AMHERST, Mass. – The 14th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team finished the regular season with a 9-6 overall record and a 4-6 mark in NESCAC play to earn the seventh seed in the conference tournament. The Jeffs will travel to second-seeded Middlebury College Saturday, April 25 at 12 p.m. for a NESCAC quarterfinal contest.
Amherst fell to Middlebury, 9-5 in the regular season contest on March 28 at Kohn Field in Middlebury, Vt. The Panthers held a 3-1 lead at halftime, before the Purple & White rallied by scoring four of the first six goals in the second frame, highlighted by a hat trick from first-year Julia Crerend to set the score at 5-5 with 14:50 remaining in the game. Middlebury answered with an offensive surge of its own as the Panthers netted the final four goals of the contest to seal the 9-5 win.
Saturday's quarterfinal meeting between Amherst and Middlebury marks the seventh between the schools with the Panthers owning a 6-0 advantage with the most recent matchup taking place in the 2012 semifinal when Middlebury edged the Jeffs, 7-6. The other five meetings were conference championship games from 2001-05.
No. 7 Seed (9-6, 4-6 NESCAC) - Schedule * Roster * Stats
Amherst is making its 15th NESCAC tournament appearance and owns a 17-14 overall record, and is in search of its first league title. Led by head coach Christine Paradis, the Purple & White is looking to return to its second consecutive conference title game and seventh overall.
Amherst completed its regular season with a 4-3 mark in the month of April en route to securing the seventh seed in postseason play. The Jeffs are led by Rachel Passarelli '16 whose 40 goals are third-best in the conference. Senior tri-captain Meghan Mills has netted 30 goals and assisted on five others, and follows with 35 points, while Claire Cagnassola '17 has amassed 26 points on the strength of 23 goals and three assists. Mia Haugton '16 is Amherst's leader in helpers with 12, followed by Passarelli with 11 and Sarah Spector '15 with 10.
Hanna Krueger '17 has been a key contributor in several facets of Amherst's efforts this season, collecting 24 groundballs and 36 draw controls which both rank second on the team, while her 19 caused turnovers leads the team. Mills leads the Purple & White with 43 draw controls, while junior goalie Christy Forrest has picked up a team-best 26 groundballs. Between the posts, Forrest has made 89 saves and recorded a 44.1 save percentage in 866:04 of action.
No. 2 Seed (12-2, 8-2 NESCAC) - Schedule * Roster * Stats
Middlebury enters the 2015 NESCAC tournament as the second seed and is in search of its eighth conference title and first since 2007. After losing the season opener, the Panthers won 11 straight games before falling to Trinity College on April 18. Middlebury and Bowdoin College won their regular season finales to wind up tied in the conference standings with 8-2 records. The Panthers claimed the second seed by virtue of defeating the Polar Bears by the score of 14-8 on March 21. Middlebury is the second-highest scoring team in the league, averaging 13.29 goals per contest. The Panthers are 3-3 all-time in quarterfinal games following last year's 11-10 quarterfinal loss to Colby College.
Middlebury is led by Katie Ritter who has tabbed 56 points this season thanks to a 32-goal and 24-assist effort. Ritter's 24 helpers ranks second in the NESCAC, while her 56 points is fourth-best among league leaders. Laurel Pascal is the Panthers' leading goal-scorer with 35, while Bridget Instrum is third on the team with 29 markers. Pascal, whose 35 goals are fourth-best in the conference, also leads the team in groundballs (26), draw controls (48), and caused turnovers (18).
In goal, Madeleine Kinker has started 13 of 14 games and has compiled a 12-2 record. Kinker has made 96 saves and registered a 50.5 save percentage, and allows just 7.96 goals per game. Her 50.5 save percentage is third-best in the NESCAC, while her 96 saves is fifth-highest among league goalkeepers.
2015 NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Quarterfinals – Saturday, April 25
No. 8 Williams at No. 1 Trinity – 12 p.m.
No. 7 Amherst at No. 2 Middlebury – 12 p.m.
No. 6 Colby at No. 3 Bowdoin – 12 p.m.
No. 5 Tufts at No. 4 Hamilton – 12 p.m.
Semifinals – Saturday, May 2
Lowest Remaining Seed at Highest Remaining Seed – TBA
Quarterfinal Winner vs. Quarterfinal Winner – TBA
Championship – Sunday, May 3
Semifinal No. 2 Winner at Semifinal No. 1 Winner – TBA