Editor’s Note: We’d like to welcome another new writer to the fold! Andrew Martin is a first year at Wesleyan, and he’ll be doing a lot of work with the newer sports for our coverage (Soccer and Hockey.) Andrew really like pina coladas and dancing in the rain.
One of the nation’s best women’s soccer conferences is back for its 2017 campaign. Perennial powerhouse Williams College is already off to a perfect season. Squads like Wesleyan and Colby look to bounce back after a tough stretch of league-play last year and uneven starts this season. And all this while Tufts, Bowdoin, and Conn seek to ascend from the middle of the pack to the upper-echelon of the conference. Forget all the speculation, anything can happen in the ‘Cac, and the season is already in full-swing. Let’s check out the games this weekend.
Both the Bantams and the Mules seek their first conference win in the 2017 season. Colby comes off a 3-0 defeat at the hands of conference-leader Williams. However, there is a bright spot for Colby in the form of Olivia Greif ‘21. Greif ranks third in the NESCAC in points, goals, and assists. With only one conference goal thus far, the Mules need to start generating some offense to have any shot at competing with the conference’s elite, and Greif is the biggest key to that struggle. Similarly, Trinity comes into play with zero conference goals. Keeper Julia Pitino ‘18 ranks fourth in the NESCAC in saves. Although it’s tough to categorize this game as a must win for both teams so early in the season, going winless into the third weekend is incredibly hard to come back from.
Hamilton (Conf: 1-2-1, Overall: 2-2-1) vs. Connecticut College (Conf: 2-0-1, League: 4-0-1) (11:30 A.M., New London, CT)
Hamilton comes into this weekend coasting off of a 1-0 win over the Bantams. The biggest reason for that win was keeper Emily Dumont ‘18, who ranks second in the NESCAC in saves. With three conference goals at this point in the season, it’s clear that the Continentals can generate offense, but to move into the top-three teams in the league, Dumont has to continue to be a rock in between the pipes. The Camels have nothing but confidence without a loss in the conference or overall play yet. Part of that reason is Michelle Medina ‘18, who leads the team with three of its five goals. Connecticut College could be the sleeper team to win the NESCAC this year, but before they think of Williams, they have to defeat Hamilton.
Amherst (Conf: 1-1-0, Overall 3-2-0) vs. Williams (Conf: 4-0-0, Overall: 5-0-0) (12:00, Williamstown, MA)
When asking a Williams/Amherst player if they had a successful season, a single question determines 90% of the answer: did you beat Williams/Amherst. The upset loss to Trinity in the playoffs last year surprised us all, but the Ephs were ready to, as Big Sean put it, ‘bounce back’. Even though the loss of 2016 NESCAC POY Kristi Kirshe was a major blow to the Eph’s defense, Williams has already flown off to an incredible start. Led by 2016 2nd team all NESCAC keeper Olivia Barnhill ‘19, the Ephs strong defense acts as a complement to its dominant offense. Amherst, in contrast, hasn’t had such a stellar season so far. Sitting in the middle of the pack in the NESCAC, a win at Williams’ homecoming could provide enough momentum to push them up to the top of the league. If they pick up a win, but don’t win the ‘Cac, I’m sure they’ll still deem the season as a success.
This game could be a season-changer for both the Panthers and Polar Bears. Ascending from the middle of the NESCAC is always tough, but a conference win (and a conference loss) is pivotal for both teams. Middlebury comes into play with as many goals for as goals against, an equilibrium that coincides with their win-loss record. Eliza Van Voorhis (‘21) leads the Panthers in goals, but there has been scoring contributions from the rest of a stellar first year class as well. Eliza Robinson ’18 and Leah Salzman ’18 have both contributed to Middlebury’s offense as well. Bowdoin is led by Nikki Wilson (‘18), who had two goals in their opener, but the whole team has struggled since then. They have no players in the top five of any offensive/defensive statistical categories in the NESCAC. Traveling from NESCAC’s mediocre to its elite is tough, but it starts with this game for both teams.
The Bobcats look to stay perfect in conference play when they travel to Middletown to play the Cardinals. Wesleyan looks to snatch that first conference win of the season after a tough tie to Bowdoin last weekend. Led by star defender Kinsey Yost ‘19, the Cards only have two goals against in conference play, but need to generate some offense to be successful. Emily Ribatt ‘21 has been the energizer bunny for the team with her speed and ball skills, but the Cardinals need to start putting the balls in the back of the net in conference play. Bates, on the other hand, has only played one conference game– squeaking out a 1-0 against Hamilton two weeks ago. It’s tough to determine with Bates’ limited sample size how this game will play out, but expect a defensive game with a couple bounces determining the outcome.
Other Conference Games This Weekend (9/23):
September 24, 2017:
Bates vs. Williams (12:00 P.M., Williamstown, MA)
Connecticut College vs. Amherst (2:00 P.M., Amherst, MA)
Editor’s Note: We recognize that the season is well underway, so for those who haven’t been paying attention here are the current standings, updated for 9/11/17.
While I may have played varsity soccer in high school before my days on the Middlebury Baseball team, I only played for one season and was a keeper, so I’m just being honest when I say that I don’t have a great feel for the game. If I use the wrong jargon, terminology, vocabulary, or grammar don’t take it too seriously. I, however, do take improvement seriously, and will be in London, studying the EPL (English Premier League; See I’m not a complete idiot) and why Arsenal is doomed for a terrible season all of my fall semester just to prove my haters wrong. So look for these pieces to get increasingly accurate as the year goes on. Here goes:
Amherst (8-1-1, 17-3-1)
Senior forward Hannah Guzzi ‘18 leads Amherst following a NESCAC Championship and her Third Team NSCAA All-American honors. Last season the formerly Purple and White ended up losing in the NCAA round of 16, and star player Guzzi led the team and the conference in points (43) and goals (19). She found the back of the net in 14 of Amherst’s 21 contests and scored seven game-winning goals with five assists. She tallied goals in all three of Amherst’s NCAA Tournament games to finish 2016 as the program record holder for points and goals in a season. Also returning for the Mammoths are All-NESCAC honorees, attacking midfielder Delancey King ‘18 (First Team) and defensive midfielder Caleigh Plaut defense ’19 (Second Team).
Bates (1-8-1, 5-9-1)
The Bobcats were only able to muster two results in league play last year, missing the postseason despite ending the season on a 3-1-0 run. It was a lost season in terms of their points, however, they had bright spots with their younger stars developing on the pitch. They return center-mid Hannah Behringer ‘18 who was second on the team with four goals, tied with forwards Olivia Amdur ’19 and Riley Turcotte ‘20. Despite flaws in their attack, resulting in shutouts in nine of 16 matches, they have several pieces who can do damage to put Bates in a position to get points. Their most glaring need is a stronger back line and keeper as they allowed the most scores in the league (30). Keeper Sarah McCarthy ‘18 had a significantly down year, allowing nearly one goal more per game than in 2015, pushing me to think the defense was the main source of the problem. Five incoming first year players are slated to see time at either right, left, or center back and in the midfield, putting more depth in front of McCarthy than a season ago.
Bowdoin (5-4-1, 9-6-1)
Bowdoin finished in a tie for fifth with Conn College and Tufts and played Middlebury in the first round of the playoffs, resulting in a quick exit. Despite beating Middlebury 1-0 earlier in the season, stud goalie Rachel Stout ’18 was unable to match her earlier shut out in the playoffs. Behind a stellar defense the Stout, the Polar Bears allowed the fewest goals in the league, although they did play less games than the NCAA tournament teams. For a more comparable stat, they allowed seven goals in league play, good for second place behind Williams’ three goals allowed. Morgen Gallagher ’20 was named to the Second-Team All-NESCAC as a forward and led the team in her first year with four goals. Nikki Wilson ‘18 was also named to the Second-Team All-NESCAC as a defender and is joined by seven other full time returning players. Only two consistent senior starters graduated, leaving few holes, and if Bowdoin can develop their offensive game, their defense should put them in great positions to end many games in a 1-0 advantage.
