Trinity Field Hockey 2017 Season Recap

Trinity Field Hockey 2017 Season Recap

Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College field hockey team, led by Head Coach Anne Parmenter (17th season), had one of its most memorable seasons in recent history as the Bantams advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.  The Bantams had a roller coaster of a year, eventually winning 11 of their final 12 regular season games to finish fifth in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 5-5 conference record. Trinity fell to eventual National Champion Middlebury College in the NESCAC championship game before earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament where they knocked off Gwynedd Mercy, 5-3, and stunned No. 6 Salisbury, 2-1 in overtime, to reach the quarterfinals where they ultimately fell to top-ranked Messiah College.

Trinity, which began the season ranked No. 10 in the country, got off to a quick start with a 5-0 victory in the season opener versus Smith College. Against the Pioneers, senior co-captain Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.) led all players with three goals while juniors Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) and Alison Slowe (Medfield, Mass.) also got involved in the scoring action with a goal apiece. The Bantams hit a rough patch following the season's first game as they went on to drop four-straight matchups, all against NESCAC competition, to dig themselves an early season hole at 1-4 overall. The team turned things around though, with a gutsy, 1-0 victory at Connecticut College on a second half game-winner by Finn, followed by a 2-1 triumph at Bates to close out the month of September. 

The Bantams continued their strong play into October, pushing their win-streak to six games. During the team's six straight wins, they outscored their opponents 17-7 and won a crucial 4-3 overtime battle against conference foe Bowdoin College thanks to an extra-time clincher from Sophomore Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.).  After a 4-1 victory at Springfield College, Trinity lost to Middlebury, 4-0, to end the streak. But the team once again showed resiliency and responded with three consecutive victories to close out the regular season, highlighted by a 6-0 thrashing of in-state conference rival Wesleyan University and a 4-0 blanking of then No. 11-ranked Amherst.

Trinity entered the NESCAC Championship Tournament as the No. 5 seed and defeated Hamilton, 3-1, in the first round before winning a thrilling, 3-2 overtime matchup in the semifinals at Williams thanks to a game-winner by Finn off an assist by rookie Kendall Brown (Greenwich, Conn.). Trinity couldn't survive Middlebury in the championship game, but earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament where they drew a first round matchup at home versus Gwynedd Mercy. In the 5-3 victory, Finn had a hand in all five scores while junior goalie Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) stopped seven shots in cage. That victory earned them a date in the second round versus No. 6-ranked Salisbury University where the Bantams stunned the Sea Gulls to advance to tournament quarterfinals. Against Salisbury, Brown scored the equalizer for Trinity in the second half before Solimine played the hero in overtime, sending a shot just inside the top crossbar off an assist by Finn. Trinity's season came to an end the following day against regional host Messiah who eventually went on to face Middlebury in the national championship game. The Bantams' third round appearance was their first since the 2009 season. 

Finn was chosen as the Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Player of the Year, earning the award for the second season in a row, to cap off her record breaking career.  Finn, who was also named to both the Synapse Sports Division III All-American First Team and the 2017 Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-American First Team, is the first player to win the honor in back-to-back seasons since Messiah's Julia Barton in 2009 and 2010.  Finn also repeats as both the 2017 Longstreth/NFHCA New England West Player of the Year and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Field Hockey Player of the Year, and joined Solimine on the Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-New England West Regional First Team for the second year in a row. Berger and Slowe each graced the NFHCA Division III All-New England West Regional Second Team and  the All-NESCAC Second Team.  Finn makes her fourth appearance on the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference First Team, and Berger, Solimine, and Slowe were each All-NESCAC Second Teram honorees. Finn led the NESCAC with 29 goals (1.38 per game, 6th in nation) and scoring with 68 point (3.24 per game, 5th in nation) and added 10 assists (0.48 per game, 4th in NESCAC) with 179 shots, eight game-winners, and four penalty-stroke goals in as many tries in 21 games.  She was named as the Synapse Sports National Offensive Player of the Week twice, the NESCAC Player of the Week three times, and to the NFHCA National Honor Roll once this autumn, and broke every Trinity offensive record in her career and became the first Bantam to amass 200 career points.

Solimine finished second on the team in goals with 11 and scoring with 28 points to go with six assists (T3rd on team), 64 shots, and four game-winning goals in 21 games. Slowe had two goals and three assists for seven points while anchoring the Trinity back line for all 21 games. Berger finished second in the NESCAC this fall with a .764 save percentage and allowed just 42 goals for a 1.98 GAA with a 14-7 record and four shutouts in 1,484 minutes of play during her second year with the program. Brown made an immediate impact as a first-year, finishing third on the team with 16 points (7g, 2a), while sophomore Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) tallied a pair of goals and ten assists. Curtin was one of five Bantams who turned in double-digit point seasons with 12 (3g, 6a), while sophomores Jordan Ragland (Westport, Conn.) and Cara Bradley (East Lyme, Conn.) also found the back of the cage at least once this fall. Junior Madison Guiffre (Wellesley, Mass.) and rookies Ellie Tate (Carlisle, Pa.) and Jessica Midlige (Bernardsville, N.J.) helped anchor Trinity's defense that allowed just 42 goals this autumn. 

Junior Jenna Behan (West Hartford, Conn.) was named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship team as well as the NESCAC All-Academic team. Joining her with All-Academic honors were Solimine, Bradley, Curtin, Quinlan, senior co-captain Cara Daly (Hamilton, Mass.), sophomore Olivia Hoyda (Darien, Conn.). This fall marked the final collegiate campaigns for Finn and Daly. During their tenure, the team went 48-24, including a trip to the NESCAC Semifinals in 2014, this year's NESCAC Championship game, and the last two season's NCAA Tournament runs.