NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship quarterfinal preview

Nicole Lyons '18 (Josh McKee photo)
Nicole Lyons '18 (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College Continentals travel to Middlebury College to face the Panthers in a 2018 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship quarterfinal at Kohn Field on Saturday, April 28 at noon.

NESCAC Preview

The winner will move on to the semifinals on Saturday, May 5 against an opponent at a site to be determined. The highest remaining seed of the four quarterfinal winners will host the semifinals and the final next weekend. The conference champion receives an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship.


The Continentals are making their sixth appearance in seven years in this event since they joined the conference for lacrosse in 2012. Hamilton has advanced to the semifinals three times including last year when the Continentals defeated Bowdoin College in the quarterfinals at Steuben Field. Hamilton is 2-1 in the NESCAC quarterfinals as the visiting team.


Hamilton (5-10, 3-7 NESCAC) is the eighth seed for the championship after finishing in eighth place in the conference standings during the regular season. The Continentals received votes in this week's Division III Top 25 coaches poll. Hamilton averages 9.27 goals per game and allows 12.73 per contest. Kara Pooley '19 leads the offense with 25 goals and 33 points, and Nicole Lyons '18 is next with 28 points thanks to her team-high 10 assists. Darby Philbrick '18, who has 115 career points, has scored 24 goals and Skyler Simson '20 has chipped in 18. Philbrick tops the team with 69 draw controls and Pooley has 47. On defense, Pooley and TT Fletcher '20 lead the way with 22 caused turnovers, and Philbrick has caused 21 more. Pooley and Fletcher lead the way in ground balls with 29 and 26, respectively. Hannah Burrall '19 (12.97 GAA, .417 save pct.) has started all 15 games and played more than 763 minutes in goal. Eleni Neyland '18 (11.42 GAA, .366 save pct.) has made six appearances in relief of Burrall.


These teams have never played each other in the NESCAC championship, but they did meet just last weekend at Middlebury on April 22. The Panthers emerged with a 20-11 victory after they outscored Hamilton 9-2 in the second half.


The Panthers have played in this event every year since its inception in 2001. Middlebury's all-time championship record is 24-9, and the Panthers have captured eight titles including most recently in 2016.


Middlebury (13-2, 9-1) is the top seed for the championship for the ninth time after the Panthers tied for first place in the conference standings during the regular season. Middlebury -- winners of four straight -- is ranked sixth in this week's Division III Top 25 coaches poll and is No. 2 in the New England Region according to the NCAA. The Panthers score 13.33 goals per game and give up 6.47 per contest. Emma McDonagh leads the offense with 29 goals and 47 points. Georgia Carroll has 27 goals and 39 points, and Kirsten Murphy has a team-high 19 assists and 39 points. Hollis Perticone and Emily Barnard have scored 24 and 20 goals, respectively. Perticone leads the NESCAC with 92 draw controls. Evie Keating and Addy Mitchell share the team lead with 30 caused turnovers apiece, and Alex White has scooped up 35 ground balls. Julia Keith (6.43 GAA, .491 save pct.) has started all 15 games and played all but 98 minutes in goal.