Panthers Continue Quest Toward Third-Straight NESCAC Title

Panthers Continue Quest Toward Third-Straight NESCAC Title

Two-time NESCAC Champion and top-seeded Middlebury will host the remaining rounds of the NESCAC Field Hockey Championship on Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10 at Kohn Field. The semifinals are set for 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and the championship game will be played at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. The NESCAC Champion will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

Middlebury (15-1) is hosting the semifinals and final for the third-consecutive year. Middlebury is looking to reach the championship game for the ninth year in a row and win its third straight title and seventh overall. The Panthers scored three times in the opening half en route to a 3-1 quarterfinal win over No. 8 Trinity. Middlebury owns the top offense in the league, averaging 3.4 goals per game and has surrendered a league-low 11 goals on the defensive end. Junior Erin Nicholas and first-year Katie George have combined for 20 goals, nine game-winners, and 48 points to lead the Panthers. Sophomore Grace Harlan has played every minute in the cage this season and has six shutouts with a .780 save percentage and a league-best 0.68 goals against average.

The Panthers will host No. 7 Hamilton (9-7) in the first semifinal. The Continentals earned a 2-1 win at No. 2 Bowdoin to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2016. Senior Lizzie Clarke scored both goals to lead Hamilton past the Polar Bears in the quarterfinals. Clarke (5-8-18) is tied with teammate Michaela Giuttari (6-6-18) for the team lead in points this season. Sophomore Maggie Reville leads the NESCAC in saves (120) and save percentage (.811) while playing nearly every minute in goal for the Continentals. Hamilton looks to extend its win streak to six straight games and reach the championship game for the first time in program history.

Middlebury posted a 5-1 victory over Hamilton on September 21. The Panthers improved to 2-0 against the Continentals in the NESCAC Tournament with a victory in the 2016 semifinals.

The second game on Saturday is a rematch of last year's semifinal with No. 3 Tufts (13-3) facing No. 4 Williams (13-3). The Jumbos defeated Williams, 3-0, last year and finished as NESCAC Runners-Up. Tufts reached the semifinals for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a 4-1 victory over No. 6 Colby as junior Beth Krikorian registered the program's first hat trick since 2014 to lead the Jumbos. Sophomore Gillian Roeca leads the team in scoring with 22 points and 10 goals, including six game-winning tallies. Sophomore Andie Stallman has all 13 wins in net for the Jumbos and carries a .732 save percentage and 1.02 goals against average into the semifinal. Tufts, which won the NESCAC title in 2009 and 2016, enters the semifinals with a 7-1 mark in its last eight games as it looks to return to the championship game for the third time in four years.

Williams erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals in the second half to defeat No. 5 Bates, 3-1, and advance to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Senior Emma Ticknor is the leading scorer in the NESCAC with 32 points and is tied for the league lead with 13 goals to go with six assists. Senior Abby Lloyd is 12-3 in the cage for the Ephs and owns a .705 save percentage and 0.85 goals against average on the year. Overall, the Ephs rank second in the conference in scoring, averaging 3.0 goals per game. Williams owns three NESCAC titles, winning its last championship in 2004.

Tufts defeated Williams, 2-1, in the 2019 season opener on September 7. The Jumbos are 4-1 against the Ephs in the NESCAC Championship.

Links to live stats and video for all games are available via the NESCAC Scoreboard at NESCAC.com. Results from the NESCAC Championship will be posted on NESCAC.com at the end of each day. Also, follow the action on Twitter (@NESCAC).

2019 NESCAC FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 at Higher Seeds
No. 1 Middlebury def. No. 8 Trinity, 3-1
No. 7 Hamilton def. No. 2 Bowdoin, 2-1
No. 3 Tufts def. No. 6 Colby, 4-1
No. 4 Williams def. No. 5 Bates, 3-1

Semifinals - Saturday, November 9 at Middlebury
No. 7 Hamilton at No. 1 Middlebury - 11:00 a.m.
No. 3 Tufts vs. No. 4 Williams - 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 10 at Middlebury
Championship - 12:00 p.m.

-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --