Ephs gain at-large NCAA berth; head to M.I.T. to face Gettysburg

Ephs gain at-large NCAA berth; head to M.I.T. to face Gettysburg

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA —  The defending national champion Williams College women's soccer team (9-5-2) earned an at-large berth into the 2019 NCAA Div. III Tournament, it was announced Monday. 

The Ephs will be making their 21st appearance in the Div. III NCAA Tournament — and 13th consecutive — this weekend when they travel to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. 

"At this point in the season, we are just happy to be playing,' Ephs' head coach Michelyne Pinard said. "Only 64 teams in the country are able to say that and we don't take that for granted; we're thrilled to be playing, and we're looking to do whatever we can do to earn another day together."

MIT (19-1-2) will face Johnson & Wales (16-6-0) at 11 a.m. this Saturday, and the Ephs (9-5-2) will take on Gettysburg (13-4-1) at 1:30 p.m.

Johnson & Wales (16-6-0) earned the Great Northeast Athletic Conference's (GNAC) automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 win over Saint Joseph's (Maine) in the title bout, while Gettysburg  (13-4-1) was an at-large selection as the Bullets fell to Dickinson College in the Centennial Conference Semifinals, 3-0. The Ephs fell to Middlebury 2-0 in the conference tournament semifinals Saturday. The Engineers won their third consecutive NEWMAC crown and sixth in program history as the top seed and defeated fourth-seeded Springfield College, 3-0, in the semifinal round on Thursday and third-seeded WPI, 3-0, in the final on Saturday. 

Williams has won two consecutive Div. III national championships and three in the last four years, and has played in the national championship game four of the last five years. 

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