.
Results for the NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.