Trinity Women's Soccer Downs Tufts to Advance to NESCAC Semifinals

Recap courtesy of Trinity College

HARTFORD, Conn. - Sophomore Taylor Kirchgessner fired a shot off her left foot and placed it just inside the left post to put the Bantams up, 1-0, a lead they would not relinquish as the No. 4 seed Trinity College women's soccer team defeated the No. 5 seed Tufts University Jumbos on Saturday afternoon in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Quarterfinals in Hartford.

Senior co-captain Alexa Pius finished her last game as a Jumbo today

Trinity improves to 11-3-2 overall and moves on to play tournament host Williams College next weekend in a semifinals matchup in Williamstown. Tufts concludes its season with a 7-6-3 overall record.

It was the Bantams' defense that shined on the afternoon and kept the Jumbos off the scoreboard for the full 90 minutes.

Senior tri-captain Sheena Landy, juniors Alexa Barbaresi, Kristina Caradonna and first-year Kelly Lucas came up clutch for Trinity as Tufts outshot the Bantams, 11-7, on the day but was held to only a pair of true scoring chances thanks to stout defensive play.

Bantam junior goalie Julia Pitino did her part, saving all six shots on goal that came her way to earn the shutout. Tufts sophomore goalie Emily Bowers finished with three saves for the Jumbos.

After a scoreless first half by both teams, Kirchgessner scored the game-winner just ten minutes into the second half. After the ball bounced around at the top of Tufts' defensive zone, Kirgessner made a touch to control it and laced a shot off her left foot that bent around the outstretched arm of Bowers and just inside the left post.

Trinity nearly added a second score in the 65th minute when first-year Grace Chalmers tried to chip a shot over Bowers' head when she came out of the goal to try and knock a loose ball away, but Chalmers shot missed wide left.

Three minutes later, Chalmers had another look at net on a Trinity set piece after a nice pass from senior Andi Nicholson, but her header sailed just high of the crossbar.

Tufts juniors Chandler Quintin and Mariah Harvey-Brown had shots on net with ten minutes and six minutes left in the game, respectively, but Pitino was there both times to shut the door as the Bantams held on for the 1-0 victory.

Trinity advances to the semifinals for the second consecutive season and will square off against the Ephs at 11:30 a.m. next Saturday with the winner advancing to the NESCAC Tournament Championship game on Sunday.