Third-seeded Middlebury begins the quest for its fourth NESCAC Championship when it hosts sixth-seeded Williams on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup. Defending NESCAC Champion Tufts is the No. 1 seed for the 2018 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship for the second straight year. The Jumbos will have home field advantage throughout the tournament, which begins with quarterfinal matches on the campus of the higher seeds on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28. Connecticut College and Amherst will also host quarterfinal contests. Following this weekend's action, the highest remaining seed will host the semifinals and final on November 3-4.
No. 3 Middlebury (10-2-3, 6-2-2 NESCAC) will host No. 6 Williams (8-5-2, 4-4-2 NESCAC) in a rematch of the regular season finale played on Tuesday in Williamstown. The Panthers were victorious, posting a 2-0 win. Middlebury, last year's NESCAC Runner-Up, is the No. 3 seed for the fifth time in program history and first time since 2010. The Panthers own three NESCAC titles, winning their last crown in 2010, and are looking to move into the semifinal round for the fifth consecutive season. The Middlebury defense owns a 0.44 goals against average and has nine shutouts, while the Panthers' offensive attack has totaled 84 points, including 29 goals. Middlebury enters the tournament riding a six-game win streak. Williams is the sixth seed for the second straight season and has been in the NESCAC Tournament field every year since 2000. The Ephs have won six NESCAC titles, including four straight from 2001 to 2004, and are looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. Middlebury and Williams have faced each other 10 times in tournament play, with the Ephs owning a 5-3-2 advantage in the series. The teams last met in the 2016 quarterfinals where Middlebury registered a 1-0 double-overtime victory.
Tufts (13-0-2, 8-0-2 NESCAC) clinched the top seed by virtue of a 4-3 overtime win at Bowdoin in the regular season finale. The Jumbos are in the NESCAC Championship field for the 16th time in 18 years and is making their ninth straight appearance. Tufts, which won the program's only NESCAC title last season, is unbeaten this year. Tufts ranks second in the conference in goals scored (33) and owns one of the best defenses in the conference with a 0.58 goals against average. The Jumbos will face No. 8 Colby (7-6-2, 3-5-2 NESCAC) to begin their quest to win back-to-back titles. The Mules are in the NESCAC Tournament field for the first time since 2014 and are the No. 8 seed for the first time since 2011. Colby, which is seeking its first NESCAC postseason victory, enter the tournament with seven wins, the most since the 2014 season. The quarterfinal match will mark the first time Tufts and Colby have faced each other in NESCAC postseason play. The Mules suffered a 1-0 overtime loss to the Jumbos in the second game of the season at Colby.
Connecticut College (12-1-2, 7-1-2 NESCAC) is making its eighth straight appearance in the NESCAC Championship field and is the No. 2 seed for the first time in program history. The Camels' 12 wins are the most since 1996. Connecticut College ranks second in points in the NESCAC (83) and has the stingiest defense in the league, allowing just three goals (0.20 GAA), and recording a conference-best 12 shutouts. The Camels are seeking their first NESCAC Tournament semifinal appearance since 2015 and are in search of their first NESCAC title when they host No. 7 Hamilton (8-6-1, 4-5-1 NESCAC). The Continentals are in the NESCAC Championship field for the third straight season, and are making their fourth appearance since 2013. Hamilton has won back-to-back quarterfinal games in the last two years and advanced to the finals in 2016. In the only meeting between the two teams in the NESCAC postseason, Hamilton defeated Connecticut College, 2-1, in overtime in the 2016 quarterfinals. The Camels defeated the Continentals, 1-0, at Hamilton on September 22.
The final quarterfinal matchup features No. 4 Amherst (11-3-1, 6-3-1 NESCAC) hosts No. 5 Bowdoin (9-4-2, 5-3-2 NESCAC). The Mammoths are fourth seed for the sixth time in program history and the first time since 2010. Amherst, which has appeared in every NESCAC Tournament, is 7-0-1 over its last eight contests. Amherst has won six conference titles, including three straight from 2011-2013. The Mammoths lead the NESCAC in goals (35) and points (100). Bowdoin is the fifth seed for the first time since 2013 and fifth time overall. The Polar Bears own two NESCAC titles, winning them in back-to-back years in 2014 and 2015. Bowdoin is seeking its sixth straight trip to the semifinals. Heading into the tournament, the Polar Bears are 5-1-2 in the month of October. Amherst owns a 4-2-1 advantage in the NESCAC Championship series. The teams last met in the 2016 semifinals with the Mammoths posting a 2-1 victory. This season, Amherst defeated the Polar Bears, 1-0, in the second game of the season at Bowdoin.
Results for the NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship will be available at the completion of each day on NESCAC.com.
2018 NESCAC MEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, October 27 at Higher Seed
No. 6 Williams at No. 3 Middlebury – 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 28 at Higher Seeds
No. 7 Hamilton at No. 2 Connecticut College – 12:00 p.m.
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Tufts – 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 4 Amherst – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinal Games – 11:00 a.m. | 1:30 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Sunday, November 4 at Semifinal Site
Championship Game – 12:00 p.m.
-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --