Ephs set to host NESCAC Championships this Weekend

Ephs set to host NESCAC Championships this Weekend

2016 NESCAC Tournament

Women's Soccer Semifinals and Championship

Saturday, November 5


Sunday, November 6


All Three Games Will Be Webcast — CLICK LINK TO WATCH

Saturday's Schedule

11:00 A.M.

Trinity 1, Williams 1, PKs Away


1:30 P.M.

Amherst 2, Middlebury 0


Sunday's Schedule

12:00 P.M.

NESCAC Championship

Amherst 2, Trinity 1



Trinity (11-3-2) Roster • Schedule • Stats

 at Williams (15-0-1): Roster • Schedule • Stats 

HADLEY, Mass. – The higher seeds all advanced in the NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship, and Williams will maintain home field advantage in its quest toward its eighth conference crown. The top-seeded Ephs will host No. 4 Trinity when Saturday's semifinal schedule gets underway at 11 a.m. Second-seeded Amherst and third-seeded Middlebury square off at 1:30 p.m. Advancing teams will battle for the NESCAC championship on Sunday at noon with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament up for grabs.

"We have so much respect for everyone in the league," Ephs' head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "The teams who have advanced this year have had incredibly consistent seasons and are going to be a real challenge.My hope is that the work we've done in honing our game plan over the last several weeks will play out positive for us this weekend."
Williams (15-0-1, 9-0-1 NESCAC), the defending NESCAC Champion, stretched its win streak to 10 games with a 4-1 victory over No. 8 Hamilton in the quarterfinals. Hamilton took an early 1-0 lead, but the Ephs struck twice in a three-minute span to take the lead and added two more tallies in the second half to advance to the semifinals for the 10th consecutive season.

Senior Kristi Kirshe (Franklin, Mass.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal and added an assist on the final tally of the match. The Ephs have been dominant on both ends of the field, allowing just five goals and scoring 45 in 16 games. Rookie Alison Lu (Palo Alto, Calif.) leads the team and ranks second in the conference in scoring with 27 points and a team-best 11 goals. Kirshe has delivered a NESCAC-leading 10 assists and ranks second in points with 22. Sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill (New York, N.Y.) has allowed just five goals and owns a 0.37 goals against average. She has registered seven shutouts with a .906 save percentage, the best in the NESCAC.

Williams will face No. 4 Trinity (11-3-2, 7-3-0 NESCAC) in the semifinal round. The Bantams posted their seventh shutout in nine matches with a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Tufts, and are making their second straight appearance in the next round. Sophomore Taylor Kirchgessner (Southampton, N.Y.) scored in the 55th minute and junior Julia Pitino (Littleton, Mass.) made six stops to preserve the clean sheet against the Jumbos. Pitino anchors the Trinity defense with her 10 shutouts and owns an .896 save percentage along with a 0.59 goals against average. Kirchgessner is the offensive leader and the league's third-leading scorer, registering 26 points with team-highs of 10 goals and six assists. She also has four game-winning tallies for the Bantams.

Trinity is in the semifinals for the third time in four years and will face the Ephs for the second time. In the 2013 semifinals, Williams defeated Trinity, 2-0. The Bantams fell, 2-1, at Williams on September 10 in the NESCAC opener for both teams.

"Trinity is an incredibly organized team and challenging to get behind," Pinard said. "We've continued to try to be more aggressive in our getting forward in lots of different ways.  My hope is that we will be able to do that against them this Saturday. They are also very efficient in their scoring. They don't need a lot of opportunities to finish and so we have to be as tight as ever defensively on Saturday in order to advance."

Middlebury (13-3-0) Roster • Schedule • Stats

vs. Amherst (13-2-1): Roster • Schedule • Stats

Saturday's second semifinal features second-seeded Amherst (13-2-1) versus third-seeded Middlebury (13-3-0). 

Amherst (13-2-1, 8-1-1 NESCAC) cruised past No. 7 Connecticut College, 6-1, in the quarterfinal round. The Purple & White used a four-goal second half to break open the game and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012. Junior Hannah Guzzi (Southborough, Mass.) scored twice in the first half to give Amherst the lead and sophomore Rubii Tamen (Washington, D.C.) notched two of the four second-half tallies as the Purple & White pulled away.  Amherst has not lost since September 18 when it dropped a 1-0 decision to Middlebury, its opponent in the semifinal round. Guzzi leads the league in scoring with 31 points on 14 goals and three assists. Sophomore Maeve McNamara (Arlington, Mass.) has handed out a team-best six helpers and has 12 points on the year. Sophomore Chandler Cutler(Westport, Conn.) has seen the majority of minutes in net, owning a 0.69 goals against average with an .851 save percentage.

 Middlebury (13-3-0, 7-3-0 NESCAC) earned its ninth win in ten games with a 2-1 victory over No. 6 Bowdoin. Senior Katherine Hobbs (Menlo Park, Calif.) scored just four minutes into the match and seniorAmy Martin (Sandy Hook, Conn.) netted the game-winner in the 55th minute to send the Panthers to the semifinals for the fourth straight season. Senior Adrianna Gildner (Woodinville, Wash.) leads the team in scoring with 20 points on eight goals and four assists. Martin has dished out a team-best eight assists and has 12 points on the year. Rookie Ursula Alwang (Weston, Conn.) and senior Kate Reinmuth (Olympia, Wash.) have split the goalkeeping duties. Alwang has a .867 save percentage with a 0.62 goals against average, while Reinmuth has eight wins, four by shutout, and a 0.83 goals against average.

Before this season, Amherst and Middlebury met in three straight quarterfinal matches. The Panthers came away with three consecutive wins. The two teams last met in the semifinals in 2009, with the Panthers posting a 1-0 victory.

2016 Season Outlook
September 3, 2016 2016 Season Outlook