HADLEY, Mass. – Advancing to their fourth consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament semifinals, No. 4 seed Amherst women's soccer (12-3-1) will take on No. 1 Tufts (12-2-2) for just the third time in postseason history on Saturday, November 9th, at Kraft Field.
Tufts will serve as hosts for the remaining rounds of the NESCAC Championship. The semifinal matches are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and the championship game is set for 12 p.m. on Sunday. The NESCAC Champion will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship.
SETTING THE SCENE
The Mammoths, who hold a 1-0-1 edge over the Jumbos in conference playoff history, advanced to the semifinals after Hannah Gustafson '21 scored 1:58 into overtime to seal the win for Amherst. In the last postseason meeting between the two sides, Amherst prevailed in a penalty kick shootout in the 2003 quarterfinals on its way to winning its second NESCAC title.
In a matchup that features the top two offenses remaining in the NESCAC tournament, Amherst leads the final four teams with 41 goals on the season while Tufts has combined for 38. The Mammoths aim to make their second finals appearance in four years.
The Mammoths have appeared in every league tournament since 2000 while Tufts is hosting the final round of the NESCAC Championship for the first time since 2005.
The second semifinal game features No. 2 Middlebury (12-1-3) versus No. 3 Williams (9-4-2), a rematch of last year's championship game in which the Panther won, 1-0. Middlebury has earned a spot in the semifinals for the sixth time in seven years with a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Wesleyan. The Ephs enter their 13th-consecutive semifinals following a 3-2 overtime victory over No. 6 Connecticut College.
THE FIELD IN THE REGULAR SEASON
|--||T, 0-0 (2OT)
|T, 0-0 (2OT)
- Leading the remaining teams in goals with 41, Amherst has tallied 24 assists and is ninth in the nation for shutout percentage (0.750).
- Erica Sanders '20, who boasts a NESCAC-leading save percentage (.933), goals against (1), and goals-against average (0.15), recorded her seventh win in net during the quarterfinals and has played in over 600 minutes of action.
- Sophia Fikke '22 leads the conference in assists (8) and is 41st nationally in assists per game (0.50).
- Securing two multi-score games during the regular season, including a hat-trick in their season opener, Alexa Juarez '22 is tied for first in the conference for goals (10) and is tied for third in points (22).
- The Jumbos, who have accrued 38 goals and 32 assists, have shutout eight of their 16 opponents.
- Liz Reed leads the conference in points (25) with nine goals and seven assists on the 2019 tab. Reed is also third in the NESCAC for shots (64).
- In between the pipes, Hayley Bernstein has played all but 45 minutes in net for the Jumbos and owns seven shutouts to go with a .865 save percentage.
- Middlebury is tied with Amherst, allowing a league-low six goals, and have 11 shutouts while averaging 2.13 goals per game.
- Leading the Panthers scoring, Simone Ameer is tied for fourth in the conference in goals (9) while Olivia Miller added a team-high six assists and has 12 points.
- Ursula Alwang has seen the majority of the minutes in goal and has seven wins, five shutouts, and a 0.44 goals against average, while Eva Shaw has played in eight games and is 5-0-1.
- Looking to reach the conference championship for the third straight year and 12th time in 13 seasons, the Ephs have shutout six opponents and scored 29 goals alongside 21 assists.
- Junior Victoria Laino leads the Ephs in scoring with 18 points on eight goals and two assists.
- Whitney Lincoln has played a majority of minutes in between the pipes, owning a 1.16 goals against average with a .814 save percentage.
BY THE NUMBERS
|No. 4 Amherst||No. 1 Tufts||No. 2 Middlebury||No. 3 Williams|
|Games / Record||16 / 12-3-1||16 / 12-2-2||16 / 12-1-3||15 / 9-4-2|
|Shots on Goal||172||173||140||132|
|Goals Against Avg.||0.37||0.60||0.36||1.10|
2019 Women's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2
at Higher Seeds
No. 1 Tufts def. No. 8 Bowdoin, 2-1 (2OT)
No. 2 Middlebury def. No. 7 Wesleyan, 2-1
No. 3 Williams def. No. 6 Connecticut College, 3-2 (OT)
No. 4 Amherst at No. 5 Hamilton, 1-0 (OT)
Semifinals - Saturday, November 9
No. 4 Amherst at No. 1 Tufts - 11:00 a.m.
No. 3 Williams vs. No. 2 Middlebury- 1:30 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, November 10
Semifinal winners - 12:00 p.m.