Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College field hockey team, which finished the 2019 regular season with an 8-7 overall record and tied for eighth place with Amherst College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 3-7 league mark, has qualified for the league's championship tournament for the 14th consecutive season and will visit the Middlebury College Panthers in the quarterfinals on Saturday, November at noon. Trinity, coached by Anne Parmenter (19th Season) earned the No. 8 seed thanks to a 2-1 victory over Amherst in its regular-season finale to take the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Mammoths. Top-seeded Middlebury (14-1, 9-1) knocked the Bantams out of the NESCAC Tourney last fall, 1-0, in the semifinal round.
Trinity closed the regular season with wins in three of its last four games to make the post-season despite three consecutive 1-0 defeats over a six-day span in the middle of the campaign. The Bantams look to return to the NESCAC Semifinals for the eighth time but still 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. No. 2-seeded Bowdoin (14-1, 9-1) hosts No. 7-seeded Hamilton (8-7, 4-6), No. 3-seeded Tufts (12-3, 8-2) hosts No. 6-seeded Colby (9-6, 4-6) and No. 4-seeded Williams (12-3, 7-3) hosts No. 5-seeded Bates (10-5, 6-4) in the other quarterfinal games Saturday. Trinity is 9-14 all-time in the tournament, has been to seven semifinals, and reached the finals in 2009 and 2017. Middlebury has played in the last eight NESCAC Finals and won six of those eight final games.
Trinity junior forward Kendall Brown (Rowayton, Conn.) scored her team-leading, fourth clinching goal against Amherst with 2:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, converting on an assist by sophomore midfielder Caelin Flaherty (Upton, Mass.). Senior tri-captain midfielder Nicole Quinlan (Duxbury, Mass.) scored the the first Bantam goal that tied the game at 1-1 with Brown providing an assist. The Trinity back line of juniors Caroline Munn (Garden City, N.Y.) and Ellie Tate (Carlisle, Mass.), sophomore Elizabeth Provost (Sudbury, Mass.), and first-year Elle Fair (Westport, Conn.) yielded just one shot-on-goal over 60 minutes, and rookie goalkeeper Emma Cropper (Wilton, Conn.) did not need to make a save to improve to 8-7.
Brown has emerged as one of the top finishers in the conference, ranking second in the NESCAC with 0.80 goals per game (12 goals) and 1.93 ppg (29 points). Senior tri-captain forward Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.) sixth in the league overall scoring with 1.53 ppg (23 points) and seventh in goals with 0.60 goals per game (9 goals). Flaherty is a top playmaker with 0.40 assists per contest (6 assists, 7th in NESCAC) to go with her six goals. Both Brown and Curtin also have five assist, while Quinlan and senior tri-captain forward Jordan Ragland (Westport, Conn.) have four goals and three assists apiece. Cropper has 45 saves for a .692 save percentage and a 1.51 GAA in the cage All four defenders have been consistent fixtures all season, while versatile sophomore D/M Christine Taylor (Westport, Conn.) has started every game and senioer Olivia Hoyda (Darien, Conn.) has been a valuable defensive reserve.