It’s another high-powered postseason for the NESCAC, with the four quarterfinal contests all being ranked match-ups. The quarterfinals will begin on Saturday, October 28 at 11 a.m., with each higher seed hosting.
To no one’s surprise, Middlebury clinched the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive year. The 15-0 Panthers have also been ranked as the top team in Division III for the entire season, downing every opponent they come across, and every NESCAC team for that matter. They have outscored opponents 78-8 and have nine total shutouts this season. Taking on the Panthers will be No. 8 seed Trinity, who currently ranks No. 22 in Division III. The Bantams fell 6-2 when they took on the Panthers earlier this season.
No. 2 seed Tufts will host No. 7 seed Amherst. Last season, the Jumbos went all the way to the NESCAC championship, where they fell 2-0 to Middlebury. Ranked No. 7 in the nation, Tufts defeated Amherst 2-1 in a tight overtime match earlier this season. No. 7 seed Amherst, who is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation, is looking to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2015.
After going a record breaking 7-3 in conference play, Bates picked up the No. 3 seed and will host a quarterfinal for the first time in program history. A pair of sisters lead the Bobcat offense – Anna Cote and Paige Cote have a combined 18 goals and 11 assists. The two each had an assist in this season’s 3-1 victory over Bowdoin, defeating them for the second consecutive year after a 39 year spell. The Polar Bears received the No. 6 seed spot after an intricate tiebreaker between them, Wesleyan, and Amherst. Bowdoin is currently ranked No. 13 nationally while Bates sits at No. 8.
Winning the three-way tiebreaker with their 3-4 record against the top eight NESCAC teams, Wesleyan is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013. The Cardinals will travel to No. seed 4 Williams, who had defeated them 3-2 earlier this season. Wesleyan currently ranks 16th nationally while Williams is No. 10.
The semifinals will commence on Saturday, November 4, with both taking place at the highest remaining seed. The host will match-up against the lowest remaining seed at 11 a.m., and the two remaining teams will play each other at 1:30 p.m. The final will take place at the same site as the semifinals at noon on Sunday, November 5. The champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and it is likely there will be several additional teams that move on in the postseason.