Colby (1-9-0, 6-9-0)
Despite a tied for last place finish in NESCAC play with a 1-9-0 record, the Mules lost four games by a score of 1-0 in league matches and were a perfect 5-0 out of conference. While everybody knows the only real games are in conference as their out of conference games were against worse teams, their overall record was still not indicative of the way their season went. Forward Laura Arnold ’18 leads the returning players with three goals and 11 points from last season and Hannah Brozdowski ‘19 will likely be right behind her after starting at center-midfielder and tallying seven points. Samantha Rizzo ‘19 is one of the stronger keepers in the league after saving 98 shots on her own, good for second in the conference despite still allowing the fourth most goals. Their defense is an issue and Rizzo can’t stop every shot, and five or six defensive minded first year players should aid Colby in a resurgent 2017. They will have a good shot at making the playoffs, and while they won’t knock off any of the top teams, they might be able to muster some results and eventually compete in the postseason.
Connecticut College (5-4-1, 10-6-1)
The Camels who were ranked 22nd nationally in 2016 at one time, will rely on the foot of midfielder Caroline Kelleher ’18 for depth during the season while wingers Alex Baltazar ’19 (Second Team All-NESCAC) and Michelle Medina ’18 provided 12 of the team’s 22 assists and scored the most goals on the team to boot. Baltazar led the team with 10 goals while Kelleher and Medina each added three. Kelleher will look to transition into a more consistent role this year after scoring a hat trick against Hamilton, but not finding the back of the net in any other games. Conn College started off the NESCAC regular season with a 3-0 record last season but ultimately fell down the rankings to seventh place, despite making a nice run at the end of the year. They received an at large bid to the NCAA tournament and made it to the second round after a PK win against Scranton. The Camels have a solid attack and if others can join Baltazar as leaders on offense, they will be hard to stop.
Hamilton (2-7-1, 5-8-1)
The Continentals snuck into the NESCAC playoffs last year despite scoring the fewest goals (13) and points (35) in the league. They do return eight starters on the pitch, including several seniors and four year starters in Emily Dumont ‘18, Katie Kreider ‘18, Amanda Becker ‘18, and Katja Dunlap ‘18. Kate Whiston ‘18 is the returner with the most goals from a season ago at three, and will need to increase that for Hamilton to get more results in league play. They lack weapons offensively and will need to be more successful in their combinations to get better looks and more shots on target. They were not overly strong on defense either, but the glaring hole was in total goals, and as everybody knows, the best defense is a good offense.
Middlebury (7-3-0, 15-5-0)
Despite losing All-American Katherine Hobbs ‘17, the Panthers should still have a great shot at going deep into the NESCAC playoffs and get an NCAA tournament berth. Despite a loss in the conference semis to Amherst, they made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament, losing to Messiah who went on to beat Williams in the quarterfinals and lose in the finals. They return just six starters though, including their top two scorers the players with the three highest total point totals. Senior midfielder Emma Shumway ‘18 and attacking midfielder Amanda Dafonte ‘19 will need to bear the brunt of the scoring load as they had found the back of the net nine times between them. Keeper Ursula Alwang ‘20 came on strongly at the end of 2016, eventually taking over as the starter and tallying back to back clean sheets in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. Looking to step up as breakout players for Midd will be Virginia (Jinx) Charman ‘20 bringing depth to the midfield, shifting up front on the attack as well and Clare Robinson ‘19, a transfer from D1 Wofford who made her D3 debut in 2016. Robinson and her younger sister Eliza ‘21 have NESCAC glory in their family as their sister Hannah ‘16 won the NESCAC POY in 2015.
Trinity (7-3-0, 11-5-4)
The Bantams return a solid corp from the team that shocked Williams in PK’s in the semi-finals last season. 2016 NESCAC First-Team honoree midfielder Taylor Kirchgessner ‘19 is a contender for POY as a junior. Sarah Connors ’18 provides stout senior leadership, but Trinity’s real strength lies in their keeper. Julia Pitino ‘18 was by all measure the best keeper in the league last year leading the league in total saves with 105 and save percentage at 87%. Between Conners and her, teams should have trouble scoring against Trinity. However, scoring goals themselves might be an issue. Kirchgessner is one of the biggest scoring threats in the league, but their second and fourth leading scorers (Laura Nee and Andi Nicholson,) both graduated, leaving a void in the Trinity offense. One potential solution is Tricia Pollack ‘20. With four goals as a first year, she could be poised for a breakout season.
Tufts (5-4-1, 7-6-3)
Tufts is looking to rise out of the middle of the pack this season. However, the loss of Robin Estus will not make that easy. A Second Team All League midfielder, Estus was adept at facilitating the Jumbo’s offense. WIthout her, Tufts will need some new faces to step up as offensive threats. One of those faces is Taylor Koscho ‘19. With one goal and four assists last year, she is a natural replacement for Estus’ production. Mariah Harvey-Brown ‘18 had four goals last season, and will likely be a major player in the offense this season as well. Defensively, Tufts could really use a star turn from keeper Emily Bowers ‘19. She was impressive as a sophomore last year with .98 goals against on average. However, with the losses on offense, Bowers could have far more save chances this year.
Wesleyan (0-7-3, 3-9-3)
I think it’s safe to say that last year didn’t go quite as the Cardinals hoped. They finished the year at 3-9-3 overall and 0-7-3 in the league, which was obviously the worst record in the league. Their problems were most apparent on offense. They only had three goals in league play. This put a lot of pressure on their defense, as opposing teams were constantly on the attack. And to make matters worse, they graduated their best goal scorer in Sarah Sylla ’17. It’s reasonable to expect Wesleyan’s offense to struggle again this year, therefore the defense will have to step up. The Cardinals alternated between two first year keepers in keeper Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20 and Claire Coyle ‘20, but it looks like Cassels-Brown will be the starter.
Williams (9-0-1, 18-1-1)
From the basement of the league we go to the ceiling. Williams dominated NESCAC in the regular season last year, finishing at 18-1. However, they have to be a little disappointed in how the playoffs turned out. They rolled to the semifinals as expected, and then lost in penalty kicks to fourth-seeded Trinity. Of course, they then advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, so perhaps they weren’t so disappointed. Anyways, Williams certainly lost some of the talent that made them such a dominant force. The two biggest losses from the offseason were undoubtedly Kristi Kirshe and Audrey Thomas. The two of them made up possibly the best forward duo in the country, as both were named All-Americans. However, the Ephs are more than able to weather those losses. Alison Lu ‘20 was the second leading goal scorer in the league as a first year, and enters this year as the rare sophomore POY candidate. Alongside her is Second Team forward Kristina Alvarado ‘18, and fellow first year phenom Kristi Kirshe, who had eight goals last season. They return Second Team goalkeeper Olivia Barnhill ‘19, and standout defenders Danielle Sim ‘18 and Evan Gancedo ’18. The Ephs are certainly the favorite to win the league this season, but as they saw last year, a lot can happen in the postseason.
It’s been just over a month now since my baseball career and college career came to an end. While I haven’t written a blog in a few months (as Pete happily pointed out towards the end of the semester), I enjoyed watching from arm’s length as Pete and Devin handled NESCAC baseball coverage this spring. Now that I’ve taken some time to digest the fact that I don’t have many days left before I enter the grueling grind of nine to five, I’ve come to realize the fact that one of my favorite parts of college has been writing for Nothing But NESCAC. It might seem a bit corny to write about NESCAC football and basketball games as if they were nationally televised SEC and ACC contests, but for me it has served as a chance to shine some light on the successes of my fellow Division III athletes.
I first heard of NbN my freshman year at Tufts when my roommate, Tim Superko, started cracking up in our dorm room and called me over to his computer. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw Adam’s equation demonstrating that Superko is a mashup of Paul Konerko and Superman. That kept me reading, and as I enjoyed keeping up with the site throughout my sophomore year, I decided to go out on a limb one night on Twitter and slid into the DMs of the NbN account to ask if I could write for basketball season. To my surprise, Joe responded almost immediately, and just like that, I was on board.
