Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College field hockey team, which finished the 2018 regular season with an 11-4 record and tied for fourth place with Bowdoin and Hamilton in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 6-4 league mark, has qualified for the league's championship tournament for the 13th consecutive season and will visit the Hamilton College Continentals in the quarterfinals for the second year in a row on Saturday, October 27 at 12:30 p.m. Trinity, coached by Anne Parmenter (18th Season) earned the No. 5 seed due to its 2-1 head-to-head triumph at Bowdoin. No. 4-seeded Hamilton finished the year 10-5 overall and 6-4 in the league, but handed Trinity a 3-2 setback way back on September 15 in New York. Trinity is ranked No. 17 nationally, while Hamilton is No. 3 in the NCAA Division III New England West Rankings and No. 14 in the country.
Trinity closed the regular season with a 2-0 win at No. 20-ranked Amherst and has gone 10-2 in its last 12 games after a 1-2 start to the season. The Bantams look to return to the NESCAC Semifinals for the seventh time but still seek their first conference crown despite playing in the championship finals last fall. The winner of the NESCAC Championship Tournament will determine the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. Top-seeded Middlebury (14-1, 9-1) hosts No. 8-seeded Colby (9-6, 4-6), No. 2-seeded Tufts (14-1, 9-1) hosts No. 7-seeded Amherst (10-5, 5-5) and No. 3-seeded Williams (11-4, 7-3) hosts No. 6-seeded Bowdoin (11-4, 6-4) in the other quarterfinal games Saturday. Trinity is 8-13 all-time in the tournament, has been to six semifinals, and reached the finals in 2009 and 2017. Hamilton is 1-5 all-time in the tournament and has been to one semifinals.
The Bantams downed the Continentals in Clinton in last year's NESCAC Quarterfinals, 1-0, in the first-ever post-season meeting between the schools and went on to oust Williams, 3-2, in overtime before falling to Middlebury in the finals, 5-0. Winners of eight games in a row from September 20 to October 9, Trinity recovered from a tough weekend homestand against top-five opponents Middlebury and Tufts to blank Wellesley, 6-0, on Saturday and the Mammoths on Wednesday. Bantam sophomore Caroline Fisher (Kennett Square, Pa.) had two goals and one assist, and senior co-captain forward Chandler Solimine (Pelham, N.Y.) added a goal and two assists against Wellesley, while Solimine and junior midfielder Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) scored the Bantam goals at Amherst. Senior goalie Lori Berger (Scottsdale, Ariz.) set a new Bantam record with her ninth shutout of the season against the Blue and added her 10th on Wednesday, but needed to make just one save in the two games behind Trinity's oustanding defense.
Trinity leads the NESCAC defensively with a meager 0.53 goals allowed per game (5th in nation), and Berger ranks second in the conference in both GAA at 0.53 (8th in nation) and in save percentage at .871 (2nd in nation). She has allowed just eight goals in 1,042 minutes with 54 saves in her third year in the Trinity cage after switching from the ice rink to the field hockey turf. Senior co-captain Alison Slowe (Medfield, Mass.) anchors the Trinity defense along with sophomore Ellie Tate (Carlisle, Pa.) and rookie Christine Taylor (Westport, Conn.). Slowe also had two goals and three assists on the offensive end and Taylor leads the Bantams with a pair of defensive saves. The group has allowed Trinity opponents an average of just 7.4 shots per game and just over four shots-on-goal per game this autumn. Both Berger and Slowe are two-time, All-NESCAC selections.
Solimine, also a two-time, all-league honoree, is one of the top offensive players in the conference. She is tied for fourth in the NESCAC in scoring with 2.13 ppg (32, tied for fifth in goals with 0.80 per game (12), and tied for sixth in assists with 0.53 per game (8). Junior midfielder Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.) is tied for third in the league with 0.67 assists per game (17th in nation), while sophomore forward Kendall Brown (Greenwich, Conn.) has nine goals and two assists, and Fisher adds seven goals and four assists. Curtin (1g, 10a) and Quinlan (4g, 4a) have 12 points each to give Trinity five double-digit scorers with 12 points on four goals and four assists. Sophomore forward Jordan Ragland (Westport, Conn.) and rookie midfielder Elizabeth Provost (Sudbury, Mass.) have both been steady as well, as the Bantams have had a consistent starting 11 for the vast majority of the season.
Hamilton, coached by Melissa Mariano (2nd Season), is stumbling into the NESCAC Championship Tournament with a three-game losing streak including a 3-2 loss at Bowdoin, a 1-0 setback at NESCAC rival Colby, and, most recently, a 3-1 defeat at No. 9-ranked Rochester on Wednesday. Michaela Giuttari has 16 goals and seven assists to rank second in the conference in scoring with 39 points for the Hamilton offense, while Tatiana Bradley adds seven goals and five assists, and Julia Booth has 95 saves for a .785 save percentage and a 1.74 GAA in the cage.