Athletics

Jeffs Prepare for NESCAC Championships

Contact: Mike O'Brien

It's another big conference weekend for Amherst's fall teams as field hockey and men’s soccer prepare to host NESCAC semifinals Saturday with potential championship game appearances scheduled for Sunday. Volleyball earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament and will compete in quarterfinal action at Williams starting Friday. Here's an inside look at all of the upcoming postseason action:

MEN’S SOCCER SEMIFINAL PREVIEW

2013 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship

Saturday, Nov. 2
No. 8 Hamilton, 1 at No. 1 Amherst, 4
No. 7 Connecticut College, 0 at No. 2 Wesleyan, 1
No. 6 Middlebury, 2 at No. 3 Williams, 3
No. 5 Bowdoin, 2 at No. 4 Tufts, 2 (Bowdoin advances on penalty kicks, 3-1)

Saturday, Nov. 9
Semifinal Games
No. 3 Williams vs. No. 2 Wesleyan - 11 a.m.
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 1 Amherst - 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 10
Finals
Semifinal Winners – 12:00 pm

COVERAGE
Northeast Sports Network (NSN) will broadcast the game live here.

Martin.jpgSCOUTING AMHERST
Amherst (13-0-2, 8-0-2 NESCAC) is ranked second in the nation and is riding a 35-game unbeaten streak heading into the weekend. With an extremely well-balanced team, Amherst excels in all facets of the game. Offensively, they have 36 team goals with eight players scoring at least two or more. Christopher Martin ’17 leads the team and ranks third in the NESCAC in goals (7) and points (18). Goalkeeper Thomas Bull ’16 anchors an Amherst defense that has allowed just seven goals all season for a league-best 0.45 goals-against average. He is credited with seven of the team’s eight shutouts and boasts a .806 save percentage. His 0.46 GAA ranks highest among league leaders.

SCOUTING WESLEYAN
The Cardinals (9-5-1, 7-3 NESCAC) earned the two-seed in the NESCAC Championship and have won four-straight 1-0 games heading into their matchup against Williams. Despite owning the second-best record in the league, Wesleyan has struggled to score and their 15 goals are tied for fewest in the conference. What the team lacks offensively, they make up for on the defensive side. Junior goalkeeper Emmett McConnell leads all NESCAC goalies with a .892 save percentage and ranks second behind Bull in goals-against average (.520). They have matched the Jeffs with eight team shutouts throughout the season.

SCOUTING WILLIAMS
The No. 3 seed in the tournament, the Ephs (10-5, 6-4 NESCAC) are 3-3 in their previous six games. Junior Matt Muralles and senior Matt Kastner lead the team offensively with five and four goals respectively. However, with only 22 team goals, Williams has also relied on its defense, which is headlined by goalkeeper Peter Morrell ’14. The senior has 68 total saves this year, most in the league and ranks second behind Wesleyan’s McConnell with a .829 save percentage.

SCOUTING BOWDOIN
Bowdoin (8-3-4, 5-3-2 NESCAC) advanced to the semifinals by defeating fourth-seeded Tufts in penalty kicks, 3-1. Prior to Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup, Bowdoin was riding a 10-game unbeaten streak entering its regular-season finale against the Jumbos but lost, 1-0. The Polar Bears boast one of the league’s most prolific offenses and rank third in goals scored (34) and assists (27). Leading the way is Zach Danssaert ’14. The senior midfielder has a team-and league-high seven assists to go along with five goals for 17 points, ranking fifth in the NESCAC.

FIELD HOCKEY SEMIFINAL PREVIEW

2013 NESCAC Field Hockey Championship

Saturday, Nov. 2
No. 8 Wesleyan, 0 at No. 1 Amherst, 1
No. 7 Williams, 0 at No. 2 Tufts, 3
No. 6 Trinity, 1 at No. 3 Bowdoin, 6
No. 5 Colby, 0 at No. 4 Middlebury, 3

Saturday, Nov. 9
Semifinal Games
No. 4 Middlebury at No. 1 Amherst - 11 a.m.
No. 3 Bowdoin vs. No. 2 Tufts - 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 10
Finals
Semifinal Winners – 12 p.m.

COVERAGE
NSN will cover the game live here and live stats will be made available as well.

