Middlebury earned the #2 seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, while Trinity clinched the top seed with an 11-7 win over Amherst on Wednesday to secure home field advantage throughout the tournament for the seventh-straight year. The Bantams start their chase for a sixth-consecutive conference crown when quarterfinal round action gets underway on Saturday, April 30. Amherst and Colby have also earned the right to host quarterfinal round contests. The highest remaining seed following this weekend will host both semifinals and the championship game on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8.
Trinity (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC) finished tied atop the conference standings with Middlebury, but claimed the top seed by defeating the Panthers, 13-9, on April 16. The Bantams own an 18-6 record in NESCAC postseason play, going 15-0 in the last five NESCAC tournaments, as they chase their sixth consecutive league crown. Since Trinity suffered its only conference loss to Tufts on March 26 by the score of 10-9, the Bantams have gone undefeated in April, winning seven straight games. They will host eighth-seeded Williams (5-10, 2-8 NESCAC) in the quarterfinal round for the second consecutive year. The 2010 NESCAC Champion is making its third straight postseason appearance and 13th overall appearance, as the Ephs are 10-2 all-time in the NESCAC quarterfinal round. Both teams squared off in the first game of the season on March 5, with Trinity prevailing by the score of 12-5. Williams leads the postseason series against the Bantams, 4-2, but Trinity has won the last two match-ups, including last year's quarterfinal contest.
Williams, Bowdoin and Wesleyan were tied in the standings for the final championship berth following losses by the Ephs and the Polar Bears and a win by the Cardinals on the final day. After comparing the head-to-head records, number of conference wins, record against the top four teams, and record against the top eight teams, including those tied at eighth, a random action was needed to separate the teams. Names were drawn out of a hat by league officials to determine the eighth seed with Williams being selected.
Second-seeded Middlebury (14-1, 9-1 NESCAC) will be looking for its eighth NESCAC title and first since 2007 when tournament play commences on Saturday. The Panthers won 11 straight games to open the season before falling to Trinity. Since then, Middlebury has won four straight contests, including a 10-9 overtime win versus Williams to cap off the regular season. Middlebury is the highest scoring team in the league, averaging 14.20 goals per contest. The Panthers are 4-3 all-time in quarterfinal games following last year's 9-8 quarterfinal win over Amherst. They will host seventh-seeded Tufts (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC) in the quarterfinals. The Jumbos, who lost three conference games by one goal, are making their ninth consecutive postseason appearance and are looking to reach their first NESCAC Championship game. Tufts nearly reached the final last year, but fell to Trinity in overtime, 8-7, in the semifinal round. The squads are even at 1-1 in the postseason series, but they have not met since the 2012 quarterfinals when Middlebury won, 12-8. Earlier this season, the Panthers defeated the Jumbos, 17-9, on March 12.
Amherst (11-3, 7-3 NESCAC) and Colby finished the regular season tied with seven conference wins, but the Purple & White defeated the Mules, 8-4, on April 9 to earn the tiebreaker. Amherst will take on sixth-seeded Hamilton (10-5, 5-5 NESCAC) in one of Saturday's quarterfinals. The Purple & White, who were on a six-game winning streak before falling to Trinity in the regular season finale, boast an 11-4 mark in the NESCAC quarterfinal round. Amherst is looking for its elusive first conference title despite playing in six championship games, including the 2014 final against Trinity. The Continentals ended the season tied with Tufts, but Hamilton edged the Jumbos on April 9 by the score of 13-12 to receive the sixth seed. All five Continental losses have been to conference foes, with three of those losses coming in one-goal decisions. Hamilton is making its fourth NESCAC postseason appearance in five years, and is looking for its first conference postseason win. Amherst knocked off Hamilton, 10-6, in the regular season on March 26. This is the first postseason meeting between the programs.
Fourth-seeded Colby (12-3, 7-3 NESCAC) earned the right to host the final quarterfinal game by virtue of defeating fifth-seeded Bates (11-4, 6-4 NESCAC), 8-6, in the final regular season game of the year. The Mules, who are making their 16th consecutive NESCAC postseason appearance, are 10-5 in the conference quarterfinals. Colby won back-to-back NESCAC titles in 2008 and 2009, and looks to reach the final for the first time since 2011. Bates won 10 of its first 11 games to punch its ticket back into the postseason after missing last year's tournament, but has gone 1-3 to close out the regular season. The Bobcats, who have appeared in the conference championship seven of the last eight years, aspire to reach the semifinal round for the first time in program history with a defense that allows a league-low 6.16 goals per game. In the only NESCAC postseason meeting between the teams, Colby defeated Bates in the 2011 quarterfinals, 17-8.
Results for the NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.
2016 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship
Saturday, April 30 at Higher Seeds
#8 Williams at #1 Trinity – 12:00 p.m.
#7 Tufts at #2 Middlebury – 12:00 p.m.
#6 Hamilton at #3 Amherst – 12:00 p.m.
#5 Bates at #4 Colby – 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinal Games – 12:00 p.m. | 2:30 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining Quarterfinal Round Winners
Sunday, May 8 at Semifinal Site
Championship Game – 12:00 p.m.
-- Courtesy of the NESCAC --