During that first basketball season (my junior year), I was just trying to get my feet wet. I went to every Tufts basketball game (spoiler alert: I’m a Tufts basketball superfan, always have been, always will be) and had grown up at Amherst college basketball games, so I felt like I knew quite a bit about NESCAC hoops. As it turned out, I had a lot to learn about the league, and a lot more to learn about journalistic writing. Regardless, I had a blast that winter. Writing weekly blogs, conducting interviews, and watching NESCAC basketball became my hobbies outside of academics and baseball. Soon enough, the remaining spare time that I had was replaced with editing and arguing with Pete over game predictions and All-NESCAC honors.
I would say the highlight of my blogging career came in the aftermath of posting my predictions for offensive/defensive POY at the beginning of football season this year. An Amherst football alum took exception to the lack of Amherst players on my list, and soon enough we were in a twitter war. That’s the kind of stuff that makes blogging fun – interactions with our readers. Though we do our best to keep up the facade that we know everything there is to know about NESCAC athletics, this is simply not true. It’s great to know when our readers agree with our opinions, but it’s also fun when you challenge us on our points. So please, give Pete hell next fall. People forget that a commenter once referred to him as the Skip Bayless of NESCAC blogging.
While I can’t take credit for starting NbN like Adam and Joe, it has been a privilege to run this blog. A huge thank you goes out to both of you for getting me on board and then convincing me to take the keys to the castle when you guys graduated last year. As I chatted with Adam at halftime of a Tufts basketball NCAA tournament game during my junior winter, I remember thinking “absolutely not” when Adam first mentioned that I should take over the blog for them. Well, as the weeks passed I realized that I was much more into the idea in May than I had been in March. I sit here writing this with a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I made the right choice when I told Joe over the phone last summer that I would accept their offer. Thanks for everything fellas.
I also can’t thank Pete enough for running the site with me this year. Throughout the fall and winter he was constantly coming up with ideas, writing and editing, all while managing his own bundle of extracurriculars. Pete is awesome to work with. He brings energy to the site and always make sure to keep me grounded, evidenced by the shots he takes at me in every other article. I will not soon forget our passionate text arguments regarding power rankings, game predictions, and most memorably, our conversation when he found out that I had picked Ed Ogundeko as my Player of the Year rather than Matt St. Amour. I know that Pete will continue to do a great job with NbN in the fall.
Finally, I’d like to thank all the NESCAC athletes out there. You guys are what makes this site fun and unique. While Division III does not receive the same glory that Division I does, the passion that Division III athletes — and especially NESCAC athletes — play with is just as noteworthy. As a NESCAC junkie that has grown up immersed in this terrific conference, I can say with great certainty that there is no conference quite like the ‘CAC.
One last quick plug, if you have any interest in writing for the site, no matter what sport you’re thinking of (even if we don’t yet cover it!), please reach out on either Facebook, Twitter, or to our email, email@example.com. You can have any sort of commitment level that you like – it’s truly up to you. NbN really is a lot of fun, and speaking from experience, you won’t regret your decision to join us. I’ve had a blast writing about NESCAC sports, and I look forward to reading NbN in the future as it continues on.
I got cocky everybody, I did. I was 4 and 0 going into the semifinals and extremely confident in my ability to bend the landscape of NESCAC women’s soccer to my will. Well, the fates proved me wrong. Like a latter day Oedipus I was punished for my hubris and my predictions were torn asunder as Trinity and Amherst advanced to the finals over my chosen Williams and Middlebury. Regardless of my personal failings though, we have games to recap and 5 NESCAC teams who made the NCAA tournament to talk about; Let’s go!
NESCAC Semifinal and Final Review
Trinity defeats Williams 1-1 (3-1 in Penalties)
Trinity, the 4 seed, upended Williams, the 1 seed and defending champion, on penalty kicks last Saturday. Trinity’s Tricia Pollock ’20 struck first for the Bantams, and Trinity led 1-0 for the duration of the first half. In the second half Williams responded with a goal from Kristi Kirshe ’17 to tie the game at one. The game remained tied for the rest of regulation and both overtime periods. In the shootout Trinity keeper Julia Pitino ’18 made 3 saves to secure the victory, and a place in the finals, for the Bantams.
Amherst defeats Middlebury 2-0
I obviously underestimated the team formerly known as the Lord Jeffries. Despite looking increasingly vulnerable in the first half as Middlebury threatened again and again, Amherst remained resilient and scored two goals early in the second half to assure their victory. The goals were scored by Hannah Guzzi ’18 and Rubii Tamen ’19
FINALS: Amherst defeats Trinity 2-1
Amherst continued their run into the finals where they defeated Trinity 2-1. Much like their game against Williams, Trinity struck first, taking a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game following a goal by Laura Nee ’17. Amherst though, similar to their game against Middlebury, proved that they can overcome a slow start with strong second half play. Amherst scored twice in the second half to secure their fourth overall NESCAC title. Rubii Tamen ’19 and Emily Hester ’17 scored for Amherst.
Player of the Tournament
I’d just like to quickly extend my congratulations to Rubii Tamen ’19, my pick for player of the tournament. Tamen notched 4 goals over the course of three games to help lead Amherst to a conference championship. The decision by Amherst coaches to move her farther forward on the pitch was obviously the correct one and paid off in a big way as Tamen scored in every single game of the tournament. Again, congratulations to Rubii Tamen and the whole Amherst soccer team.
OK! There you go I was nice to Amherst and a player on their team. So, I think I’ve earned both Christmas presents and maybe a nap. But I don’t have time for sleep! We have to talk about the upcoming NCAA tournament where 5 NESCAC teams are represented. Amherst of course received an automatic bid, but Williams, Middlebury, Trinity, and Conn College received at large bids as well. So, let’s briefly go over these teams’ first round games and their overall prospects for the tournament.
Conn College vs. University of Scranton in Westminster, Maryland
Conn College gets the honor of traveling the farthest out of any NESCAC team. The Camels will travel to Maryland this Saturday to take on the Scranton Royals who have been on the outskirts of the top 25 all season. Scranton also comes into the game at 17-1-1, with their only loss coming against Swarthmore, another NCAA tournament team who was ranked in the top 25 at that point in the season. Conn College on the other hand comes into the game at 10-5-1 and still desperate for a signature win. Scranton is scoring almost 3 goals a game, and I don’t see Conn College, who just allowed 6 goals against Amherst, slowing down that attack. Sorry Camels, but it doesn’t look like you’ll be dancing for long this year.
Trinity vs. WPI in Geneva, New York
Trinity’s surprise visit to the NESCAC finals, and their upending of #3 (nationally) Williams, catapulted this bubble team firmly into the NCAA tournament field. The Bantams will play WPI, owners of a 16-2-2 record and winners of the NEWMAC conference. Trinity, meanwhile is 11-4-3 with two of those losses coming against top-15 ranked teams in the country. This will be a defensive battle. Neither team is averaging more than 2 goals per game and both allow less than 0.75 goals per game as well. WPI relies heavily for goals on two senior forwards, Erin Bracken and Emma Turton, who have each scored 7 goals this year. Trinity is more of a one trick pony, relying almost exclusively on sophomore Taylor Kirchgessner who has scored 10 goals this year. In an NCAA tournament game where the defenses will be more focused and keyed in on important players, I see the more well rounded team from WPI edging out the Bantams (of course I have counted out Trinity prematurely before).
