Soccer Gets NCAA Bid after NESCAC Runner-Up Finish

3 min read

After a brilliant season, Trinity Women’s Soccer came up one game short of winning their first NESCAC championship in program history, losing to Amherst 2-1. A goal by Amherst’s Emily Hester gave the heartbreaking loss to the Bantams in the 85th minute of play. The Bantams fought hard to answer the score but the purple and white played keep away in the final minutes to go home with the championship and leave Trinity as the runner-up.
Trinity entered the game Sunday red hot after beating the top-seeded Williams team in penalty kicks in Saturday’s semifinal game. The first half of play was accompanied with a plethora of scoring opportunities for the Bantams but only resulted in a 1-0 lead heading to the locker rooms at halftime. A few minutes into the game Alexa Barbaresi ’18 threw in to Andi Nicholson ’17 in Amherst’s defensive third but missed wide left. Only a few moments later in the 10th minute, however, tri-captain Laura Nee ’17 found the back of the net inside the left post off a perfect pass from Nicholson that set her up in front of the box, putting the Bants up 1-0. Tricia Pollock ’20 and Grace Chalmers ’20 made a case for the freshman class after the two narrowly missed goals with shots ricocheting off the crossbar in the last minutes of the first half. The defense, led by Barbaresi, Sheena Landy ’17, Kristina Caradonna ’18, and Kelly Lucas ’20, protected goalie Julia Pitino ’17 in the first half and kept Amherst scoreless going into halftime.
The tides changed entering the second half as Amherst asserted their dominance through ball control and constant pressure in their offensive third of the field. The Bantams had chances to add to their lead, including Nee’s open attempt off a dish from Nicholson that she could not capitalize on, as Amherst’s Chelsea Cutler deflected the ball away from the net. Soon after, Amherst tied the game in the 52nd minute off a shot from Rubii Tamen that beat Pitino’s outstretched arm into the goal. Taylor Kirchgessner ’19 had multiple attempts to retake the lead with multiple shots on goal but was shutdown by both the Amherst defense and Cutler in net.
Nearing the end of the game with eight minutes to play Nicholson had a good look at goal from Nicole Stauffer’s throw in but missed high and wide. What followed was a counterattack from the Purple and White that eventually led to Hester’s goal in the 85th minute of play that sealed the championship game.
Trinity showed a strong effort to tie the game in the final minutes but to no avail. Though the Bantams came up just short of their first championship, Trinity Head Coach, Michael Smith (20th season), remained optimistic for the future of the program. “It was a milestone weekend for us. This group of seniors was a part of our first NCAA Tournament appearance as first-years and now our first NESCAC Championship appearance as seniors. Their leadership has a lot to do with that. Despite the result today, it was a big weekend for us.” The Trinity community congratulates the strong effort put on by their team this weekend and looks forward to a strong season next year.

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