Middlebury Plays Top-Seeded Amherst in NESCAC Semifinals

Middlebury Plays Top-Seeded Amherst in NESCAC Semifinals

Sixth-seeded Middlebury looks for its first conference championship since 2010 when it takes on top-seeded Amherst on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on Hitchcock Field. The Mammoths will host the remaining rounds of the NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship with the semifinals set for 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 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 Men's Soccer Championship.

Amherst (14-0-2) is hosting the semifinals and championship for the second straight year, but looking to reach the final for the first time since 2016, the last year the Mammoths captured the NESCAC crown. Amherst advanced to the semifinals behind a 2-0 victory over No. 8 Wesleyan. Senior Dane Lind scored both goals for the Mammoths and Bernie White made five saves for the shutout. Amherst has a potent offense, leading the league with 119 points on 42 goals and 35 assists. The Mammoths also possess a stingy defense, as they are tied for second with a team 0.60 goals against average. Sophomore German Giammattei has exploded for 20 goals and 44 points to lead the NESCAC in both categories, while Lind has handed out a league-best 10 assists. White is unbeaten in net (12-0-2) and owns a 0.45 goals against average to go with a .882 save percentage.

The Mammoths will meet No. 6 Middlebury (7-2-7) in the first semifinal match. The Panthers prevailed, 4-3, in a penalty kick shootout at No. 3 Connecticut College to advance to the semifinals for the fifth time in six years. Middlebury, which won its third and most recent NESCAC crown in 2010, boasts the top defense in the league, allowing a league-low nine goals this season. First-year goalkeeper Ryan Grady has six shutouts with a .886 save percentage and a 0.50 goals against average to anchor the Panther defense. Senior Drew Goulart (4-1-9) and junior Brandon Reid (3-3-9) are tied with a team-high nine points. 

Amherst and Middlebury played to a 1-1 draw, one of seven ties for the Panthers this season, on September 29. The NESCAC Tournament series is also even at 4-4-0. In the last meeting, a 2012 quarterfinal match, Amherst came away with a 4-0 victory.

No. 2 Tufts (12-2-2) will square off against No. 4 Williams (8-3-5) in the other semifinal match. The Jumbos shut out No. 7 Hamilton, 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Senior Brett Rojas scored two late goals to help Tufts pick up its fourth NESCAC Tournament victory. Tufts is in the semifinal round for the second time in three years and won its only NESCAC title in 2017. The Jumbos rank second in the NESCAC in scoring, averaging 2.31 goals per game and boast six players with 10 points or more. Senior Joe Braun leads the Jumbos with 13 points (4-5-13). Junior Will Harned has seen the most time in net and owns five shutouts with a 0.77 goals against average, but Erich Kindermann picked up the shutout victory in the win over Hamilton.

Williams, last year's NESCAC Runner-Up, blanked No. 5 Bates, 3-0, behind goals from three different players. The Ephs, who are unbeaten in their last nine matches (5-0-4), look to reach the championship game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2012 and 2013, and capture the NESCAC title for the first time since 2009. Senior Demian Glass, one of just three players to start all 16 games, leads the Ephs in scoring with 15 points on seven goals and an assist. First-year Michael Davis is the top goalkeeper for Williams, owning seven shutouts with a 0.54 goals against average and a .816 save percentage.

Tufts posted a 3-2 victory over the Ephs in the second game of the season on September 7. Williams owns a 1-0-1 record against Tufts in the tournament series. The teams last met in the 2012 semifinals with Williams advancing to the championship game by virtue of winning a penalty kick shootout.

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 Men's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 at Higher Seeds
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 8 Wesleyan, 2-0
No. 2 Tufts def. No. 7 Hamilton, 3-0
No. 6 Middlebury tied No. 3 Connecticut College, 0-0 - Middlebury advances on PKs, 4-3
No. 4 Williams def. No. 5 Bates, 3-0

Semifinals - Saturday, November 9 at Amherst
No. 6 Middlebury at No. 1 Amherst - 11:00 a.m.
No. 4 Williams vs. No. 2 Tufts  - 1:30 p.m.

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

- Courtesy of the NESCAC -