Middlebury vs. MIT in Hoboken, New Jersey
The Panthers travel south to New Jersey to take on MIT. Middlebury enters the game with a 13-4 overall record while MIT is 17-5-1. In the most recent polls, Middlebury earned votes to be in the top-25 but failed to crack the final rankings. MIT did not receive any votes. Both teams are coming off disappointing ends to their conference seasons. Middlebury lost to eventual NESCAC champions Amherst, and MIT lost in the NEWMAC conference championship to WPI. Middlebury’s schedule this year has certainly been tougher than MIT’s and this will aid them in the upcoming game. MIT also almost exclusively relies on young talent for goals. Only one upper-class Engineer has scored more than 3 goals, and no senior has scored on the season. Middlebury has several holdovers from the team that went to the final four 3 seasons ago and two of those holdovers, Adrianna Gildner ’17 and Katherine Hobbs ’17, are the Panthers’ two leading goal scorers. A third senior, Amanda Haik ’17, anchors their defense. I predict that experience and leadership will help the Panthers secure a victory.
Amherst vs. Lasell in Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst gets a home game to start the NCAA tournament, and the #13 national ranking after their NESCAC championship. Amherst is 15-2-1 and Lasell is 18-2-1. Both teams are conference champions with Lasell clinching the GNAC crown against Albertus Magnus last week. Lasell is known for their high octane offense which has produced 3.14 goals per game, a mark that would be best in the NESCAC. Of course, this number is inflated by games against inferior competition, and games where the team exploded for an absurd amount of goals, they scored more than 5 goals 6 times this season. Amherst will have to rely on their defense, sacrificing a stingy 0.61 goals per game on the year, to carry them, which I think it will. The goalkeeping of Chelsea Cutler ’19, who only allowed 2 goals throughout the NESCAC tournament, will be vital to Amherst making a deep run.
Williams vs. Elms in Williamstown, Massachusetts
Williams fell to number 3 in the national polls after Trinity upset them in the NESCAC semis, yet they still managed to land home game to start the NCAA tournament. Williams, possessor of a 15-0-2 record, will face off against the 18-3-1 team from Elms College. Elms captured the NECC crown this past weekend and will be looking to build off their momentum as they have won 5 straight and 9 of their last 10 overall. Williams combines a potent attack, 2.71 goals per game, with a stingy defense, 0.35 goals allowed per game, and looks to dominate their opponents across the board. To have any hope of victory, Elms will need to break through that defense and score at their usual 3.09 goal per game clip, which would be quite a feat indeed as Williams has not conceded more than 1 goal in a game all season. Williams will win this one.
All 5 NESCAC teams certainly have a shot to win this upcoming weekend. By virtue of playing in the NESCAC they will have more experience playing against top level competition when compared with almost any other team in the county. I see Middlebury, Williams, and Amherst all advancing comfortable with Conn and Trinity each having a chance to win their games. Williams is the clear favorite in their bracket with little opposition appearing anywhere on the board except for a potential Elite 8 date with Middlebury or Stevens, and a possible Sweet 16 game with Johns Hopkins. Amherst also has a chance to advance to the final four, although that will mean navigating the buzzsaw that is William Smith who is 18-0-0 and has held onto the number 1 ranking seemingly all year (pst! If Trinity wins they’ll most likely play Smith in the second round). No matter what, we’re in store for some great soccer this weekend and a strong showing from the NESCAC!
Call me Liamstradamus, because I swear to God I’m psychic. I picked every single winner correctly from the quarterfinals, got the exact score right in one, and nailed the goal difference in another…. So suffice to say I’m pretty much the golden boy around here right now. I don’t want to make this all about me, even though it should be, so let’s quickly go over the quarterfinals before we dive into my semifinal predictions.
Williams defeats Hamilton 4-1
Hey Hamilton look don’t feel bad. Williams has been absolutely dominant all year and right now they’re the favorite to win the whole thing at the end. Williams looked vulnerable early, surrendering the first goal of the game, but quickly silenced all talk of an upset by rattling off four straight goals to seal their victory.
Amherst defeats Conn College 6-1
Our fears about Conn College were certainly vindicated here; they just struggle to play against top level competition. The game was a relatively close 2-1 after 79 minutes, but in the final stretch Amherst scored four consecutive goals and closed out the Camels with ease. Amherst has been on a roll lately and will look to continue their winning ways in the semifinals.
Middlebury defeats Bowdoin 2-1
I called this game perfectly. Winner, score, whether or not a fan would streak across the field during the game (No was the answer). The 2-1 scoreline makes this game seem closer than it was though, as Middlebury seemed in control from start to finish. The only goal they conceded came off a penalty kick and was answered less than a minute later.
Trinity defeats Tufts 1-0
Sorry Jumbo fans, in the most competitive game of the weekend (which I was also able to watch snippets of while watching my Panthers lose to the Bantams in football), they just didn’t have enough to outlast Trinity. Trinity’s defense looked nigh on impenetrable throughout the game and dominated the usually potent Jumbo attack.
Four games, four winners, and now only four remain. It’s semifinal time! But also final time because this is the NESCAC and we do these things in two days dammit! (Just kidding, it’s the right system and adds to the excitement). These four teams will travel to Williamstown on Friday and face off in what is sure to be an exciting weekend of soccer. Let’s get down to my eerily prescient picks. I’m also going to give a quick preview here of my expected final so read all the way to the end because there will be a quiz.
Williams vs. Trinity
Prediction: Williams wins 2-0
Trinity and Williams played in the opening weekend of the season this year, and their game went to overtime before the Ephs were able to escape with a 2-1 win. Both teams were working out early season kinks, but the Bantams, who have only outright beaten Williams once in their last 22 matchups, are sure to look back at this game and gain a little confidence for their upcoming bout. Unfortunately, I just don’t see Trinity or their superstar forward Taylor Kirchgessner (’19) being able to get going against a stout Williams defense that has only surrendered 5 goals all season! That’s insane. Williams has also won 10 straight and in that time defeated 5 teams that made appearances in the NESCAC playoffs. Williams should win and lock up home field advantage for the NESCAC finals.
Amherst vs. Middlebury
Middlebury wins 1-0
Wow. This game is gonna be tight. Amherst might be on a roll recently, winners of 10 straight including their NESCAC quarterfinals domination of Conn, but the only time these two teams faced off this year, Middlebury won 1-0. The game was hard fought and only decided thanks to the heroics of Emma Shumway (’18) who scored late in the second half. This game is sure to be just as close. Both teams rank in the top 3 in the league in goals per game with Amherst at 2 (2.25 gpg) and Middlebury at 3 (2.06 gpg). Both teams also rank in the top half of the league in defense with Amherst 4th and Middlebury 5th. I see this game coming down to the goalies. Amherst has found a rock in Chelsea Cutler (’19) who has started 15 games this year and only allowed 10 goals while making 57 saves. Middlebury has adopted a goalie by committee approach with Ursula Alwang (’20) and Kate Reinmuth (’17). Alwang started the quarterfinals against Bowdoin but both have made starts and appearances over the course of the last three games. This one is going to be tight, and honestly could go either way. I’m banking on Middlebury to repeat their success from earlier this year and escape with a 1-0 win.
NESCAC Finals— Williams vs. Middlebury
Prediction: Williams win 2-1
If this is the way the cookie crumbles in the semifinals, then we’re in for a rematch of the final game of the regular season for these two teams. Both have looked dominant for long stretches of the season, but Williams has consistently looked a little better. They’ve handled their business against the bottom of the conference and shown other good teams like Middlebury who’s really in charge. In a game that could be decided by one or two bounces, I see Williams winning and claiming their second straight NESCAC championship.
The NESCAC Women’s Soccer regular season wrapped up on Tuesday leaving some teams jumping for joy, and others with that familiar sinking feeling that come with having to clean out one’s locker too early in the year. Since I know you all just want to hear my predictions for the upcoming PLAYOFFS!!!! I’ll just go through the scores from this last weekend of NESCAC play as quickly as possible.
Saturday, October 22nd
Hamilton @ Colby, Final Score: 1-0 Hamilton
Hamilton defeated Colby by a score of 1-0. The only goal was scored by Amanda Becker (’18) with less than five minutes to go in the game.
Williams @ Tufts,Final Score: 2-1 Williams
Williams beat Tufts on this road trip by a score of 2-1. Sarah Pykkonen (’17) scored for the home team while Kristi Kirshe (’17) and Sarah Scire (’20) scored for the visitors.
Amherst @ Wesleyan,Final Score: 2-0 Amherst
The visiting Amherst women defeated the Wesleyan Cardinals 2-0. Emily Hester (’17) and Hannah Guzzi (’18) scored for the winners.
Conn College @ Bowdoin,Final Score: 0-0 tie
This tightly contested battle ended in an inconclusive 0-0 draw.
Bates @ Middlebury, Final Score: 0-3 Middlebury
The Panthers blanked the Bobcats, winning 3-0. Amanda Dafonte (’19), Adrianna Gilder (’17), and Rebecca Palacios (’18) scored for Middlebury.
Tuesday, October 25th
Middlebury @ Williams,Final Score: 0-1 Williams
Williams held service, defeating the Panthers 1-0. Audrey Thomas (’17) scored for the victorious Ephs.
Tufts @ Bowdoin, Final Score: 1-0 Tufts
The visiting Jumbos defeated the hosting Polar Bears 1-0. Jess Capone (’17) scored the only goal of the game.
Bates @ Colby,Final Score: 2-1 Bates
In a battle for the state of Maine, Bates defeated Colby 2-1. Hannah Behringer (’18) and Hannah Graves (’17) scored for Bates, and Aliza Van Leesten (’17) scored for the Mules.
Conn College @ Wesleyan,Final Score: 2-0 Conn College
The Camels picked up a much needed win, besting Wesleyan 2-0. Michelle Medina (’18) and Alex Baltazar (’19) scored for the Camels.
Trinity @ Amherst,Final Score: 2-3 Amherst
The second-place team in the conference bested the fourth-place Bantams as Amherst beat Trinity 3-2. The scorers for Trinity were Andi Nicholson (’17) and Taylor Kirchgessner (’19). Amherst received goals from Emily Masten (’17), Hannah Guzzi (’18), and Emily Hester (’17).
That’s the wrap up of the last week of the regular season, and it left us with a clear playoff picture. The top-seeded Williams Ephs (9-0-1) will play the 8-seeded Hamilton Continentals (2-7-1). Amherst (8-1-1) as the 2-seed will play the 7-seeded Conn College Camels (5-4-1). The 3-seeded Middlebury Panthers (7-3-0) will battle the 6-seeded Bowdoin Polar Bears (5-4-1). And the 4-seeded Trinity Bantams (7-3-0) will take on the 5-seeded Tufts Jumbos (5-4-1).
Williams (9-0-1) vs. Hamilton (2-7-1)
Prediction: Williams wins 3-0
Sorry Hamilton, I love the spunk that got you the playoff clinching win this past weekend, but Williams is just too strong. I’m picking a repeat score from the season opener for these two teams that saw Williams run away with a 3-0 win. Hamilton’s only 2 conference wins this year have been against teams that didn’t make the playoffs and Williams is just too good on both sides of the ball to really face much of a threat here.
Amherst (8-1-1) vs. Conn College (5-4-1)
Prediction: Amherst wins 2-0
Amherst hasn’t lost since September 17th. They’ve won 10 games since then and only tied 1. Conn College, conversely, had lost 3 straight until a tie against Bowdoin and a win against last place Wesleyan this past weekend got them back in the win column. Conn College won a ton of games early but you have to question their strength of schedule – of Conn’s 5 conference wins, only 1 came against a team who will be hosting a NESCAC quarterfinal. Conn College is 3rd in the conference in goals allowed per game, but their offensive attack has been anemic at times and will struggle against the fourth best defense in the conference in terms of goals allowed per game.
Middlebury (7-3-0) vs. Bowdoin (5-4-1)
Prediction: Middlebury wins 2-1
This game will be close, I guarantee that. Bowdoin beat Middlebury earlier in the season and has played every top team in the league closely. Meanwhile, they have taken care of business against lower class teams, beating them easily for the most part. On the other hand, Middlebury has seemed dominant for stretches of their schedule and is 2nd in the league in goals per game. On the other, other hand, Bowdoin is second in goals allowed per game, relinquishing a stingy 0.52 goals a game. On the other, other, other hand, Middlebury just narrowly lost to the best team in the conference and before that had won eight straight. I’m picking Middlebury due to home field advantage but this will be a really close game.
Trinity vs. Tufts
Prediction: Trinity wins 2-0
Tufts is much like Conn College in that they beat up on the weaker teams on their schedule, while looking relatively toothless against teams further up the standings. Tufts even tied with the worst team in the conference earlier this year, and is ranked in the bottom half of the conference in both goals per game and goals allowed per game. However, they did put up a very good fight against Williams this past weekend, taking advantage of the monsoon in Somerville. Trinity, meanwhile, has been consistent all year and even handily beat the Jumbos 2-0 about 10 days ago. Look for the Bantams to repeat this success in the quarterfinals.
I know, I know! I didn’t pick a single upset in this entire prediction and I’m sorry for that. But there really is a defined tier structure in this year’s conference. Williams and Amherst have been dominant all year with Middlebury and Trinity hot on their heels. Tufts, Conn, and Bowdoin, are all extremely similar in outcomes this year and Hamilton just barely snuck into the playoffs at all. The Middlebury v. Bowdoin game will be tight, and honestly it could go either way, but that’s really the only game I see providing major upset material. Regardless, I’m looking forward to all these games and hope to be back Sunday to write about the semi-finals!
Hey everyone listen… No really please listen. NESCAC women’s soccer was crazy this weekend, it really was and I’m here to tell you all about it. So calm down, or get amped, I’m a writer not a cop, and get ready to be spoon fed all the excitement that happened on the pitch this weekend.
Thursday, October 13th
Thomas College @ Bates,Final Score: 1-6 Bates
Saturday, October 15th
Bowdoin @ Hamilton,Final Score: 2-0 Bowdoin
Bowdoin controlled much of this Saturday afternoon matchup, besting the host Continentals by a score of 2-0. The first 20 minutes of play were relatively even until Bowdoin forward Emma Beane ’20 stole the ball in Hamilton’s half and beat keeper Emily Dumont ’18. Hamilton, perhaps sensing another loss on the horizon, played aggressively in the first half, attempting 12 shots, but couldn’t find the back of the net. In the second half, Bowdoin’s Claire Dardinski ’19 scored off a pass from Brigit Bergin after her initial attempt was saved.
Middlebury @ Trinity, Final Score: 2-1 Middlebury
In a battle between two teams vying to be included in the upper echelons of the conference, the visiting Middlebury Panthers defeated the Bantams of Trinity by a score of 2-1. Middlebury struck first in the game when Alissa “Good Will” Huntington ’18 scored a header off a corner kick delivered by Amy Martin ’17. Middlebury then extended their lead early in the second half when Adrianna Gildner ’17 blasted a free kick passed Bantam goalkeeper Julia Pitino ’18. Trinity scored their only goal of the afternoon a few minutes later when two great efforts by Trinity players Taylor Kirchgessner ’19 and Nicole Stauffer ’17 bounced off the crossbar. The ensuing scramble left Panther keeper Ursula Alwang ’20 in a precarious position after a diving save attempt and Stauffer was able to finish her rebound. Alwang made a diving save later in the half to protect the Panther lead and earn them the victory.
Tufts @ Conn College, Final Score: 1-0 Tufts
A defensive battle saw the visiting Jumbos defeat the Camels by a score of 1-0. Conn has now lost 3 of their last 4 NESCAC games and seems to be struggling to score as 2 of those losses have been by a score of 1-0. Neither team found the back of the net for the first hour of play, but then, in the 63rd minute, Tufts midfielder Sarah Pykkonen ’17 beat Conn keeper Bryanna Montalvo ’18 to score the only goal of the game. Pykkonen was assisted on the play by Alessandra Sadler ’19. Conn struggled to create scoring opportunities all game and was surely disappointed to lose such an important game at home.
Colby @ Amherst, Final score: 0-2 Amherst
Amherst, unlike Trinity and Conn, held serve in their Saturday game, defeating the visiting Colby Mules 2-0. After Saturday, Amherst had won 6 games in a row and had done so in dominant fashion. The win over Colby was no different. Hannah Guzzi ’18 scored both goals for Amherst, one in each half. She scored her first goal at about the 20 minute mark, capitalizing on a possession where Amherst attempted shots on goal 3 times before finally slotting one into the back of the net. Guzzi’s other goal came in the second half, this time scoring off a cross from Maeve McNamara ’19. Guzzi is now tied for the league lead in total goals scored with 10. Colby never really got going on offense in this game, only mustering 3 shots and struggling to retain possession.
Wesleyan @ Williams,Final score: 0-6 Williams
Not every game can be close. Or even kind of close. Or even sort of kind of close. Williams, ranked second nationally, absolutely dominated the visiting Cardinals to the tune of 6-0. The Ephs, after Saturday’s win, set a new record for consecutive unbeaten matches with 21. The first goal of the game came less than two minutes into the match when Sarah Scire ’20 had probably the easiest goal of her life after a beautiful pass from Audrey Thomas ’17. Next, Natasha Albaneze ’18 scored for the Ephs before Thomas added her own goal in the 13th minute of play. Williams closed off their first half onslaught when Lauren Brown ’19 rifled a shot past Wesleyan keeper Claire Coyle ’20. Scire and Thomas both scored again in the second half to extend the lead to 6 and truly finish off the Cardinals. The Cardinals switched keepers at half, subbing out Coyle in favor of Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20 in an attempt to stem the tide of Eph goals.
Sunday, October 17th
Tufts @ Trinity,Final score: 0-2 Trinity
Trinity rebounded from their tough loss to Middlebury to defeat the visiting Jumbos by a score of 2-0. Trinity was dominant defensively, controlling the pace and flow of the game for much of the afternoon. They were also ruthlessly efficient on the offensive end, scoring twice on only eight shots. The first goal of the game came in under 10 minutes when Sheena Landy ’17 headed in a corner kick from Kendra Lena ’17. Tricia Pollock extended Trinity’s lead in the second half, beating Emily Bowers ’19 and scoring a screamer from 18 yards out.
Amherst @ Conn College, Final score: 2-1 Amherst
Conn was unable to defend their home for the second time this weekend, falling to the visitors from Western Mass. Conn came out of the gate quickly, scoring less than a minute into the game. Lauren Steele ’18 scored her third goal of the season off an expertly placed cross from Alex Baltazar ’19. Sloan Askins ’20 responded later in the first half on a long shot. Askins also recorded the game winner late in the second half when she finished a cross sent in by Rubii Tamen ’19. Conn’s Baltazar had an excellent chance just before Askins’ goal, but her chip sailed just high of the cross bar.
Bowdoin @ Williams,Final score: 0-2 Williams
Williams put the capper on a perfect weekend by defeating the visiting Polar Bears 2-0. Audrey Thomas scored her third goal of the weekend early in the first half to help the Ephs jump out to a 1-0 lead. Thomas was released on a great pass from Sarah Scire ’20 who lofted the ball cleverly over the Bowdoin back line. Williams’ added to their tally in the second half when Kristina Alvarado ’19 slammed in a shot off a pass from Kristi Kirshe ’17. Coming off a win on Saturday, Bowdoin looked relatively outmatched by the team from Williams and struggled to generate good chances, only attempting 1 shot that tested the Williams keeper.
Wesleyan @ Middlebury, Final score: 0-1 Middlebury
Middlebury eked out a victory on Sunday, defeating the visiting Cardinals 1-0. Wesleyan put up a valiant effort, especially on defense, where they consistently bent, but refused to break. The match remained scoreless until the final two minutes of play when Middlebury was finally able to break through. In the 88th minute Amy Martin ’17 beat her defender and slid a pass into the box to Emma Shumway ’18 who tapped in an easy opportunity to give the panthers the boost they needed to secure victory. The game was certainly highlighted by excellent play in the back lines for the two teams, particularly at the keeper position. Kate Reinmuth ’17 for Middlebury and Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20 for Wesleyan made 10 combined saves throughout the game, several of which were way, way, way up there on the difficulty scale.
Hartwick @ Hamilton,Final score: 1-1 Tie
Player of the Week
This was a tough week to decide my player of the week award. We had several players who surely deserved the award and I could make a case for giving it to any of them. But it’s not just goal scorers who deserve credit, so this week I’m giving it to someone who scored 0 goals. Amy Martin ’17 of Middlebury is this week’s player of the week. The senior from Sandy Hook, Connecticut had assists in both games and Middlebury won each game by only 1 goal so she certainly had a sizeable impact. The midfielder is now 7th in the NESCAC in assists in conference games and her passing touch has certainly helped Middlebury go on their recent tear.
Hey everybody, sorry we’re a little late. You know how weeks go what with work and other work and sometimes work and rarely play. But without further adieu, here’s the women’s soccer recap of last week!
Tuesday, October 4th
St. Lawrence @ Middlebury, Final Score: 0-3 Middlebury
Wednesday, October 5th
Trinity @ Wesleyan, Final score: Trinity 4-0
The visiting Bantams emerged victorious in this interstate rivalry, besting Wesleyan 4-0. The Bantams scored four times in the first half, and four different Bantam players, Laura Nee ’17, Taylor Kirchgessner ’19, Sheena Landy ’17 and Andi Nicholson ’17, found the back of the net. Wesleyan actually changed goalies going into the second half, subbing out Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20 and replacing her with Claire Coyle ’20 but the damage had already been done.
University of New England @ Colby,Final score: 1-2 Colby
Maine Farmington @ Bowdoin,Final score: 0-6 Bowdoin
Saturday, October 8th
Wesleyan @ Colby,Final score: 0-1 Colby
The host mules defeated the visiting Cardinals in a hard fought defensive battle 1-0. Wesleyan surely walked away from this game feeling that they should have one. They tested Colby keeper Samantha Rizzo ’19 with 15 shots, but were never able to beat her or the hard-nosed Colby defense. Aliza Van Leesten ’17 provided all the offense that Colby needed, slotting home a goal off a scrum ensuing from a corner kick. Newly starting Wesleyan keep Claire Coyle ’20 was only tested 3 times, and did manage to make 2 saves, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce the way you want, which Wesleyan certainly learned on Saturday.
Conn College @ Bates,Final score: 1-0 Conn College
This game largely followed the formula we expected, with the 18th ranked Camels defeating the struggling Bobcats by a score of 1-0. The only goal of the game came with tenths of a second remaining in the first half when Emmy McGoldrick ’19 scored off a deflection. Hannah Graves ’17 was really the only Bobcat to test Conn goalie Bryanna Montalvo ’17, but her shot was saved. Conn held a dominant advantage in shots taken, testing Bates 6 times to just 1 attempt on goal against the Camels.
Hamilton @ Amherst, Final score: 0-3 Amherst
Amherst thoroughly dominated the visiting Continentals, coasting away with an easy 3-0 win. The L*** J**** outshot Hamilton 20 to 6, and had a 9 to 1 advantage after the first period. In that first period Amherst found the back of the net two times. The first came less than three minutes into the game when Rubii Tamen ’19 made an incredible run and beat Hamilton keeper Emily Dumont ’19. Five minutes later, Dumont was again forced to collect the ball from the netting as Ashlyn Heller ’17 scored after receiving a free kick from Megan Root ’19. Emily Hester ’17 capped off the day’s scoring, firing a looping shot over the heads of Hamilton after collecting the ball from a defensive mistake in the Continentals’ own half.
