Ephs set to host NESCAC Championships this Weekend

Ephs set to host NESCAC Championships this Weekend

2017 NESCAC Tournament

Women's Soccer Semifinals and Championship

Saturday, November 4
Sunday, November 5


All Three Games Will Be Webcast — CLICK LINK TO WATCH

Saturday's Schedule

11:00 A.M.

Williams 4, Amherst 2


1:30 P.M.

Tufts 3, Hamilton 2


Sunday's Schedule

12:00 P.M.

NESCAC Championship

Williams 2, Tufts 1 (OT)



Amherst (9-6-1) Roster • Schedule • Stats

at Williams (14-1-1): Roster • Schedule • Stats 

HADLEY, Mass. – Top-seeded Williams will host the semifinals and final of the 2017 NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship for the fourth consecutive year at Cole Field. Williams faces seventh-seeded Amherst in the first semifinal game on Saturday, November 4 at 11 a.m. The second semifinal contest features No. 6 Hamilton and No. 4 Tufts at 1:30 p.m. The winners will advance to the NESCAC Championship on Sunday at noon with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

"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 earned the top seed for the eighth time in program history and has its sights set on winning its eighth title. Williams most recently won NESCAC titles in 2014 and 2015. The Ephs are making their 11th straight semifinal appearance following a 4-0 victory over No. 8 Bowdoin in the quarterfinals. First-year Victoria Laino (Charlotte, Vt.) scored twice and junior Natalie Turner-Wyatt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a goal and an assist for Williams. The Ephs have been dominant on both ends of the field, allowing just five goals. The Ephs' lone loss of the season was a 1-0 decision at Middlebury in the final game of the regular season. Sophomore Alison Lu (Palo Alto, Calif.) leads the Ephs in scoring with 18 points. Junior goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill (New York, N.Y.) leads the league in goals against average (0.31) and wins (11). She also ranks second in save percentage (.882).
Lu has two game-winners, while senior Natasha Albaneze has scored three game-winners and has 16 points on the season (4 goals, 8 assists). Laino and Turner-Wyatt have five goals apiece and have combined for 23 points and three game-winners.
Amherst (9-6-1, 4-5-1 NESCAC) is the first seven seed to advance to the semifinals since 2006 and just the fourth in the history of the NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship. The defending champions advanced to the semifinals by knocking off No. 2 Connecticut College, 1-0, in the quarterfinals. Junior Rubii Tamen (Washington, D.C.) netted the game-winning goal to propel the Mammoths to back-to-back semifinal appearances for the first time since the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Tamen and senior Hannah Guzzi (Southborough, Mass.), who rank 1-2 among the conference scoring leaders, have combined for 43 points and 19 goals while 15 players on the roster have registered at least one point.

Williams owns a 3-2-1 lead in the postseason series, the last postseason meeting between the two teams was the 2011 championship game. The Mammoths came away with a 2-1 win to capture their third NESCAC title. This season, the Ephs defended their home turf with a 3-2 victory on September 23.

Hamilton (10-4-2) Roster • Schedule • Stats

vs. Tufts (9-4-3): Roster • Schedule • Stats

Saturday's second semifinal features sixth-seeded Hamilton (10-4-2) versus fourth-seeded Tufts (9-4-3). 

 After coming up empty in their first four championship appearances, the sixth-seeded Continentals broke through with a 1-0 win at Middlebury College on a goal by Maddie Dale '20 in the third minute last Saturday. Emily Dumont '18 made seven saves and tied a program record with her ninth shutout of the season. Hamilton, which is 1-3-1 in NESCAC postseason contests, is in the conference semifinals for the first time. The Continentals played Williams to a 1-1 tie in 2011 but the Ephs advanced to the next round with a 5-4 edge in penalty kicks.

The Continentals own the second-best defense in the conference, posting a 0.48 goals against average and 11 shutouts. Hamilton has nine shutouts over its last 10 matches and is 8-1-1. First-year Cat Gambino (Westbury, N.Y.) leads the team in scoring with seven points as 13 players have recorded at least one point this season. Senior Dumont (North Andover, Mass.) is one of the best goalkeepers in the NESCAC. She leads the league with a .896 save percentage and nine shutouts and ranks second in the conference in goals against average (0.53).

The Jumbos beat Trinity College 1-0 in the confernece quarterfinals last Saturday on a goal by freshman forward Sophie Lloydin the 70th minute assisted by junior goalkeeper Emily Bowers. The keeper's goal kick traveled the length of the field into the Bantams' box where Lloyd gathered and shot the ball into the back of the net.

Tufts is in the NESCAC Semifinals for the first time since 2013 and will be gunning for a berth to the championship game for the first time since 2005. Lloyd leads the team in scoring with 16 points and eight goals, while fellow rookie Liz Reed (Lynnfield, Mass.) has also contributed 12 points for the Jumbos. Bowers has played every minute in net for Tufts and owns a 0.72 goals against average with a .844 save percentage.

Saturday marks the first postseason meeting between Hamilton and Tufts. In the regular season, the Jumbos posted a 2-0 victory at Hamilton on October 8.