No. 7 field hockey (12–5, 6–4 in the NESCAC) fell 3-2 to No. 17 Trinity in the NESCAC tournament semifinals last Saturday in Middlebury, Vt.
The third-seeded Ephs and the fifth-seeded Bantams were vying for a spot in the NESCAC championship game. Down 2-0 at halftime, the women came back to send the game to overtime, but Kelcie Finn notched the winning tally for the Bantams 1:08 into the extra period.
The game began with a quick Bantam goal, scored by Finn at 3:34, with an assist from Ellie Tate. Co-captain forward Alex Bennett ’18 fired a hard shot on goal at 5:59, but Trinity goalie Lori Berger came in for the save.
Defensively, the Ephs kept the Bantam offense away from the circle until a penalty corner at 17:49. Finn scored her second goal at 18:06 on a pass from Chandler Solomine, following Nicole Quinlan’s delivery.
Goalie Abby Lloyd ’20 defended a shot from Katherine Devaney at 21:56 after forward Libby Dolan ’19 was shown a green card.
The women pushed forward at the end of the half, with two quick shots from Bennett and Emma Ticknor ’20 at 32:26 and 32:33, respectively, but both were blocked. Ticknor managed a final shot on goal at 34:13, but the ball hit Berger’s pad.
Trinity finished the half up 2-0, and the Bantams had a 6-4 advantage in shots.
The Eph offense came out strong in the second half, earning a penalty corner at 38:27. Co-captain forward Hannah Goodrick ’18 played the ball to Bennett from the corner, and Bennett powered a shot into the goal from the top of the circle for her 16th goal of the season.
The Ephs and the Bantams fought for dominance throughout the second half. The women produced two hard shots, one from Dolan at 54:45 and another from Julia Cochran ’19 at 60:48, both of which were saved by Berger.
A penalty corner followed Cochran’s shot, and Bennett found the back of the net again at 60:57, tying the game at two. Goodrick recorded her second assist of the game on the penalty corner.
The Ephs kept the pressure up, with another penalty corner at 65:18 and two tough shots by Bennett at 65:59 and Meredith Wright ’19 at 67:13, but the score remained 2-2.
A vital defensive save by Priya Sivalingam ’18 at 63:05 kept the Ephs in the game when Finn threatened again for the Bantams. With neither side able to break the deadlock, the game went to sudden-death overtime.
The Ephs held possession of the ball in their half at the beginning of the period, but the Bantams struck just 1:08 into the period. Finn took a pass from Kendall Brown, dribbled down the field on a breakaway and put a shot past Lloyd and into the net. The goal was Finn’s league-leading 26th of the season.
Trinity finished with a 13-12 shot advantage in the game. Berger made six saves for the Bantams, while Lloyd had two for the Ephs.
Trinity advanced to play top-seeded host Middlebury on Sunday in the final. The Panthers prevailed 5-0 to claim the conference title.
Despite their top-10 national ranking, the women did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Goodrick reflected on the Ephs’ season.
“When a season ends, there is always a mix of emotions,” she said. “The overtime loss against Trinity was hard to swallow because our whole team put everything we had into this game, but that is exactly what made our team this year and the 2017 season so special.
“Our record was the best it has been in many years, and I attribute that to this team’s amazing work ethic, respect for one another, appreciation for the opportunity to play and joy in playing the game. There were some standout performances by many members of the team who will be returning to play next year. The seniors are so sad that our journey of playing field hockey for Williams has ended, but we are excited to watch the team and its successes in the coming years.”
The women graduate Bennett, Goodrick, Sivalingam and Julianna Kostas ’18.