Hartford, Conn. - The No. 5-seeded Trinity College field hockey team topped the No. 4-seeded Hamilton College Continentals, 2-0, on Saturday in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Quarterfinals to advance to the NESCAC Championship Final Four this weekend at top-seeded Middlebury. In the semifinals, the Bantams drew the host Panthers and will play in the first semifinal game on Saturday, November 3 at 11 a.m., followed by the other semifinal match between the No. 2-seeded Tufts University Jumbos and the No. 3-seeded Williams College Ephs. Middlebury won its quarterfinal game, 5-2 against No. 8-seeded Colby last weekend. Saturday's winners will play in the NESCAC Finals on Sunday, November 5 at noon. The winner of the NESCAC Championship Tournament will determine the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Trinity, coached by Anne Parmenter (18th Season), is playing in its seventh overall appearance in the NESCAC Semifinals and seeks a second-straight appearance in the conference finals having fallen to Middlebury in the 2017 championship game, 5-0. The Bantams hosted the tournament as the top seed but lost to Tufts, 3-2, in the finals in 2009. Trinity has gone 11-2 in its last 13 games after a 1-2 start to the season, including consecutive road wins at top-20 opponents Amherst and Hamilton last week. Sophomore forward Kendall Brown (Greenwich, Conn.) scored an early goal for Trinity against the Continentals, and junior midfielder Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) scored from rookie midfielder Caelin Flaherty (Upton, Mass.) in the second half. Trinity outshot Hamilton, 23-14, and senior goalie Lori Berger(Scottsdale, Ariz.) made six saves to extend College-record shutout total to 10 for the season. The Bantams are currently ranked No. 4 New England and No. 14 in the nation, while Middlebury is No. 1 in New England and No. 2 nationally.
Trinity leads the NESCAC defensively with a meager 0.50 goals allowed per game (5th in nation), and Berger leads the nation in save percentage at .882 while ranking second in the conference in GAA at 0.50 (7th in nation) and She has allowed just eight goals in 1,113 minutes with 60 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 8.1 shots per game and 4.4 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 2.00 ppg (32), tied for fifth in goals with 0.75 per game (12), and tied for seventh in assists with 0.50 per game (8). Junior midfielder Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.) is tied for third in the league with 0.63 assists per game (18th in nation), while Brown ranks 10th in the conference with 1.38 ppg (22) on 10 goals and two assists. Sophomore Caroline Fisher (Kennett Square, Pa.) adds seven goals and four assists, while Quinlan has notched five goals and four assists to give Trinity five double-digit scorers with 12 points on four goals and four assists. Sophomore forward Jordan Ragland (Westport, Conn.) and rookie midfielders Flaherty and Elizabeth Provost (Sudbury, Mass.) have been steady as well, as the Bantams have had a consistent starting 11 for the vast majority of the season.
Middlebury, coached by Katharine DeLorenzo (18nd Season), is 15-1 this fall after winning both the NESCAC and NCAA Division III titles in 2017. The Panthers have won 19 home games in a row and downed Trinity, 2-0, in Hartford on October 13. Erin Nicholas has 12 goals and eight assists to rank second in the conference in scoring with 39 points for the Middlebury offense, while Grace Jennings adds 11 goals and five assists, and Megan Collins has 25 saves for a .671 save percentage and a 1.08 GAA in the cage.