Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College field hockey team, which finished the 2017 regular season with an 10-5 record and finished tied for fifth place with Bates, Bowdoin, and Amherst in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 5-5 league mark, has qualified for the league's championship tournament for the 12th consecutive season and will visit the Hamilton College Continentals on Saturday, October 28 at 1 p.m. Trinity, coached by Anne Parmenter (17th Season) earned the No. 5 seed due to its regular season triumphs over all of the other three teams in the four-way tie. No. 4-seeded Hamilton finished the year 9-5 overall and 6-4 in the league, and handed Trinity a 3-2 setback in Hartford way back on September 16.
Trinity closed the regular season with a 4-0 win over No. 11-ranked Amherst and have gone 9-1 in its last 10 games after a 1-4 start to the season. The Bantams look to return to the NESCAC Semifinals for the sixth time but the first since 2014 and seek their first conference crown. The winner of the NESCAC Championship Tournament will determine the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. Top-seeded Middlebury (13-2, 9-1) hosts No. 8-seeded Bates (9-6, 5-5), No. 2-seeded Tufts (11-4, 8-2) hosts No. 7-seeded Bowdoin (9-6, 5-5) and No. 3-seeded Williams (11-4, 6-4) hosts No. 6-seeded Amherst (10-5, 5-5) in the other quarterfinal games Saturday.
The Bantams were upset by Williams, 4-2, in last year's opening round at home as the No. 2 seed. Trinity enters the post-season on a three-game winning streak, having downed Wesleyan, Wellesley, and Amherst by a combined score of 15-2, over the last eight days. Bantam senior co-captain Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.), the 2016 NESCAC Player of the Year and one of the nation's top offensive weapons had two goals and two assists against Wesleyan and all five Trinity goals in a 5-1 victory at Wellesley to take NESCAC Player of the Week and National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Offensive Player of the Week honors. She followed up with two goals against Amherst, while sophomore midfielder Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.) had a goal and an assist, and junior forward Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) also scored on Wednesday. Trinity junior goalie Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) made 11 saves for her fourth shutout of the year.
Trinity is third in the NESCAC offensively with 2.93 goals per game, and Finn leads the conference and ranks seventh nationally in scoring with 3.20 ppg (48) and goals with 1.40 per game (21) to go with 0.40 assists per contest (6, 8th in NESCAC). Curtin and fellow sophomore midfielder Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) rank third and fourth in the league in assists with 0.50 (6 in 12 games) and 0.47 (7 in 15 games), respectively, while Curtin has scored three goals for 12 points and Quinlan adds two goals for 11 points. Solimine, an all-league honoree a year ago, is another potent scorer with eight goals and five assists this fall, and first-year forward Kendall Brown (Greenwich, Conn.) has five goals and one assist for 11 points to give the Bantams five double-digit scorers.
Junior Alison Slowe (Medfield, Mass.), also a 2016 All-NESCAC selection, anchors the Trinity defense, along with classmate Madison Guiffre (Wellesley, Mass.) and rookies Jessica Midlidge (Bernardsville, N.J.) and Ellie Tate (Carlisle, Pa.). Slowe also had two goals and two assists on the offensive end and Guiffre leads the Bantams with four defensive saves. Berger ranks third in the conference with a .792 save percentage and has allowed 25 goals in 1,051 minutes for a 1.67 GAA to go with 95 saves in her second year as the starter in the Trinity cage. First-year Katherine Devaney (Andover, Mass.) has emerged as a starting midfielder, giving Trinity five rookie starters counting Curtin who missed her first year with an injury.
Hamilton, coached by Melissa Mariano (1st Season), closed the regular campaign with a pair of wins but is 3-3 in October after a 6-2 start that included road wins at Trinity and top-seeded Middlebury. Michaela Giuttari has 17 goals and three assists for the Hamilton offense, while Tatiana Bradley adds seven goals and six assists, and Julia Booth has 58 saves for a .725 save percentage and a 1.56 GAA in the cage. The Continentals, ranked No. 5 in the region and No. 15 nationally, and the Bantams have never faced off in the NESCAC Tournament.