2011 NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship

Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Championship
Saturday, Oct. 29
Saturday, Nov. 5
Sunday, Nov. 6
at No. 1 Amherst 3, No. 8 Bowdoin 2 - OT
at No. 1 Amherst 3, No. 5 Wesleyan 0
at No. 1 Amherst 2, No. 3 Williams 1
at No. 2 Middlebury 2, No. 7 Colby 0
No. 3 Williams 0, vs. No. 2 Middlebury 0 - 2OT
 
at No. 3 Williams 1, No. 6 Hamilton 1 - 2OT
Williams advances on penalty kicks, 5-4
 
Williams advances on penalty kicks, 5-4
   
No. 5 Wesleyan 1, at No. 4 Tufts 1 - 2OT    
Wesleyan advances on penalty kicks, 5-3    
Championship Seeding
Championship Preview
Championship Records 
     

Amherst Edges Williams 2-1 for Women's Soccer Title

Amherst Edges Williams 2-1 for Women's Soccer Title

Courtesy Amherst Sports Information

Box Score

AMHERST, Mass. - Kathryn Nathan '13 (Pembroke, Mass.) tied the game in the 83rd minute before assisting on junior Sandy Shepherd's (Coronado, Calif.) game winner at 85:12 to complete Amherst's thrilling 2-1 come-from-behind win over archrival Williams in the NESCAC women's soccer championship game on Hitchcock Field.

Denying the Ephs a chance at a fifth-consecutive league title, Amherst handed Williams its first NESCAC championship loss since 2006, snapping a 13-game postseason unbeaten streak. Improving to 17-0-0 en route to their first conference crown since 2003 (third overall), the Jeffs earned the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Williams, now 10-4-3 overall, will hope for an at-large bid when Tournament pairings are announced Monday.

Coming out aggressive, Amherst applied much of the pressure in the first five minutes of action, registering three shots while winning an early corner during that stretch. Making a run down the right side, Sarah Duffy '14 (Fairfield, Conn.) sent a low cross into the box, finding the feet of Chloe McKenzie '14 (Upper Marlboro, Md.). Shielding a pair of Eph defenders from the ball in the middle of the 18, the sophomore forward ripped a shot past junior goalkeeper Laura Wann, but hit the left post, narrowly missing an opportunity to put Amherst on the board.

Continuing to push forward in the sixth minute, Duffy again played a cross in from the right side, nearly connecting with Nathan on the back post. After Ariana Twomey '15 (Boxford, Mass.) headed a corner-kick wide at 5:20, Williams countered, moving into the attacking third. Receiving the ball on the right side of the box, sophomore Hayley Cook one-timed a volley toward goal, but the shot veered left to keep things scoreless.

Amherst responded by testing Wann with a McKenzie shot in the 11th minute before Nathan slid a low try wide left at 11:17. McKenzie again came in on goal moments later, lifting a rising shot from the left side, but Wann smothered the attempt to keep Williams level.

Getting outshot 10-2 and still scoreless with just over seven minutes remaining in the first, Williams looked to change momentum, switching fields with Carla Nicasio '14 making a run down the far side. Looking to goal, Nicasio lofted a well-placed cross into the box, finding first-year Lily Wellenbach who headed the game's first tally into back of the Lord Jeff net to suddenly give the Ephs a 1-0 advantage.

Hoping to respond before the end of the half, first-year Mel Stier (Deerfield, Mass.) made a move down the left side in the 41st minute, firing a shot that prompted a diving Wann save. With the Williams keeper unable to control the rebound an alert Stier corralled the loose ball before putting another try on goal, but an Eph defender cleared the ball off the goal line, diffusing the Amherst threat while preserving the visitor's 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.

Looking to set the tone coming out of the break, Amherst won a quick corner less than two minutes into action. Floating a cross toward the back post, Nathan found junior Emily Little (Sherborn, Mass.), who headed a shot at Wann. With the Jeffs continuing to control possession, Amherst held the ball in the offensive zone over the next 10 minutes, but managed just two shots against a steady Eph backline.

Searching for another tally, Williams' Hayley Cook '14 and Louisa Costa '15 recorded consecutive shots on goal at 57:53 and 58:47, but Amherst senior goalkeeper Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, Conn.) made a pair of big stops to keep the Jeffs within one.

