HADLEY, Mass. – The Middlebury Panthers have earned the top seed for the 2018 NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship that begins on Saturday, April 28 with quarterfinal games at the higher seeds. The semifinals and final will be played at the highest remaining seed on May 5 and 6.
Middlebury (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC), which has appeared in every NESCAC Tournament, finished in a tie with Amherst for first place in the NESCAC standings. The Panthers earned the No. 1 seed by virtue of defeating the Mammoths, 11-9, on March 31.
Middlebury is the top seed for the second straight year and ninth time overall. The Panthers own one of the strongest defenses in the league, yielding 6.47 goals per game, and enters the tournament riding a four-game win streak. Middlebury, which has won eight NESCAC titles, the last coming in 2016, will meet No. 8 Hamilton (5-10, 3-7 NESCAC) in the quarterfinals. The Continentals are in the NESCAC Championship field for the fourth consecutive season and are seeking their second straight trip to the semifinals. Middlebury and Hamilton have never met in NESCAC postseason play, but the Panthers did hand the Continentals a 20-11 loss at Middlebury on April 22 in the regular season.
Amherst (14-1, 9-1 NESCAC) is the No. 2 seed for the seventh time overall and first time since 2014. The Mammoths will host a quarterfinal for the third time in five years when they face No. 7 Colby (9-6, 4-6 NESCAC). Amherst has the top defense in the league, allowing 6.36 goals per game. The Mammoths look to advance to the semifinals for the second time in three years as they pursue their first NESCAC title. Colby, the defending NESCAC Champion, earned a spot in the tournament following an 8-7 overtime win over Bates. The Mules have appeared in every NESCAC Championship field and are the No. 7 seed for the first time in program history. They look to move into the semifinals for the second straight season. Amherst defeated Colby, 13-12, in the season opener on March 3 in Waterville, Maine, however the Mules own a 3-0 advantage in the NESCAC postseason series with the teams last meeting in the 2013 quarterfinals.
Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Trinity all finished with identical conference records of 6-4. In head-to-head competition, all three teams went 1-1. In results against the top four, all three teams were 1-4. In results against the top eight teams, all three teams were 3-4. In comparing results against teams in rank order, all three teams lost to Middlebury, Amherst and Tufts, and posted wins against Colby, Hamilton, Bates, Williams and Connecticut College. A random action was used to determine Bowdoin as the No. 4 seed, Wesleyan as the No. 5 seed and Trinity as the No. 6 seed.
Tufts (12-3, 8-2 NESCAC) is the No. 3 seed for the first time in program history and will host a quarterfinal for the first time since 2009 when it meets No. 6 Trinity (10-5, 6-4 NESCAC) in a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal, which the Bantams won. The Jumbos are making their 11th consecutive appearance in the NESCAC Tournament, and are looking for their first trip to the semifinals since 2015 along with their first NESCAC title. Tufts owns the highest scoring offense in the NESCAC, averaging 14.87 goals per game, and has won eight of its last 10 games. Trinity, last year’s NESCAC Runner-Up, is the No. 6 seed for the second time in program history (2003). The Bantams are in the NESCAC Tournament field for the 12th straight season and look to advance to the semifinals for the ninth year in a row. Trinity, which has played in seven consecutive finals, owns five NESCAC titles, winning all five from 2011 to 2016. Tufts defeated Trinity, 12-9, on March 24 during the regular season. The Bantams own a 4-0 advantage over the Jumbos in the NESCAC Championship series.
Bowdoin (11-4, 6-4 NESCAC) is the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Wesleyan (10-5, 6-4 NESCAC) in the remaining quarterfinal matchup. The Polar Bears are the fourth seed for the third time in program history and first time since 2006. Bowdoin is seeking its first semifinal appearance since 2015, the same year the Polar Bears advanced to the championship game. Bowdoin has won five of its last six games entering the tournament and defeated Wesleyan, 13-11, on April 14. Wesleyan is making its second straight NESCAC Championship appearance and is the No. 5 seed for the second year in a row. The Cardinals are looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time in program history. The Polar Bears earned a quarterfinal victory over the Cardinals in 2015 in the only meeting in the NESCAC Tournament.
Results for the NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.