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Field Hockey Falls to Middlebury in NESCAC Semifinals

Field Hockey Falls to Middlebury in NESCAC Semifinals

Brunswick, Maine – The No. 3 seed Trinity College field hockey team lost to No. 2 seed Middlebury in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Bowdoin's Ryan Field. With the loss, the Bantams move to 13-4 on the year, while the Panthers improve to 16-1 and advance to tomorrow's conference championship game versus the host Polar Bears.

Middlebury jumped out to an early two-goal lead in the first half and thanks to a stout defensive effort advanced to play for their third straight NESCAC title. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Bantams as Trinity reached the NESCAC Final Four for the first time since 2011.

Middlebury senior midfielder and tri-captain Catherine Fowler opened the scoring with an unassisted goal just over five and a half minutes into play. Fowler's tally came off a penalty corner and she was not done as she set up the Panthers next marker 13 minutes later. Once again, Middlebury struck off a penalty corner as junior defender Jillian Green found the back of the cage with Fowler registering the assist to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage.

Trinity cut the Middlebury deficit in half late in the opening period as first-year forward Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.) scored her team-leading 27th goal of the season with junior Elizabeth Caporale (Glastonbury, Conn.) registering the assist off a penalty corner. Finn continues her impressive season as she now holds single-season program records in points (64) and game-winning goals (7), while ranking second in goals.

Finn's goal capped the scoring in the first half as Middlebury entered the break with a 2-1 lead. Four and a half minutes into the second half, Trinity junior goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick (Duxbury, Mass.) was given a yellow card and first-year Gianna Pileggi (Malvern, Pa.) had to come on in relief. With Pileggi in the cage, the Panthers stretched their lead back to two at 3-1 as Fowler scored her second tally of the day off a penalty corner. Down the stretch, Fitzpatrick returned and made several saves to keep the Bantams in it.

Senior goalkeeper Emily Knapp turned aside three shots to earn the victory for Middlebury, while Fitzpatrick made four saves in a losing effort for Trinity. In just under six minutes of action, Pileggi stopped one shot.

The Panthers held a 15-7 advantage in shots and took nine penalty corners to the Bantams four.

Trinity will await its postseason fate as the bids to the NCAA Tournament will be announced in a press release on Monday morning. The Bantams last appeared in the national tournament in 1998.