Women's Soccer Returns to NESCAC Semifinals in Search of First Conference Crown

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The Bowdoin College women's soccer team will look for its first NESCAC Championship this weekend as they travel to Williams College for the semifinals of the conference tournament.

The fourth-seeded Polar Bears will play third-seeded Amherst at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, following the other semifinal match between Williams and Wesleyan. The semifinals winners will play on Sunday at noon for the NESCAC crown.

Amherst (13-1-1, 8-1-1 NESCAC) and Bowdoin (11-3-1, 6-3-1) will meet for only the second time in postseason history after their epic clash in last year's quarterfinals. Amherst entered the game as the top seed with an undefeated record but needed overtime, and a blizzard, to defeat the Polar Bears 3-2. They went on claim their third NESCAC championship the following weekend. All of the games will be available via live webcast (link above).

Under the direction of first-year head coach Brianne Weaver, Bowdoin qualified for the semifinals for the first time since 2008 with its 3-2 win over Hamilton on Saturday. First year midfielder Jamie Hofstetter (Chester, N.J.) recorded a hat trick for the Polar Bears to match the tournament records for goals and points. The midfielder has scored five times this season, while classmate Kiersten Turner (Gorham, Maine) has found the back of the net six times. Junior midfielder Molly Popolizio (Rexford, N.Y.) has chipped in with five goals and seven assists.

The Lord Jeffs began their title defense with a 1-0 triumph over sixth seeded Colby on Saturday. Junior forward Amanda Brisco (Houston, Texas) scored the game's lone goal in the 54th minute and is one of four Amherst players with six tallies this year. Senior midfielder Kathryn Nathan (Pembroke, Mass.) leads the NESCAC with 10 assists. As a team, Amherst has outscored its opponents 43-8. First year goalkeeper Holly Burwick (New Canaan, Conn.) is among the league leaders in goals against average (0.56) and save percentage (.875). Bowdoin fell 4-1 to the Lord Jeffs on October 14.

A complete preview of the championship, including a copy of the game program, is available at the NESCAC site.