Middlebury to Host NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship

Middlebury to Host NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship

HADLEY, Mass. – Top-seeded Middlebury will host the remaining rounds of the 2018 NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship for the second consecutive season and eighth time overall. The Panthers will face No. 6 Trinity in one semifinal on Saturday, May 5, while No. 2 Amherst meets No. 4 Bowdoin in the other semifinal. The winners will square off in the championship game on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m.

All three games will be streamed online via the Northeast Sports Network (NSN), links can be found at NESCAC.com. Streams are also available through Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV (search for NESCAC).

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

Middlebury (14-2) owns the top defense in the league, yielding 6.38 goals per game, and also lead the league in caused turnovers (219) and ground balls (391). Middlebury boasts three players with 40 points or more, led by junior attack Emma McDonagh’s (Reading, Mass.) 48 points (29 goals, 19 assists). Rookie Kirsten Murphy (Bridgewater, N.J.), who has started every game, has contributed 46 points on 23 goals and 23 assists, and senior Georgia Carroll (Lutherville, Md.) has chipped in 44 points and has a team-high 32 goals this season. Murphy and Carroll combined for 12 points and eight goals in Middlebury’s 14-5 quarterfinal victory over No. 8 Hamilton. Senior Hollis Perticone (Darien, Conn.) is the NESCAC leader in draws (101) and has 25 goals for the Panthers. Sophomore Julia Keith (North Andover, Mass.) is the top goalie for the Panthers. She has a 14-1 mark in net and carries a league-leading 6.35 goals against average into the semifinals.

Middlebury, which has eight NESCAC titles to its credit, is looking to book a spot in the championship game for the second time in three years. The Panthers will have to get past No. 6 Trinity (11-5), last year’s NESCAC Runner-Up. The Bantams are in the semifinals for the ninth year in a row after upending No. 3 Tufts, 12-10, in the quarterfinals. Trinity, which has played in seven consecutive finals, owns five NESCAC titles, winning all five from 2011 to 2015. Senior Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) is the leading scorer in the NESCAC with 58 goals and ranks third in points with 61. Classmate Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) has contributed 40 points on 31 goals and nine assists and leads Trinity in draws, winning 42 this season. Senior Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) has the best save percentage in the conference at .530 and owns a 8.38 goals against average for the Bantams.

Trinity is 2-1 against the Panthers in the NESCAC Championship series. The teams have met in the championship game each time. Middlebury came away with a 10-7 victory and its eighth NESCAC title the last time the teams squared off in the 2016 final. The Panthers defeated the Bantams, 14-8, on their home field on April 14 this season.

The second semifinal features two of the top offensive teams in the conference in No. 4 Bowdoin (13.88 gpg) and No. 2 Amherst (13.56 gpg). In addition to having one of the top offenses in the league, Amherst (15-1) is one of the stingiest defensive squads, allowing 6.81 goals per game. The Mammoths advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2014 with a 17-11 win over No. 7 Colby. Senior Julia Crerend (New Canaan, Conn.), who netted four goals in the quarterfinal win, is fourth in the league in points (58) and has tallied 49 goals to pace the Amherst attack. Rookies Claire Dunbar (Timonium, Md.) and Maia Noyes (Lexington, Mass.) have contributed 50 and 48 points, respectively, and Dunbar leads the team in assists (26.). Sophomore Talia Land (Larchmont, N.Y.) has played nearly every minute in goal for the Mammoths and owns a 7.02 goals against average, to go along with a .480 save percentage. Amherst’s lone setback this season was an 11-9 loss to Middlebury on March 31.

Bowdoin (12-4) held off No. 5 Wesleyan, 11-10, to earn its sixth win in seven games and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Polar Bears have scored 222 goals, the second most in the conference, and sophomore attack Katie Miller (Rye, N.Y.) has 45 goals to go with 55 points to lead the team. Senior Hannah Hirschfeld (Concord, N.H.) is the team leader in assists (17) to go along with 32 goals for 49 points. Classmate Kayli Weiss (Longmont, Colo.) has all 12 wins for Bowdoin in goal and owns a 9.85 goals against average this season.

Amherst is 3-2 against Bowdoin in the NESCAC postseason series. The two teams last met in the 2014 quarterfinals with Amherst posting an 11-5 victory. In the regular season, the Mammoths earned a 16-10 victory in the third game of the year on March 10.

Results for the NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.