HADLEY, Mass. – Williams marched through the conference schedule to earn the top seed throughout the 2017 NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship for the fourth consecutive year. Quarterfinal action gets underway on Saturday, October 28 with Williams, Connecticut College, Middlebury and Tufts hosting opening round matches. The highest remaining seed following Saturday’s action will host the semifinals and final on November 4-5.
PURCHASE NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP GEAR
Williams (13-1-1, 8-1-1 NESCAC) is the top seed for the eighth time in program history and looks to claim its eighth title overall. Williams’ most recently won NESCAC titles in 2014 and 2015. The Ephs have been dominant on both ends of the field, allowing just five goals and scoring 33 goals on the year, second in the NESCAC. The Ephs’ lone loss of the season was a 1-0 decision at Middlebury in the final game of the regular season. Last year, the Ephs run for the NESCAC title was cut short after falling to Trinity in penalty kicks in the semifinal round. Williams opens postseason play against eighth-seeded Bowdoin (9-5-1, 4-5-1 NESCAC). The Polar Bears rank third in the NESCAC in scoring with 30 goals and will need some of that offense to get past the Ephs and advance to the semifinals. Bowdoin dropped a 3-0 decision to Williams in the regular season, but went on a five-game win streak following that loss. Williams owns a 5-0-2 record against the Polar Bears in the postseason and the teams last met in the 2015 championship game with the Ephs registering the win.
Connecticut College (12-2-1, 7-2-1 NESCAC) will host a quarterfinal game for the first time since 2014, the same year the Camels won their only NESCAC Championship. Connecticut College is making its seventh postseason appearance and has earned its highest seed in program history at No. 2. The Camels started the season unbeaten in their first eight games (7-0-1) and have tallied 76 points this season. Connecticut College will face No. 7 Amherst (8-6-1, 4-5-1 NESCAC) in its quest to make its fourth appearance in the semifinals. The Mammoths and Bowdoin both finished the season with 13 points, but Amherst grabbed the seventh seed thanks to a 1-0 victory over Bowdoin in the second game of the season. The defending NESCAC Champions, the Mammoths and are making their 18th straight postseason appearance. Amherst enters the postseason having gone 5-1-1 over the last seven matches. Amherst has a potent offense, scoring a league-high 39 goals, averaging 2.79 per game this season. If Amherst is to earn back-to-back championships, the Mammoths will have to avenge a 3-2 loss to the Camels during the regular season. The quarterfinal matchup is a repeat of last season when Amherst recorded a win and improved to 1-2-0 against the Camels in NESCAC Championship play.
Middlebury (11-2-2, 6-2-2 NESCAC) makes its 18th straight appearance in the NESCAC Championship field, earning the No. 3 seed. A 1-0 win over Tufts on October 7 lifted the Panthers past the Jumbos in the head-to-head tie breaker to finish with the third seed as both teams finished the season with 20 points. Middlebury will host a quarterfinal game for the second straight year and is in search of its fourth NESCAC title and first since 2013. The Panthers are unbeaten in their last nine games (8-0-1) and boast one of the best defenses in the league with a 0.51 goals against average. Middlebury will meet No. 6 Hamilton (9-4-2, 4-4-2 NESCAC) in the quarterfinals. The Continentals made the NESCAC Championship field for the fourth time, all since 2011. Hamilton is in search of its first playoff victory when it faces the Panthers. The Continentals posted eight shutouts over their last nine matches and went 7-1-1 to finish the regular season. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw at Middlebury on September 17 and Saturday marks their first meeting in the NESCAC Championship.
The final match of the quarterfinal round pits No. 4 Tufts (8-4-3, 6-2-2 NESCAC) against No. 5 Trinity (7-6-2, 5-4-1 NESCAC), a rematch of the 2016 quarterfinal, which Trinity won 1-0. Overall the NESCAC Championship series between the teams is knotted at 1-1. The Jumbos are making their fifth straight appearance and 17th overall in the NESCAC Championship. Tufts, which is hosting a quarterfinal round for the first time since 2011, captured its only NESCAC title in 2002. A quarterfinal victory over the Bantams will give the Jumbos their first semifinal appearance since 2013. Trinity is in the NESCAC Championship for the fifth straight season and look to make its third straight semifinal appearance. The Bantams were the NESCAC Runner-Up last season after knocking of top-seeded Williams on penalty kicks to earn the program’s first trip to the finals. The Bantams used a four-game win streak and a 5-1-1 mark over the final six matches to gain some momentum and make a push for the playoffs. In the regular season, Tufts earned a 2-0 win in Medford, Mass.
Results for the NESCAC Women’s Soccer Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.