Wellesley Blue has come off a huge Hallo-week last week as three fall teams appeared in NEWMAC playoffs.
Wellesley Soccer entered the NEWMAC tournament in fifth place and faced off against 4th place Springfield College on Tuesday, Oct. 31. During the regular season, Wellesley suffered a 4-1 loss at home to Springfield on Senior Day, in the middle of a three game losing streak. The team tore through the back half of October, earning a 4-0-1 record in the last five games of the season. “We weren’t the same team that played Springfield three weeks earlier and no one knew that better than us,” Price explained.
This time, Wellesley Soccer was ready to go. Captain Melise Knowles ’18 led the team with four shots on goal in the first 70 minutes. However, the match was scoreless at the end of regulation, despite Springfield’s relentless attempts to score on keeper Olivia Reckley ’20, who had six saves. The teams headed into a five-minute overtime period, and then a second overtime period, to decide on a victor. Knowles recorded another shot on goal during overtime, but this game was heading to a shootout, which is only used to decide ties in the playoffs.
10 Wellesley players took penalty shots in the sudden-death shootout, with six scoring goals. Springfield’s Nikki Kerr snuck one by Reckley in the ninth round to win the game and advance to the semifinals of the NEWMAC tournament.
Despite the loss, Wellesley Soccer has a lot to be proud of this season. They turned the team around and fought hard with their season on the line. Price reflected, “In the end, I believe it was our determination and commitment to be better with every performance, to ask more of ourselves as coaches and players, and to rally around each other and celebrate our strengths [that] led to a change in attitude, perspective, and performance. Our players came together and maximized our communication and coordinated efforts – it was teamwork.”
While the soccer team duked it out in Springfield, Wellesley Field Hockey took on Seven-Sisters rival Smith College last Tuesday night. Similar to Soccer, Field Hockey fell to Smith in the regular season with a 2-0 loss at home on Sept. 23. After a must-win overtime victory against Wheaton last Saturday in the final game of the regular season, Field Hockey made it into the NEWMAC tournament as the sixth and last seed.
Riding the high of their thrilling win, Field Hockey was on a roll heading into Tuesday’s game. A quick fast-break goal from Hannah Maisano ’20 in the first three minutes of the game put Wellesley up 1-0. The team headed into halftime with a 2-0 lead, after a beautifully executed corner play and shot by Mitzi Wiggin ’20. Maisano capped off the goal scoring with a second goal in the second half to bring Wellesley a 3-0 win and a spot in the semifinal matchup versus MIT.
Field Hockey faced off against MIT this past weekend at host Babson’s home field. Again, the team hoped to use their momentum from the week before to propel them to victory. Arielle Mitropolous ’19 tipped an Emmy Hamilton ’18 shot in the second half. However, it was not enough to hold back MIT’s forwards and Field Hockey’s postseason journey came to an end with a 2-1 defeat against the eventual champions. For Head Coach Julia King, the NEWMAC experience was a positive one for the team moving forward. “We have a pretty young team so getting to the NEWMAC semis is a great experience for our returners to have going forward. The post-season has a different feel as you know every game could be your last and that can create a lot of nerves. It’s great for players to get this experience playing under pressure and to see their hard work and commitment pay off,” said King.
Lastly, Wellesley Volleyball entered the NEWMAC tournament as the number three seed and hosted Coast Guard on Tuesday night. The team swept Coast Guard in their gym when they met in the regular season on October 10, and this match was no different. Volleyball easily slid into the semifinal round with a 3-0 win.
Next up, the team travelled to MIT to play number two seed Babson. The match began with a tight first set which Babson took after two Wellesley attacking errors. Wellesley quickly bounced back in the second set, but Babson would not fold in this match. Wellesley edged out a win in the third set, while Babson tied the match at 2-2 after the fourth set. The fifth set began with both teams trading points until Wellesley went on a 3-0 run to make the score 11-8. Babson brought the score to 13-12 before the Blue finished them off with a Yasmine Reece ’19 kill and Nikki Jensen ’21 ace.
On Sunday, Volleyball looked to seal their dominant season with a NEWMAC championship against number one seed MIT. With a strong Blue Pride contingent in the stands, Wellesley started out strong in the first set that saw nine ties and three lead changes. MIT pulled away to win the set 25-23 and was then off to races. They finished the first and second set with scores of 25-15 and 25-20, respectively, to bring home their second straight conference title.
Volleyball eagerly awaited the NCAA selection show to find out if they received an at-large bid into the tournament, and at 12:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, the team gathered in the KSC to find out their fate. The team was chosen to play in the opening round of the NCAA tournament against Wesleyan University this Friday, Nov. 10 in Providence, RI.