HARTFORD, CT. -- Williams (6-10) upset Middlebury last Sunday to prove themselves worthy of Saturday's semifinal competition against Tufts (15-1), but couldn't top the Jumbos in the race for Sunday's Championship game. Tufts outscored the Ephs, 3-0, to clinch their position in tomorrow's NESCAC championship against Trinity at 12PM in hopes of improving on their second-place finish in 2008 against Bowdoin. The winner of tomorrow's NESCAC Championship game will gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Melissa Burke scored Tufts' first goal 10:40 into the first frame off an assist from Tamara Brown. Brown scored less than two minutes later off a feed from teammate Jess Perkins inside the circle to double the Jumbo's lead over the Ephs. Tufts found the net a third and final time near the end of the period at 24:28 when Lindsay Griffith passed the ball to Michelle Kelly for the goal. The Ephs held the Jumbos at three for the duration of the second half stifling their shots and penalty corners for the half, but it wasn't enough to defeat the number two seeded team at the sound of the final whistle. Despite the loss, Williams saw contributions from their entire roster keeping players fresh and the pace fast through numerous substitutions.
Tufts outshot the Ephs 23-3 and had a 20-0 penalty corner advantage over Williams. Eph junior goalie Katrina Tulla (New Canaan, CT) played a solid and focused game tallying 10 saves for the 70 minutes, while Jumbo goalie Marianna Zak had 2.
Coach Alix Barrale was happy with how hard her team fought and their continual persistence: "Tufts has a quick team and they really played in sync today, but I am proud of my team and the effort they put in. It was a battle to the end and that's what I like to see."
Williams finished the season out with a 6-10 record and most recently was runner-up in the 2005 championship game against Bowdoin. The Ephs have won the title three times in the last nine years.