Women's lacrosse 2012 NESCAC Championship preview

Nationally ranked No. 18 Hamilton College takes on No. 4 Trinity College in a 2012 NESCAC women's lacrosse championship semifinal at Trinity's Robin L. Sheppard Field in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, May 5, at noon.



No. 6 Amherst College and No. 8 Middlebury College meet in the second semifinal at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The semifinal winners play for the conference title at Trinity on Sunday, May 6, at noon. The NESCAC champion receives an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship.

Hamilton (7-9 overall) is seeded seventh in the championship. The Continentals upset No. 2 seed Colby College 9-4 in the quarterfinals last Saturday in Waterville, Maine. Hamilton is making its first appearance in this event as the College's lacrosse teams competed in the Liberty League from 1996 to 2011. The Continentals are vying for their sixth straight trip to the NCAA championship. Rachel Friedman '13 ranks fourth on the team's all-time list with 148 career goals.

Trinity (14-1) is the top seed and defending NESCAC champion, and defeated Bates College 12-8 in the quarterfinals. The Bantams edged Hamilton 8-7 at home on April 21 as part of a 13-game win streak to open 2012. All seven of Trinity's wins in this event have been recorded from 2008 to this year. This marks the third straight year the Bantams have been the NESCAC Championship's No. 1 seed. Trinity was knocked off in the 2010 semifinals by No. 7 seed Williams College.

Amherst (12-3) is seeded fourth in the championship and rides a six-game win streak into the weekend. The Jeffs squeaked past Bowdoin College 9-7 in the quarters. Amherst has played in this event all 12 years and owns a 15-11 record in the championship. The Jeffs were runners-up every year from 2001 to 2005, but hasn't reached the title game since then. Amherst leads the NESCAC with a 6.59 goals against average, and Alex Philie tops the conference with 59 draw controls.

Middlebury (11-3) is seeded third in the championship and defeated Tufts University 12-8 in the quarters. For the first seven years of the NESCAC Championship, the Panthers dominated the event. Middlebury won seven conference titles from 2001 to 2007, but hasn't played in the final since then. The Panthers have a 16-4 record in 12 appearances. Middlebury, which leads the NESCAC with 13.50 goals per game, won its first nine games this year.

A capsule look at all four semifinalists may be found below.

Overall record
: 7-9
Conference record (finish): 4-6 (7th place)
National ranking: No. 18
Head coach: Patty Kloidt, 10th year, 138-42
NESCAC championship appearances: First
NESCAC championship titles: None
NESCAC championship record: 1-0
Last win vs. Trinity: 2008, 13-9
Road/neutral record: 5-6
Goals per game: 10.38
Goals allowed per game: 9.63
Leading goal scorers: Rachel Friedman ’13 (37), Katie D’Antonio ‘14 (26), Libby Schultz ’12 (23)
Assist leaders: Schultz (26), Friedman (13), D’Antonio (13)
Starting goalie: Dewi Caswell ‘14 (9.49 gaa, .403 save pct., 6-6)

Overall record
: 14-1
Conference record (finish): 9-1 (T-1st place)
National ranking: No. 4
Head coach: Kathryn Livesay, 6th year, 80-22
NESCAC championship appearances: 8th
NESCAC championship titles: One (2011)
NESCAC championship record: 7-6
Last win vs. Hamilton: 2012, 8-7 (April 21 at Trinity)
Home record: 6-1
Goals per game: 12.60
Goals allowed per game: 8.18
Leading goal scorers: Hadley Duncan ’13 (45), Megan Leonhard ’13 (39), Caite Irvine ’12 (38)
Assist leaders: Liz Bruno ’12 (20), Shea Kusiak ’14 (10)
Starting goalie: Olivia Whitney ’13 (8.18 gaa, .400 save pct., 12-1)

Overall record
: 11-3
Conference record (finish): 7-3 (T-3rd place)
National ranking: No. 8
Head coach: Missy Foote, 32nd year, 372-99-1
NESCAC championship appearances: 12th
NESCAC championship titles: Seven (2001-2007)
NESCAC championship record: 16-4
Last win vs. Amherst: 2012, 8-5 (April 7 at Amherst)
Road/neutral record: 6-1
Goals per game: 13.50
Goals allowed per game: 7.63
Leading goal scorers: Margaret Souther ’13 (27), Liza Herzog ’14 (27), Katie Ritter ‘15 (26), Michaela Colbert ’13 (25)
Assist leaders: Souther (19), Elizabeth Garry ’12 (13), Ellen Halle ‘13 (13)
Starting goalie: Lily Nguyen ’12 (6.68 gaa, .477 save pct., 11-2)

Overall record
: 12-3
Conference record (finish): 7-3 (T-3rd place)
National ranking: No. 6
Head coach: Christine Paradis, 18th year, 220-74
NESCAC championship appearances: 12th
NESCAC championship titles: None
NESCAC championship record: 15-11
Last win vs. Middlebury: 2011, 14-11
Road/neutral record: 7-2
Goals per game: 10.60
Goals allowed per game: 6.59
Leading goal scorers: Marta Randall ’13 (39), Allie Horwitz ’12 (28), Alex Philie ’14 (19)
Assist leaders: Hillary Densen ‘13 (15), Horwitz (11)
Starting goalie: Lamia Harik ’12 (6.50 gaa, .464 save pct., 12-3)

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