NEW LONDON, Conn.--For the second time in the past three years, the Connecticut College women's soccer team has qualified for the NCAA Championship.
The Camels (10-5-1) will take on the University of Scranton (17-1-1) in the opening round of action at McDaniel College Saturday.
"The Camels received great news from the NCAA Today," Connecticut College Head Women's Soccer Coach Norm Riker said. "We have been training and waiting all week for hopeful news and are delighted to be a part of the field of 64. We've had a really good year and are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our season. Playing in the NESCAC has prepared us to play in big games and to make a good run in the tournament."
Connecticut College put together an impressive resume for the committee with a strong strength of schedule record of .609 and a 2-4-1 record against teams in the final regional ranking. The Camels notched victories against Middlebury and Eastern Connecticut along with a draw against Bowdoin. Four of the team's five losses were realized against teams ranked among the top five in the region.
The Camels captured the program's first NESCAC Championship in 2014, advancing into the second round of the NCAA Championship with a school record of 16 wins.
Erin O'Brien Power, a first-year contributor in the backfield from Portland, Ore. Is excited to be continuing her season with a bid to national.
"It's just amazing to qualify and it just goes to show how this team has put in a lot of hard work all season long and persevered through a tough schedule," O'Brien-Powers asserted. "With this chance to play one more game, we can really show that we belong in the tournament."
Riker and O'Brien Powers were thrilled to hear the words Connecticut College flash across their screen and are looking forward to the upcoming Championship.
"It was crazy to have our name called," O'Brien powers exclaimed. Riker concurred.
"It was an incredible feeling," Riker said. "We knew we had a chance but by no means was it a gimme. Go Camels!"
Sophomore forward Alex Baltazar (Ludlow, Mass.) has scored nine goals to rank fourth in the NESCAC and assisted on four others to lead the Camels while ranking fifth in the conference with 22 points. Junior midfielder Michelle Medina (Hartford, Conn.), a 2016 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, has dished out eight assists to rank second in the NESCAC and has scored three goals for a total of 14 points. Junior keeper Bryanna Montalvo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) has posted five shutouts to rank fourth in the conference.
Senior captain Amanda Proulx (Smithfield, R.I.) anchors an improved Camel defense that has trimmed its goals against average by 0.43 from a year ago. Classmate and fellow senior Katelyn Murray (Medfield, Mass.) has been a leader for the program. This senior tandem has compiled an impressive record of 32-24-9 (.562).
"We've had great senior leadership," Riker said. "This will be a great way to continue our season and represent the College at the NCAA Championship."