Still trailing with just over 10 to play, Amherst won a corner from the right flag. Tracking down the ball in the middle of the box, senior Jill Kochanek (Pittsburgh, Pa.) headed it toward goal, but Wann got a hand on the shot, denying the senior a chance at the equalizer.

Undaunted, Amherst once again moved into the attacking third in the 83rd minute, with Stier bringing the ball up the left side before losing possession on a Williams slide tackle. Filling in behind Stier, Nathan quickly pounced on the loose ball. Finding open space after the initial touch, the Pembroke, Mass. native rifled a hard shot into the top right corner past a diving Wann to pull the Jeffs even at 82:31.

Less than three minutes later, Amherst won a corner from the right flag. Serving the ball toward the back post, Nathan linked up with Shepherd who headed in the go-ahead goal with just 4:48 left in regulation.

Needing to protect its lead, the disciplined Jeff backline kept everything in front, not allowing a shot during the game's waning minutes to preserve Amherst's 2-1 comeback victory.

The Lord Jeffs finished with a decisive 23-7 shot advantage and a 9-0 edge in corners. Horwitz needed to make just two saves to remain unbeaten at 17-0-0 while Wann made seven stops in the loss.

2011 NESCAC WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Quarterfinals - Saturday, October 29 at Higher Seeds
at No. 1 Amherst 3, No. 8 Bowdoin 2 - OT
at No. 2 Middlebury 2, No. 7 Colby 0
at No. 3 Williams 1, No. 6 Hamilton 1 - 2OT
Williams advances on penalty kicks, 5-4
No. 5 Wesleyan 1, at No. 4 Tufts 1 - 2OT
Wesleyan advances on penalty kicks, 5-3

Semifinals - Saturday, November 5 at Amherst
at No. 1 Amherst 3, No. 5 Wesleyan 0
No. 3 Williams 0, vs. No. 2 Middlebury 0 - 2OT
Williams advances on penalty kicks, 5-4

Championship - Sunday, November 6 at Amherst
at No. 1 Amherst 2, No. 3 Williams 1

 

2011 NESCAC WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Quarterfinals - Saturday, October 29 at Higher Seeds
12:00 p.m.
No. 8 at No. 1
No. 7 at No. 2
No. 6 at No. 3
No. 5 at No. 4

Semifinals - Saturday, November 5 at Highest Remaining Seed
11:00 a.m./1:30 p.m.
 
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining First Round Winners

Championship - Sunday, November 6
Semifinal Winners - 12:00 p.m.

Format
The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship.  Quarterfinal games will be conducted on Saturday, October 29, 2011 with the semifinals and championship games conducted on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, respectively. The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. 

Seeding
Seeding will be based on final conference standings of round robin play. Standings will be based on points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie).

The 8th seed will play at the 1st seed, the 7th seed will play at the 2nd seed, the 6th seed will play at the 3rd seed, and the 5th seed will play at the 4th seed.  Teams will be re-bracketed after first round games and the lowest remaining seed will face the highest remaining seed.

Pairings
Pairings will be announced Wednesday, October 26.

Tie Breaking Procedures
Ties will be broken as follows:

Head-to-head result (if teams play each other more than once during the regular season, the game that appears on the league schedule will be the game that is counted).

If teams tied during the regular season, or there is a 3-way or more tie, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:

  • Best record among tying teams, against one another (head-to-head).
  • Best conference winning percentage.
  • Most conference wins (in games that are part of the conference schedule and count toward league standings).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 4 teams (including all teams at the 4th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 8 teams (including all teams at the 8th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against conference teams in rank order.
  • Comparisons shall be made one team at a time starting with the highest ranked team.
  • If the tie remains after comparing results against the highest ranked team, the results against the next team in rank order shall be used. This process is continued until a winner is determined.
  • Coin flip (or similar random action involving all tied teams).

Note: In case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria above will be applied in order until a team is (or teams are) separated.  At that point, the process begins anew (returning to the first criteria) with the remaining teams.  The process is continued until the tie is eventually broken.  In cases where only a random action will break the tie of three or more teams, the random action will be applied to all teams involved in the tie.  For example, if three teams are tied and only a random action (pulling names out of a hat) will break the tie, each name will be pulled and seeded in order of being pulled.  Also, in the event that there are two (or more) groups of teams tied at different spots in the standings and the only criteria left that can be used to break those ties is a coin flip/random action, the coin flip/random action used to break the tie of one group (to put teams in rank order) will not affect the tie breaking procedures of the other group(s) of tied teams.