Women’s D-III weekend picks March 1: 23 teams remain as they all look to earn a bid in the last weekend to the national tournament

Jocelyn Forrest of Castleton (Castleton Athletics)
Jocelyn Forrest leads Castleton against Norwich. (Castleton Athletics)

Friday, March 1

NCHA – Semifinals

Lake Forest versus St. Scholastica
The Foresters’ offense has kicked it into gear for the playoffs. If they can keep up the pace at which they competed in the quarterfinals, Lake Forest has a good chance to beat St. Scholastica. The Saints seem to have depth to their roster with NCHA player of the year Rachel Anderson along with Alexia Klass and Taylor Thompson. The Saints will have to press hard against the Foresters’ strong defense, but I see them coming out with the win. St. Scholastica 2-1

Saturday, March 2

WIAC – Championship

No. 5 Wisconsin-River Falls versus No. 9 Wisconsin-Eau Claire
The three times the Falcons and Blugolds met this season, only one of the games was a tight match. This championship game could be close, or it could be a blowout for either team. Because it’s the playoffs and everything is on the line, I have a suspicion that this game will be close and probably go to overtime. Wisconsin-River Falls is a strong team, but I think the Blugolds have this game. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 4-3 (OT)

MIAC – Championship

No. 1 St. Thomas versus No. 4 Hamline
The Tommies are the favorite to win this game, but I wouldn’t count Hamline out so quick. The Pipers are the only team to crack St. Thomas’ undefeated streak, and I see that as a confidence builder for this strong Hamline team. In addition, the Pipers have a wealth of talent on their roster. Hamline 3-2

Colonial Hockey – Semifinals

Nichols versus Morrisville
Morrisville had a strong quarterfinal game, and I think that will be a positive factor in this game. Nichols didn’t play a game last weekend, and although they may have fresh legs, I think players prefer the consistency of playing games every weekend. Morrisville 4-2

University of New England versus Endicott
This will be a tough game for Endicott, but they should be able to come out with the win. These teams are similar, and although the Nor’easters beat the Gulls before during the regular season, Endicott is looking to get back into the championship game and claim the hardware. Endicott 3-2

NEHC – Championship

Castleton versus No. 8 Norwich
With Norwich’s close call in the semifinal round, this game has all the potential to be an extremely low and close-scoring match. Norwich has a few strong players in Amanda Conway and Sophie McGovern that could help them win, but the Cadets will need everyone to step up in order to push past Castleton. Norwich 2-1

NESCAC – Semifinals

Amherst versus No. 7 Williams
Williams is on a roll, and I don’t see Amherst taking them down in the semifinal round. That being said, Amherst will definitely not rollover easy. Williams 3-1

No. 10 Middlebury versus Hamilton
Middlebury escaped getting beat last weekend, and they will need to put in a full 60 minutes to get the win this time around. The Panthers are expected to win and should. Middlebury 3-2

NEWHL – Semifinals

Cortland versus No. 2 Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh has been extremely strong this year, offensively. The Cardinals have scored many goals against conference opponents, and unfortunately for Cortland, this game will probably not be close. Plattsburgh 5-0

UCHC – Semifinals

No. 3 Elmira versus Manhattanville
Manhattanville is going to give Elmira a run for its money in this game. Elmira clearly has strong players with Katie Granato leading the way for her team, but Manhattanville also has a few key players that could cause it to be a close game. Elmira 2-1

Nazareth versus William Smith
Nazareth has had an unexpected breakout inaugural season. They very well could beat William Smith and advance to the UCHC championship game. William Smith will need to play a strong defensive game against the Golden Flyers to win this game. William Smith 4-2