October 30, 2016

Nor'easter News - Week 9

By Henry Loughlin

The opening weekend of the NESCAC playoffs promised drama and excitement, and it’s safe to say that those promises were delivered. Two of the four games went to overtime, one of them to the 110th minute, while the other two were competitive, feisty affairs that have become synonymous with NESCAC soccer. Elsewhere, Babson, Endicott, and Mass-Boston all appear to be the favorites in tight conference races, and Brandeis, who appeared to be well out of postseason contention at the end of September, seems to be peaking at the right time.

As top seed in the NESCAC, the pressure is on Amherst’s shoulders. So far, the Jeffs have delivered in a big way, winning their quarterfinal at home against Trinity by a dominant 4-1 scoreline. After losing a number of top players in key positions, Amherst has had its credentials questioned at multiple points throughout the season, most notably following a 3-0 loss at Tufts at the beginning of October. Instead of crumbling, however, the Jeffs have responded extremely well to the adversity, and were the top-ranked New England team in the NCAA Regional Rankings. With home-field advantage for the NESCAC tournament for the fourth year running, it’s extremely possible that we could be seeing the NESCAC trophy return to Amherst for the first time since 2013.

A bit west of Amherst, in Williamstown, neither Middlebury nor Williams was able to score...until the 110th minute. With just three seconds separating the two teams from a penalty shootout, Middlebury’s Kirk Horton forced the ball home off of a corner kick to give the Panthers an invaluable victory and break the Ephs’ hearts. There was some controversy surrounding the winning goal, as the clock was stopped prior to the Panthers taking the telling corner kick with seconds seconds left. That said, Middlebury...

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HENRY LOUGHLIN

Henry Loughlin

 

Henry Loughlin is a Brandeis University graduate (2014, Politics & American Studies) and has enjoyed watching Division III soccer for the past six years as a student and alumnus. Though a writer by trade, his interest in numbers and statistical analysis makes soccer writing and commentary a favorite pastime. [see full bio]

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