How the West was Won - Week 10
By Ryan Bascue
The final regional rankings before the conference tournaments came out earlier this past week just in time for the championships this past weekend. Prior to the conference tournaments, Hardin-Simmons (16-1-1, 10-0-1) stayed at number one in the West region. At the number two spot was Texas Dallas (16-2-1, 9-1-1) followed by Trinity (Texas) (16-1-1, 13-0) then Puget Sound (13-5-2, 12-2-2) in the fourth spot then Cal Lutheran (10-3-5, 8-2-4) and finally at the sixth spot in the region, Pacific Lutheran (13-3-4, 12-2-2). These will definitely change after the conference tournaments this past weekend as all but the NWC have a conference championship tournament, but more on all that later.
Player(s) of the Week; Week
In the ASC, Offensive Player of the Week honors went to Texas Dallas's Keely Fillmann had two goals in the regular season finale against LeTourneau (11-6-2, 7-4) and she also notched an assist against East Texas Baptist (8-8-1, 5-6) Defensive Player of the Week was shared this week by Hardin-Simmon's goalkeeper Caitlin Christiansen who had two shutouts against Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-5-2, 9-2) and McMurry (Texas) (6-12-1, 3-7-1) and Texas-Tyler's ( 11-2-1) keeper, Maya Dossing who also boasted two shutouts against the likes of Louisiana College (2-13-1, 1-9-1) and Belhaven (2-14-2, 1-9-1)
In the NWC, Offensive Player of the Week went to Gabbie Berg of Puget Sound. Berg had two goals against Willamette (12-4-4, 8-4-4). Defensive Player of the Week went to Natalie Robinson. The senior goalkeeper allowed one goal and posted a shutout against George Fox (7-9-2, 5-9-2).
In the SCAC, Chelsea Cole of Trinity claimed Offensive Player of the Week honors with her hat trick and three assist performance against Schreiner (4-9-2, 3-8-1). Winning the Defensive Player of the Week honors was Romi Reyna of Southwestern (8-5-0, 6-3-0). Reyna led the Pirates to a 3-0 shutout win over Dallas (). She anchored a defensive backfield that allowed only eight shots including just one on target.
In the SCIAC, Offensive Player of the Week Went to Helena Robinowitz. she helped Pomona-Pitzer (12-3-2, 9-3-2) claim the number one spot in the SCIAC tournament with her game winning goal against Whittier (6-5-5, 5-5-4) and was credited with an assist for the game winner against Chapman (10-10, 5-8). Defensive Player of the Week went to Devoney Amberg. Amberg helped Occidental to post two shutouts to claim the third seed for the Tigers.
Around the West Quick Hits: Conference Tournament Recap
In the ASC, Hardin-Simmons won their 16th consecutive conference championship, their 19th overall. The Cowgirls dominated the first two rounds winning 2-0 over crosstown rival McMurry, and then continued to dominate in the semi-final match against LeTourneau 3-0. On the other side of the bracket, Mary Hardin-Baylor defeated Concordia (Texas) 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals. The Cru took on second regionally ranked Texas-Dallas and defeated them 2-0. The Comets won the regular season meeting 1-0. In the ASC championship, Hardin-Simmons’s Taylor Bernal, who was named tournament MVP, scored the game winner off a Kendell Groom assist in the 26th minute to put the Cowgirls up 1-0. HSU outshot UMHB 12-4 to secure the ASC automatic birth to the NCAA tournament.
In the NWC, there is no conference championship tournament. Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran were named co-champions. Due to conference tie breaker rules however, Puget Sound claimed the automatic bid into the tournament.
In the SCAC, Trinity claimed their 10th consecutive conference championship and the conference’s automatic bid. The Tigers defeated Southwestern 1-0 off of a goal by Chelsea Cole off an assist by Lindsey Peng in the 25th minute. Cole was also named the tournament’s Offensive MVP. The Tigers outshot the Pirates 16-3.
In the SCIAC, third seeded Occidental, clinched the conference championship after upsetting top seeded Pomona-Pitzer in penalty kicks. The game featured strong defensive performances by the Tiger’s goalkeeper Sydney Tomlinson who kept the Sagehens at bay with an impressive ten saves to force the 0-0 game to penalty kicks. Tomlinson was named tournament MVP. The Tigers claim the SCIAC automatic bid.
With Mary Hardin-Baylor beating second ranked in the west region, Texas Dallas, and fourth ranked in the region, Cal Lutheran not even making it to the conference championship it is going to be interesting to see which teams claim those precious at large bids for the tournament. The West has been up and down all year especially in the SCAC and the NWC. Each week the clear favorite would change it felt like. And now each conference has their conference champion and now the new season starts with the NCAA Tournament starting this coming weekend.
Looking Ahead; The NCAA Tournament
As expected the Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls will be hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Cowgirls will play NWC champion Puget Sound in the opening round of play. The other two teams heading to Abilene are SCAC champion Trinity and the SCIAC champion Occidental.
This is a tough bracket pool as all teams are the conference champs in the West region. This is essentially the West region’s equivalent of a tournament of champions. This will determine who the best in the West really is. Should be an exciting weekend. Welcome to the NCAA Tournament where records don’t matter and anything can happen. Buckle up, it’s going to a wild.
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