Tank.jpgSCOUTING AMHERST
The league’s second-highest scoring team (4.3 gpg), the potent Amherst (13-2, 9-1 NESCAC) attack features six players with at least 10 points and four with double-digit goals. Krista Zsitvay ’14 leads the way; sitting tied for second in the conference in assists (13), fourth in points (37), and sixth in goals (12). Finding the back of the cage early and often in 2013 is Madeline Tank ’15, who has racked up a team-high 13 goals to rank fifth in the league. Defensively, the Jeffs have posted seven shutouts and enter Saturday’s contest with a 1.62 team goals-against average, giving up the fourth-fewest goals (19) in the NESCAC. Annie Turnbull ’16, Emily Burress ’15 and Sarah Canning ’14 have helped stabilize a backline that enjoyed a stellar midseason stretch, giving up just four goals in seven games from Sept. 21-Oct. 12. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Tannenbaum has once again been solid between the pipes, posting a 1.74 GAA and .778 save percentage in 928:56 minutes.

SCOUTING TUFTS
Tufts (14-1, 9-1 NESCAC) ranks second nationally and enters Saturday’s semifinals riding a nine-game winning streak. In its last five outings, the Jumbos have posted four shutouts while outscoring opponents 10-2. The team is led offensively by Dakota Sikes-Keilp ’16 and Chelsea Yogerst ’14 with 14 and 11 goals respectively. Sikes-Keilp ranks fourth in the league in goals and coupled that with her three assists, she ranks fifth in points (31). Tufts relies on a strong defensive effort that has allowed just 13 goals in 15 games. Logging 999:35 minutes in net, Bri Keenan ’15 has given opposing offenses problems all season. Her 0.84 GAA and 12 goals allowed both rank second among league goalkeepers.

SCOUTING BOWDOIN
The Polar Bears (13-2, 8-2 NESCAC), rank fourth in the national coaches poll, boast one of the nation’s top offenses and have been outscoring opponents on average, 3.93 goals per game to lead all Division III schools. They also lead the country in assists per game (3.53), rank second in points (13.00), and third in scoring average (4.72) and goals (4.73). Katie Riley ’14 and Rachel Kennedy ’16 headline the potent offensive attack. Riley, one of the top players in the conference, has 15 assists to lead the NESCAC while her 39 points rank second and 14 goals tied for third. Kennedy, however, leads the team in scoring and her 16 goals are second among league leaders. Despite a strong offense, the Polar Bears are arguably better on the defensive side as evident by junior goalkeeper Hannah Gartner’s 0.63 goals-against average, the lowest in the country.

SCOUTING MIDDLEBURY
Middlebury (13-2, 8-2 NESCAC) has won six straight and rank fifth in the country. Leading the team is Catherine Fowler ’15, the NESCAC’s top-scorer with 17 goals. Coupled that with her 11 assists (third most in the NESCAC), the junior midfielder also leads the league in points (45). The team’s only losses came against Bowdoin (4-2) and Tufts (4-2). A strong second half team, the Panthers have scored 33 of their 57 goals in the final 35 minutes of regulation.

VOLLEYBALL QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW

2013 NESCAC Volleyball Championship Schedule

Hosted by Williams College
Friday, Nov. 8
No. 8 Bates at No. 1 Williams – 5 p.m.
No. 7 Trinity vs. No. 2 Bowdoin – 5 p.m.
No. 6 Middlebury vs. No. 3 Amherst – 8 p.m.
No. 5 Connecticut College vs. No. 4 Tufts – 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 9
Semifinal Games
Winner of 1/8 vs. Winner of 4/5 – 1 p.m.
Winner of 2/7 vs. Winner of 3/6 – 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 10
Final
Semifinal Winners – 12 p.m.

COVERAGE
Follow live coverage of the game broadcasted by NSN here.

Carter4.jpgSCOUTING AMHERST
Since starting the season 2-3, the Jeffs (19-7, 7-3 NESCAC) have won 17 of their next 21 games, which included a nine-game winning streak from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25. First-year outside hitter Maggie Danner has been a key component to Amherst’s success and has seen her play improve as the year’s progressed. She ranks fifth in the league in kills (290) to lead the team with 3.37 per set (sixth in the NESCAC). Classmate Nicole Gould has also seen tremendous improvement throughout the season and averages just under three kills per set (2.93) for second-best on the team. Setting up the offensive attack is Nicole Carter ’16. One of the league’s top setters, Carter averages 8.67 per set to rank third in the NESCAC. On the defensive side, Katie Warshaw ’16 has excelled as libero and leads the league in digs (421) and digs per set (4.90).

SCOUTING MIDDLEBURY
The Panthers (18-6, 5-5 NESCAC) boast the league’s second ranked offense, led by senior outside hitters Megan Jarchow and Amy Hart. The duo rank fourth and fifth in the league, averaging 3.63 and 3.45 kills per set respectively. Assisting her teammates is Kathryn Haderlein ’16, whose 9.55 assists per set rank second in the NESCAC. Middlebury won its first 10 games of the season but are just 8-6 since then including a stretch of four-straight losses beginning on Oct. 11 against Amherst.