WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Alix Barrale's Williams College field hockey team (9-6/5-5 NESCAC) is seeded seventh and will travel to Hartford, Conn. Sat. to face second seeded Trinity in a First Round NESCAC Tournament contest at 1:00 p.m.
Williams and Trinity met in the regular season in Williamstown on Sept. 10 and the Ephs prevailed 4-3. The Ephs overcame an early 2-0 deficit on the strength of two goals and two assists by Rachel Brissette. Williams manufactured 10 penalty corners to just four for Trinity.
In the win over Trinity the Bantams' top offensive threat Kelcie Finn fired off nine shots and six of those were on goal. Finn opened the scoring in the contest with a goal just 17 seconds in. Finn is the conference leader in goals scored with 24. She also has eight assists.
Containing Finn is a top priority for the Ephs on Saturday. "The obvious key in the Trinity game is to keep the ball out of Kelcie Finn's hands," Barrale stated. "She is an offensive powerhouse and hard to contain. We will have to continue with our strong passing game and being able to convert on corners. Goalie Margaret Draper and the defense will not only have to shut down Finn but keep Trinity to as few penalty corners as possible. We must be aware of the Astroturf surface (different than the Ephs' home field) and how much faster the game is on that surface."
After losing to Williams Trinity won 11 of the last 13 games and the Bantams average 3.3 goals a game. Williams averages 2.7 goals a game, but the Ephs have played the last five games without leading scorer Alex Bennett who is out for the rest of the season with an injury.
"After our game at Hamilton (the only game we have been shut out) I wasn't sure we would ever recover from the loss of Alex Bennett," stated Barrale. "She is a force in the circle and on our penalty corners and as an overall playmaker. What's been really exciting in her absence is that everyone else has been stepping up and finding the back of the net. We have great balance and great depth on offense."
"I feel our team is improving with every game," added Barrale. "I look at the NESCAC tourney as our opportunity to demonstrate how far we have come. Our success this season has not always shown up in the win column. This is our chance to find our stride and show we have what it takes to earn the win. It may not be easy but we have never been about easy. The harder the challenge the more we rise."
2016 NESCAC FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, October 29 at Higher SeedsQuarterfinal Games
No. 8 Bates at No. 1 Tufts – 1 p.m.
No. 7 Williams at No. 2 Trinity – 1 p.m.
No. 6 Amherst at No. 3 Hamilton – 1 p.m.
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 4 Middlebury – 1 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinals – games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining Quarterfinal Winners
Sunday, November 6 at Semifinal Site
Final - 12 p.m.