Trinity Women's Soccer Qualifies For NCAA Tournament

Plays WPI In First Round At William Smith



​Hartford, Conn., November 9, 2016 - The Trinity College women's soccer team, coached by Michael Smith (20th Season), has qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament as an at-large selection for the second time, and will open the tourney against the Worcester Polytechnic Institute at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y. on Saturday, November 12 at 1:30 p.m.  The Bantams are 11-4-3 after advancing past top-seeded and No. 2-ranked Williams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Semifinals on Saturday and falling, 2-1, to Amherst in the finals on Sunday.

Trinity's appearance in the NESCAC Finals over the weekend was the program's first.  Trinity tied the Ephs after 110 minutes at 1-1 and won the penalty-kick round, 3-1, in the semifinals.  First-year midfielder Tricia Pollock (Beverly, Mass.) scored the Bantam goal from junior Tori Dunn (Washington, D.C.) against Williams in the NESCAC Semifinals, and senior tri-captains Sheena Landy (Durham, Conn.), Kendra Lena (Madison, Conn.), and Pollock converted on the penalty kicks.  Bantam junior goalkeeper Julia Pitino (Littleton, Mass.) made seven saves over 110 minutes and three more during the pk's.  Senior tri-captain midfielder Laura Nee (Duxbury, Mass.) scored the Trinity goal in the NESCAC Finals from classmate Andi Nicholson (Charlotte, N.C.) and Pitino made five saves.

Trinity, ranked No. 5 in New England, played in its first NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round with a 2-1 win against Elizabethtown at Misericordia in 2013.  WPI, ranked No. 6 in New England, is 16-2-2 and earned its first NCAA bid automatically by winning the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference.  The winner of this game will face the top-ranked and undefeated host William Smith College Herons or the Worcester State University Lancers in the NCAA Second Round on Sunday, November 1 at 1 p.m.

Trinity is one of five NESCAC teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, joining Amherst, Connecticut College, Middlebury, and Williams as representatives from the league in the tournament field. Trinity is 1-4-2 against the teams in the NCAA Tournament, having downed Connecticut College, 2-0, tied Farmingdale State and Williams, 1-1, each, and lost twice to Amherst and once against both Middlebury and Williams.

Sophomore F/M Taylor Kirchgessner (Southampton, N.Y.) leads the prolific Bantam scoring attack that includes 12 different goal scorers this autumn with team-highs of 26 points (4th in NESCAC) on 10 goals (4th in NESCAC) and six assists (T5th in NESCAC).  Nee adds five goals and three assists for 13 points, while Pollock adds 11 points on four goals and three assists. Nicholson and fellow senior forward Nicole Stauffer (Cheshire, Conn.) have combined for five goals and seven assists up front, while Lena anchors the midfield and has seven goals and nine assists as a Bantam.  Pitino has allowed 13 goals while logging all of Trinity's 1,713 minutes in goal and ranks second in the NESCAC in saves with 5.38 per game (98), and save percentage at .883 to go with a 0.68 GAA. Junior Alexa Barbaresi (Newport Beach, Calif.) has started every game on the Bantam back line for the second autumn in a row, while Landy has come back strong from an early injury and has also chipped in offensively with two goals and two assists in 13 games.

The Engineers are 16-2-2 after downing MIT, 3-1, in the NEWMAC Finals and are on a 10-game unbeaten streak (8-0-2).  Coached by Steph Schafer (4th Season), Worcester Tech is led offensively by freshman midfielder Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, Mass.) with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points, while seniors Erin Bracken (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Emma Turton (Poland, Maine) both have a team-high seven goals.  Sophomore goalkeeper Gabi Hoops (Stonington, Conn.) has 58 saves and a 0.36 GAA with 10 shutouts for WPI.  Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the two schools in women's soccer.    Trinity and WPI have two common opponents this fall, as both the Bantams and the Engineers posted wins against both Wheaton (Mass.) and Emerson.  WPI is 3-0 against the NCAA field with victories against MIT and a 3-0 triumph against Worcester State.

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