MIDDLEBURY, VT- In the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament, the Ephs (13-4) lost a tough battle against foe Tufts (14-3). The winning goal came for the Jumbos in the final quarter off the stick of Claire Foley (49:34).
The day started out with the Jumbos gaining early possession of the ball, and notching a quick series of penalty corners. Several shots came from the Jumbos that the Ephs defended away easily. Beth Krikorian broke past the Eph defense to get a shot at the goal, but Eph keeper Abby Lloyd '20 knocked the shot away easily (8:21). The rest of the quarter remained a stalemate between the two squads, with play staying mostly in the midfield.
Into the second quarter, the Jumbos threatened with another penalty corner. Marguerite Salamone took the corner and made a pass to Rachel Hamilton at the top of the circle, but the shot from Hamilton could not get past Lloyd in front of the net (17:58). From there, the Ephs had their first opportunity of the game, gaining a penalty corner at 19:33. Kate Gregory '22 would take the corner for the Ephs and her pass out to the circle found the stick of Claire Fitzpatrick '21 who fired a shot at the goal. The shot was blocked by a Jumbo defender, but Fitzpatrick quickly regained the ball and made a quick shot that went just wide of the net (19:46,20:04).
After a few more minutes of play, Siobhan Morrissey took a shot at the goal, but her ball sailed wide of the net (25:19). Elizabeth Welch '22 took her own shot at the goal at 27:05, but the shot was saved by Jumbo keeper Andie Stallman (27:05).
At the half, the teams were still scoreless. Lloyd had two saves in the game so far, and Stallman had one save. The Jumbos were leading in penalty corners 3-1.
The Jumbos lead offensively into the third quarter, with Hamilton firing a shot at Lloyd at 35:57 that she quickly knocked away. The Jumbos quickly gained a series of penalty corners, testing the Eph defense. Sophie Schoeni fired a pair of shots at Lloyd but was unable to get past the steady keeper and the game remained tied (38:56, 39:01).
The Jumbos maintained momentum heading into the final quarter, and another series of penalty corners proved to be successful. After a shot from Gillian Roeca was kicked away by Lloyd, Krikorian picked up the ball for the Jumbos and found Claire Foley by the net, who slid the ball just past the pad of Lloyd to notch the goal for the Jumbos.
The Ephs weren't deterred yet, and quickly gained possession and a shot from Gregory was barely deflected by Stallman (50:04). A quick penalty corner provided an opportunity for the Ephs, and after a couple of minutes of maneuvering by the offense, Emma Ticknor '20 came up with the ball and fired it at the goal. Stallman stepped in front of the shot just in time to quiet the Eph threat (53:10). The Ephs last opportunity came with a penalty corner at 57:16, but the Jumbo defense kept the offense at bay, securing the 1-0 victory and a spot in the NESCAC Championship game.
The Ephs are looking for a hopeful at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, to be announced in an NCAA press release tonight at 11:30 pm. The link to the official bracket can be found here: https://www.ncaa.com/brackets/fieldhockey/d3/2019