Blythe Hastings ’23
Senior captains Caelin Flaherty ’22 and India Shay ’22 scored the back-to-back goals in the third quarter to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Williams College Ephs in the NESCAC Championship Quarterfinals on Sheppard Field. No. 4-seeded Trinity improves to 12-4 and will play at top-seeded Middlebury next Saturday in the semifinal round. Trinity trailed 1-0 just after halftime but brought great energy into the second half to propel the Bantams into next week. No. 5-seeded Williams drops to 11-5 and clings to an outside chance at an invitation to the NCAA Tournament next month.
Trailing, 1-0, in the third quarter, Flaherty tied the contest with a great individual effort, advancing the ball down the left side on her own and shooting past Eph goalie Gates Tenerowicz on the first Bantam shot of the game with 10:42 on the clock. Flaherty’s ability to accelerate past defensive players is unmatched and keeps opponents on their heels. Just a few minutes later, Shay gave the Bantams the lead on the home team’s only other shot of the game. Trinity sophomore and star forward Jackie Frank ’24 sent the ball toward the goal from near the top of the circle and it deflected to the left off a Williams stick where Shay dove and knocked it into the cage.
Emily Batchelor took the only two shots of the fourth quarter, but both were stopped by Bantam sophomore goalie Olivia McMichael including one on a backhand with three minutes left that she had to leap and knock the ball away with her glove. McMichael shot into the air with a must-make save. McMichael finished with six saves, while neither Eph goalie had any stops. The first half had featured a steady rain and very little offense, as the Ephs managed the only three shots on goal before the break. Looking relatively dominant, Williams did their best to overcome the Bantams defense, but with no luck. Williams’ Catherine Torres got a shot off from straight-on and 10 yards away but missed wide with five minutes left in the second quarter.
Williams opened the scoring just one minute into the third quarter when Elizabeth Welch fed Shea Van den Broek outside the circle and Van den Broek cut through the middle of the Bantam defense before pounding a shot past McMichael. Williams nearly took a 2-0 lead moments later, but a shot by Torres of a penalty corner was stopped on a defensive save by senior captain Christine Taylor ’22. The Bantams used this early offset as fuel, showing fans how well they can play on their home field, and answering with two goals. “I love this team, they never give up. They are young but gutsy and they have had a way of rising to the occasion,” said Trinity Head Coach Anne Parmenter “Our defense has been playing well lately, just getting better every day, but we needed something to ignite us in the second half and Caelin’s goal did that for us.
She is a game-changing player and that was a big goal to tie the game. Shay’s goal was a tremendous moment that she has earned through her hard work over four years. To beat Williams College twice in one year is an amazing accomplishment for this team. They are a special group that pulls for each other as much as any team I have coached.” The Bantams, while facing a monstrous challenge against Middlebury, have played with heart throughout the whole season. This scrappy team will continue to shine long after this season is over.