WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Alix Barrale's Williams College field hockey team will head north up Rt. 7 to face Trinity on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the campus of Middlebury [VT] College.
Third-seeded Williams (12-4, 6-4 NESCAC) is making back-to-back trips to the semifinals for the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons. The Ephs are on the hunt for their first title since 2004. Williams is 8-2 over its last 10 games, including a 4-2 victory over No. 6 Amherst in the quarterfinals.
Senior Alex Bennett netted a hat trick to lead the Ephs to the win. Bennett is tied with teammate Libby Dolan for the team lead in points (39, 2nd in the NESCAC) and has recorded 11 assists. Dolan has netted a team-leading 17 goals, including five game-winning tallies, to go along with five assists
The fifth-seeded Trinity Bantams (11-5, 5-5 NESCAC) stand in the way of the Ephs. After starting the season 1-4, the Bantams are 10-1 in their last 11 games. Trinity earned its first trip to the semifinals since 2014 with a 3-1 win over No. 4 Hamilton. Senior Kelcie Finn scored two goals and assisted on the third to lead the Bantams. Finn has scored 23 goals, including six game-winners, and added seven assists to lead the Bantams and the NESCAC in scoring with 53 points. Senior Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is one of the top goalkeepers in the conference with a .795 goals against average and is tied for the conference lead in wins with 11.
Trinity, which is the first No. 5 seed to advance to the semifinals since 2014, owns a 3-1 edge over Williams in the postseason series. The Bantams fell to the Ephs, 5-0, in last year's quarterfinal round, however, and Williams defeated Trinity, 3-2, in Hartford in the 2017 season opener. The Ephs have defeated the Bantams four straight times.
"We are very excited for the opportunity to play Trinity in the NESCAC semis this weekend," said Barrale. On paper the match-up is essentially even. Our game-to-game stats and results vs. shared opponents are very similar. This game will be much like our first game… a battle through and through. We hope to continue with our aggressive play and competitive greatness. We will fight for every ball and focus on finishing in our offensive circle."
The winner of the Williams vs. Trinity game will face the winner of the Middlebury vs. Bowdoin game at noon on Sunday at Middlebury for the NESCAC championship.