Trinity @ Bowdoin,Final score: 1-0 Trinity
The only goal of this contest came about 15 minutes into the game when Trinity’s Tricia Pollock ’20 blasted a shot from distance. Trinity then held tightly to that lead to escape with the 1-0 win. Bowdoin actually outshot the visiting Bantams 6 to 3 but failed to beat Julia Pitino ’18 even one time. Bowdoin also forced 6 corner kicks, but they failed to capitalize on their numerous opportunities.
Tufts @ Middlebury,Final score: 2-3 Middlebury
The most exciting game from the weekend certainly happened in Middlebury, VT where the visiting Jumbos were defeated by the Panthers 3-2. Middlebury fell behind early when Tufts’ Emma Ranalli ’19 scored a beautiful free kick and beat Panther keeper Kate Reinmuth ’17. Middlebury was shut out for the entirety of the first half but struck back early in the second half when Alex Barber ’19 scored a shot from roughly 20 yards away off a pass from Sara Dicenso ’19. Mariah Harvey-Brown ’18 put the visitors back on top, heading in a goal in the 72nd minute, but the Panthers wasted little time responding to this goal, as Adrianna Gildner ‘17 soon tapped in an easy goal off a pass from Amanda Hotvedt ’17. With the game knotted at 2-2, and time winding down, everyone expected to be heading into overtime, until Gildner scored her second goal of the afternoon off a rebound shot. Middlebury outshot the Jumbos 16-4 and surely deserved this hard fought victory.
Bard @ Williams, Final score: 0-5 Williams
Sunday, October 9
MIT @ Williams,Final score: 1-4
Bates @ Husson, Final score: 4-0 Bates
Monday, October 10
Brooklyn @ Conn College,Final score: 0-5 Conn College
Tuesday, October 11
Endicott @ Tufts,Final score: 0-4 Tufts
Keene State @ Amherst,Final score: 0-3 Amherst
Colby @ U. Maine Farmington, Final Score: 4-0 Colby
Sage @ Hamilton,Final score: 0-4 Hamilton
Player of the Week
I swear I’m not playing Middlebury for favorites, but we have to give this player of the week to Adrianna Gildner. The senior forward scored two goals in the last 15 minutes of Middlebury’s game against Tufts to secure a come from behind 3-2 victory. The two goals were her fifth and sixth of the season, tying her with Trinity’s Taylor Kirchgessner for fourth place on the list of NESCAC scoring leaders. Middlebury, and Gildner, seem to be hitting their stride just at the right moment in the season, and hope to keep this late season form going into the coming weeks.
Editor’s Note: The NESCAC Women’s Soccer Week In Review is a new feature that we are rolling out this fall. We feel strongly that women’s sports in the NESCAC should also be covered, but unfortunately due to our current resources, we can’t cover them to the extent that we wish we could. We are going to be putting out a weekly article with updates on NESCAC Women’s Soccer action, however staff size is going to limit us to just one article each week for now. That being said, if you have ANY interest in writing (about Women’s Soccer or any of the other sports we cover) or contributing in another way, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can expand our coverage! For now, enjoy this week’s women’s soccer update!
Hey we’re back! another exciting weekend of NESCAC women’s soccer including one nationally ranked team being upset! So exciting! So many exclamation points! So little time!!
Tuesday, September 27th
U. of New England @ Bowdoin,Final Score: 1-0 Bowdoin
Keene State @ Middlebury,Final Score: 0-1 Middlebury
Friday, September 30th
Bowdoin @ MIT,Final Score: 0-1 MIT
Saturday, October 1st
Bates @ Trinity,Final Score: 0-4 Trinity
Trinity scored twice in both halves to soundly defeat the visiting Bobcats 4-0. Four different Bantams recorded goals as they thoroughly dominated the overmatched Bates team. Bates’ goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy ’18 did the best she could, saving 9 of Trinity’s 24 shots but her back line did little to protect her. Sarah Connors ’18, Taylor Kirchgessner ’19, Nicole Stauffer ’17 and Tori Dunn ’18 each netted a goal for Trinity, who scored once off a corner and three times from open play. The Trinity defense performed admirably, only conceding two shots on goal and completely stifling Bates for much of the game.
Hamilton @ Wesleyan, Final Score: 0-0 Tie
Neither team found the back of the net in this closely contested defensive affair resulting in a 0-0 draw after double overtime. The Continentals consistently peppered Wesleyan goalkeeper Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20, but could not beat her with any of their 17 shots. Wesleyan played with their backs against the wall for most of the second half as Hamilton took the offensive, but the Cardinals’ defense held firm refusing to break during the onslaught.
Middlebury @ Colby, Final Score: 3-0 Middlebury
The visiting Panthers dominated the Mules to secure a comfortable 3-0 win on Saturday. Katherine Hobbs ’17 scored in under five minutes to give Middlebury the only lead they needed as goalkeeper Kate Reinmuth ‘17 posted a clean sheet. Adrianna Gildner ‘17 scored later in the first half to extend the lead to two goals. Colby struggled to get anything going on offense, only tallying 3 shots and failing to test the Middlebury back line. Amanda Dafonte ’19 added the Panthers’ third and final goal off a rebound to seal Colby’s fate.
Tufts @ Amherst,Final Score: 3-1 Amherst
Amherst jumped out to an early two goal lead and held on for the remaining 75 minutes of action to secure a 3-1 victory over the visiting Jumbos. Amherst’s Maeve McNamara ’19 scored the first goal of the game within ten minutes, and her teammate Hannah Guzzi ’18 added to the Amherst lead heading in a corner kick. Guzzi scored again in the second half with a clinical finish off a pass from McNamara that pushed their team’s lead to 3-0. Tufts’ Taylor Koscho (’20) scored on a free kick from roughly 25 yards away to help the Jumbos avoid a shutout, but by that point, Amherst had a firm grip on the game and held on for the last 20 minutes.
Williams @ Conn College,Final Score: 1-0 Williams
In one of the most anticipated games of the week, two nationally ranked teams clashed in New London. The #2 Ephs defeated #20 Conn College 1-0 to secure their current position atop the NESCAC standings. The Camels seemed to be on the offensive for most of the game, testing Williams keeper Olivia Barnhill ’19 11 times, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Williams’ Kristi Kershe ‘17 scored the only goal of the match when she beat a defender while collecting a pass from Alison Lu ’20 before beating Conn College goalie Bryanna Montalvo ’18 with a brilliant finish.
Sunday, October 2nd
Hamilton @ Tufts,Final Score: 1-3 Tufts
Tufts rebounded from their difficult loss to Amherst on Saturday to beat the visiting Continentals 3-1. Margaret Zarah ’18 scored first for the Jumbos, finishing off of a corner late in the first half. Hamilton tied the game early in the second when Morgan Fletcher ’17 scored off a rebound, but Tufts wasted little time though in retaking the lead. Mariah Harvey-Brown ’18 scored for the Jumbos less than two minutes later, and Jess Capone ’17 extended the lead to 3-1 later in the second half to seal the deal.
Bates @ Amherst,Final Score: 0-3 Amherst
Amherst notched their second blowout victory of the weekend, defeating the visiting Bobcats at home. Amherst scored in under a minute when Emily Hester ’17 finished a perfect cross from Delancey King ’18. The L*** J**** scored again in the 10th minute when Hannah Guzzi ’18 found the back of the net for her third goal of the weekend. Rubii Tamen ’19 scored Amherst’s third and final goal, knocking in a rebound after Guzzi again tested the Bates keeper Sarah McCarthy ’18. Amherst thoroughly dominated the game, constantly attacking Bates’ backline and firing 15 shots on goal, 10 more than the Bobcats could muster up during the match.
