MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – In search of its first NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship title, fifth-seeded Wesleyan will head to fourth-seeded Tufts on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. quarterfinal match. Defending National Champions' Williams earned the home field advantage as the top-seed for the fifth-straight year, as Middlebury and Amherst will also be hosting the first round of the tournament.
The Cardinals finished the regular season with an 8-4-2 overall record, recording their most wins since 2011, as they are riding a three-game unbeaten streak. Wesleyan is in the tournament field for the first time since 2013 and is the No. 5 seed for the first time since 2011, tying their highest seed in program history. Wesleyan will take on No. 4 Tufts, which is making its sixth-straight tournament appearance, earning NESCAC runner-up last year. The two teams met earlier this year, with the Jumbos coming away with the 2-0 victory on September 12th. The last seven meetings between the teams have been close, with the Cardinals holding a 2-3-2 overall record against the Jumbos. Wesleyan is ranked No. 7 in the New England region, and Tufts is ranked just above at No. 5.
The Cardinals have been led by senior offensive duo Lauren Goetzman and Liz Young who are tied with a team-high in points (13) and goals (6). Goetzman is coming off of strong performance last week, where she netted four goals, one assist and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week. Sophomore defender Gianna Argento has had a standout season thus far, finding the back of the net five times, while recording an assist on the game-winner during the 2-0 victory at Wellesley.
First-year midfielders Andi Wiley and Melissa Wilhelm, along with Junior Katie Stewart Frizzell, have all played significant roles on the team this year, with Wilhelm netting her first career-goal on Tuesday against Conn. College, knotting the game at 2-2 and forcing it into overtime. Junior defenders Allie Goss and Julia Meehan have both proved themselves as crucial players this season, able to hold strong on the defensive end, while also showing stamina in getting up the field for key offensive plays. Sophomore Emily Ribatt stepped into a new role this year, despite previously being a forward, and has become the anchor of the Wesleyan defensive unit.
Freshman Sarah Hammond and sophomore Zoe Cassels-Brown have traded starting roles in goal this year, with both playing a significant amount of time. Cassels-Brown owns a record of 5-2-2 with 34 saves, while Hammond has recorded 37 stops with a 3-2-1 overall record in goal.
2018 NESCAC WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, October 27 at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Williams – 12:30 p.m.
No. 7 Bowdoin at No. 2 Middlebury – 12:30 p.m.
No. 6 Hamilton at No. 3 Amherst – 12:30 p.m.
No. 5 Wesleyan at No. 4 Tufts – 12/28 at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 at Highest Remaining Seed
Semifinals – games at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Sunday, November 4 at Semifinal Site
Championship – 12:00 p.m.