Williams @ Castleton,Final Score: 8-0 Williams
Player of the Week: Olivia Barnhill ‘19 (Williams)
To prove I’m not some soccer plebeian who only gets excited for goals and Garreth Bale’s hair I’m awarding this week’s player of the week award to a player who literally never scores (well maybe she does, but it’s definitely unusual). The player of the week this week in Williams goal keeper Olivia Barnhill ’19. The sophomore keeper racked up 11 saves helping to preserve Williams’ undefeated conference record and knock off the nationally ranked Conn College Camels. Barnhill, and the entire Williams defense, shined in the game, bending but refusing to break as Conn College attacked again and again. This is an especially noteworthy feat considering Conn College racked up 6 goals just a week ago in two victories. This is the type of defensive intensity and skill that wins championships, but I won’t jinx Williams yet by picking them as my title favorite.
Editor’s Note: The NESCAC Women’s Soccer Week In Review is a new feature that we are going to be rolling out this fall. We feel strongly that women’s sports in the NESCAC should also be covered, but unfortunately due to our current resources, we can’t cover them to the extent that we wish we could. We are going to be putting out a weekly article with updates on NESCAC Women’s Soccer action, however staff size is going to limit us to just one article each week for now. That being said, if you have ANY interest in writing (about Women’s Soccer or any of the other sports we cover) or contributing in some way, please send us an email at email@example.com so that we can expand our coverage! For now, enjoy this week’s women’s soccer update!
Hey guess what! Nothing but NESCAC is expanding! Starting with this article, we’ll begin providing weekly updates on all the goings on in NESCAC women’s soccer. I’m Liam Naughton, an accomplished FIFA player and 3rd grade travel soccer MVP, but enough about me. Let’s dive into this past week. Wednesday, September 21st
Wesleyan @ Tufts, Final Score: 0-0 tie
A mid-week matchup between the Jumbos and the Cardinals ended in a grueling 0-0 draw after two overtimes. Tufts held a decisive shot advantage testing the Wesleyan defense 17 times, while the visitors only managed to spray 8 shots towards Tufts’ net. Of course, the best opportunity of the game came in the 99th minute for Wesleyan when Tufts’ goal keeper Emily Bowers ’19 was forced to make a diving save off a shot from Sarah Sylla ’17 of Wesleyan. After a slow first half in which the Jumbos were stifled by Wesleyan’s intense pressure, Tufts took control more in the second half, but just weren’t able to convert any of their chances into goals. Tufts, who so far have not lost in NESCAC competition will look to build off this game in the coming weeks.
Castleton @ Middlebury, Final Score: 3-1 Middlebury
Conn College @ Coast Guard, Final Score: 2-0 Conn College
Thursday, September 22nd
Emerson @ Trinity, Final Score: 0-3 Trinity
Saturday, September 24th
Bowdoin @ Middlebury, Final Score: 1-0 Bowdoin The Bowdoin Polar Bears visited the Middlebury Panthers this past weekend and escaped with a hard fought 1-0 win. Middlebury’s aggressive and potent offense (averaging over 2 goals a game this season) was unable to beat Bowdoin goalie Rachel Stout ’18. Adrianna Gildner ’17 provided two of Middlebury’s best opportunities, attempting a bicycle kick early in the first half that flew by the post, and testing Stout on a free kick late in the first half. Despite Gildner’s efforts, it was Bowdoin’s Anna Mellman ’17 who slotted home the game’s only goal, beating Panther goalie Ursula Alwang ’20 with a cracking shot from nearly 35 yards away. Connecticut College @ Hamilton, Final Score: 3-0 Conn College
Conn College ran over Hamilton in this early season match, besting the host Continentals by a score of 3-0. The Camels (ranked 22nd nationally) relied on the foot of junior midfielder Caroline Kelleher ’18 who scored 3 goals in the match. Conn College began attacking early, Kelleher notching her first goal 5 minutes into the match and her second 13 minutes later. Kelleher then scored her third goal 5 minutes into the second half, demonstrating her dominance. Hamilton forward Amanda Becker ’18 tested Conn College goalie Bryanna Montalvo ’17 twice, but neither she nor any of her teammates were able to best the senior goalie. Wesleyan @ Bates, Final Score: 2-2 tie
The Bobcats scored two goals in quick succession in the second half to force a draw between themselves and the visiting Wesleyan Cardinals. Wesleyan had jumped out to an early lead behind a penalty kick from Nicole Brodkowitz ’20 after only 11 minutes of action. Wesleyan further extended their lead after Sarah Sylla ’17 scored 10 minutes into the second half. Bates scored consecutive goals in the 83rd and 84th minutes. First, Olivia Amdur ’19 rifled a shot by Wesleyan keeper Zoe Cassels-Brown ’20. Amdur was assisted on her goal Hannah Behringer ’18 who scored herself a minute later off a well worked set piece. Colby @ Trinity, Final Score: 1-3 Trinity
Trinity scored early and often and cruised past the visiting Colby Mules 3-1. The Bantams flashed a balanced scoring attack, getting goals from Taylor Kirchgessner ’19, Laura Nee ’17, and Sarah Connors ’18 in the 13th, 27th, and 33rd minutes respectively. Colby seemed to be on their backfoot for most of the game, mustering only 5 total shots on target. Only one shot managed to find the back of the net for the Mules as Emily Martin ’18 scored off of an assist from Laura Arnold ’18 two minutes into the second half. Williams @ Amherst, 1-1 tie
In the 2nd double overtime game of the weekend, Williams and Amherst drew 1-1. Williams, who has not lost yet this season, fell behind early after Amherst scored on a beautiful run and finish by Hannah Guzzi ’18. Williams refused to go down easily, constantly pressuring Amherst’s defense to the tune of 22 shots and sheer domination in terms of possession. Only one shot managed to beat Amherst keeper Chelsea Cutler ’19 though, which came via the foot of Williams’ Kristina Alvarado ’18. Alvarado managed to score on a quality finish after an errant clearance by the Amherst backline. After a scoreless two periods of overtime, the match ended in a draw.
Brandeis @ Tufts, Final Score: 1-1 tie Sunday, September 25th
Middlebury @ Hamilton, Final Score: 1-0 Middlebury
Middlebury rebounded from their difficult defeat Saturday to beat Hamilton 1-0. Middlebury was on the attack for most of the game, attempting 14 shots and winning 6 corner kicks. But Hamilton’s back line would bend but refused to break, until less than 10 minutes remained in regulation. Katherine Hobbs ’17 continued her season of great form scoring her fourth goal of the season. After winning possession off a corner kick, Hobbs quickly finished the shot and secured Middlebury’s second win in the conference this season. Colby @ Connecticut College, 0-3 Conn College
Conn College continued their weekend of domination, defeating the Colby mules by a score of 3-0. Colby remained winless in the conference falling to 0-4 and played on their back foot for most of the game. The low point of the game certainly came when Colby scored an own goal after a well placed cross from Alex Baltazar ’19. Conn College has yet to lose in the conference this season and looked utterly dominant throughout the weekend, scoring 6 goals and allowing 0. Michelle Medina ’18 and Livi Block ’18 scored the remaining goals for the Camels, beating Colby keeper Samantha Rizzo ’19, who put up a valiant fight in a losing effort, saving 7 shots. Williams @ Bates, 2-0 Williams
Williams bounced back from their draw with Amherst to defeat the hosting Bates Bobcats 2-0. Alison Lu ’20 scored her 5th goal of the season, using her head to control a pass from Kristin Kirshe ’17 and then driving the shot past the keeper. Kirshe added her own goal in the second half, beating Bobcats’ goalie Sarah McCarthy ’18 off a pass from Lu. Williams remains undefeated in the conference improving to 4-0-1, while Bates remained winless at 0-4-1. All eyes will be on Williams next weekend when they meet fellow unbeaten Conn College in New London, Connecticut.
Farmingdale State @ Amherst, Final Score: 1-3 Amherst Player of the Week
This weeks player of the week goes to Conn College’s Caroline Kelleher ’18. The junior from Holden, Massachusetts scored all three of her teams goals against Hamilton and led the Camels to their 3-0 victory. These were Kelleher’s first three goals of the season, but her coaches surely hope that this is a sign of things to come, as another threat would do nothing but elevate Conn College’s already deadly attacking play.