Mid-Atlantic Review, Week 10
By D3soccer.com Contributor
The selections are in. Automatic Qualifiers earned it this weekend and the At-Large Bids had to wait it out. Some feel snubbed, others hope to be Cinderella. Let’s take a look back at last week’s conference playoff action and let you know which Mid-Atlantic teams are in and where they’re headed.
Johns Hopkins (17-2-0 / 10-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 3 / MA Region No. 1
The new No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic Region Hopkins scored two first half goals to oust Dickinson (11-4-4 / 5-2-3) from the Centennial Conference playoffs in their semifinal matchup Saturday afternoon in Baltimore. Freshman Rachel Jackson and graduate student Michelle Santangelo scored goals just over a minute of each other to take a 2-0 lead. The Red Devils scored a late first half goal to get back in the game, but sophomore Mizuho Obayashi added an insurance goal early in the second half to thwart any attempts at a comeback. The Blue Jay defense contained any and all Red Devil attacks for the remainder of the contest. Hopkins outshot Dickinson 16-4 (11-2 SOG) and led in corners 12-1. The Blue Jays moved on to the championship game against Swarthmore Sunday afternoon, hosting the Garnet on Homewood Field.
The Blue Jays fell 5-1 Sunday in their Centennial Conference championship game against Swarthmore (15-2-2 / 7-1-2). The Blue Jays couldn’t contain the aggressive offense of the Garnet and surrendered two first half goals and three in the second. This is the second straight year that Hopkins has won the Centennial regular season title and fallen in the championship game to the Garnet, losing out on the automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays were outshot by the Garnet 11-15 (8-10 SOG), while corners were tied at three each. Sophomore midfielder Jesse Cole scored her first goal of the year, the sixth goal of the day that only served as a spoiler to the Swarthmore shutout. Hopkins suffered several injuries to key players who can hopefully recover in time for the national tournament.
Despite the loss, Hopkins will still host this upcoming weekend, facing the Cavaliers of Cabrini (10-5-1 / 4-1-1) in the opening round. The other two teams playing on Homewood Field this weekend will be Misericordia (15-2-1 / 7-0-0) and Rowan (13-3-2 / 6-1-2).
Messiah (17-1-1 / 7-0-1) D3Soccer.com No. 4 / MA Region No. 2
Messiah faced Lebanon Valley (8-7-2 / 3-4-1) Wednesday night in Grantham, PA for a MAC Commonwealth semifinal playoff game. The Falcons came out fast, stunning the Dutchmen with three quick goals before they had even settled into the game. Junior All-American Brooke Firestone scored two goals for the Falcons and senior Julia Kyne added another. The Falcons were content with maintaining possession and controlling play for the rest of the way, and their superb defense did the rest, limiting the Dutchmen to two shots (one on goal) and stifling any attempts at offensive production in the 3-0 win. The Falcons outshot the Dutchmen 20-2 (11-1 SOG) and led 7-2 in corners.
The Falcons turned the tables on 2017 MAC Commonwealth Champ Arcadia (12-5-3 / 6-1-1) Saturday night, returning the favor from last season by beating the Knights 1-0 in the second overtime period. Brooke Firestone scored the game winner in the 106th minute. The Falcons outshot the Knights 28-7 (9-2 SOG) and led in corners 4-0, but Arcadia played aggressive defense for most of the match and limited the Falcons’ potent offense by contesting every shot. As effectively as the Knight defense operated, the Falcons’ top-ranked defense put on a clinic, registering their 11th straight shutout and 16th on the season. You’ve heard the names of the Falcon offense this season, but it’s only fitting that the defense gets a “shout out” this week - senior DJ Cole and junior Maddie Waits anchor the center of a defense that held opponents to a 0.166 goals per-game-against average last season to lead the nation. They’ve lowered that number to 0.158 goals per game this season and once again lead the nation. Senior Sarah Strachan and junior Barb Foster hold down the edges of the back four, while freshman Kayla Herr patrols just ahead, helping to limit opponents’ chances as a defensive midfielder. Keepers Sara Yunez and Lydia Ewing split time in goal for the Falcons, and even though they don’t have to make a ton of saves, they usually do when needed.
Messiah will now travel to Rochester, NY, in the opening round to face Centenary (N.J.) (13-7-0 / 8-0-0). The Falcons travel due to their men’s team hosting opening round action at Shoemaker Field. The other two teams in their pod are host RIT (11-5-3 / 5-2-2) and Susquehanna (13-3-3 / 5-1-1).
Swarthmore (14-2-2 / 7-1-2) D3Soccer.com No. 20 / MA Region No. 3
Swarthmore rode four second half goals to a 5-2 come-from-behind win against McDaniel (10-5-1 / 6-3-1) in their Centennial Conference semifinal game at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field Saturday afternoon. The Green Terror struck first in the 21st minute, but the Garnet responded with a goal of their own when sophomore Sophia Stills entered the game in the 33rd minute and scored just 33 seconds after coming off the bench. Senior Marin McCoy put the Garnet up 2-1 with her tenth goal of the year in the 53rd minute, but the Green Terror battled back and tied the game in the 66th minute. McDaniel then scored another goal in the 73rd minute, but unfortunately, it was a misplayed header into their own goal, giving the Garnet a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish. Bella Huang and Brittany Weiderhold added late goals to put the game out of reach and send the Garnet into Sunday’s championship game against Johns Hopkins. For the match, the Garnet outshot the Green Terror 22-11 (12-6 SOG) but trailed in corners 1-4.
The Garnet served notice Saturday in their Centennial Conference Championship match at Johns Hopkins (17-2-0 / 10-0-0), dominating the Blue Jays 5-1 with a relentless, attacking offense that would not stop surging forward and a defense that allowed no clean shots. No team that watched this game wants to see the Garnet on their side of the bracket come Monday afternoon. The Jays seemed uncomfortable and surprised by the early attacking strategy of the Garnet and were never able to get settled on their back line. Sophomore Lizzie King started off the scoring in the fourth minute and senior Marin McCoy added another before halftime to make it 2-0. Everyone in the stadium (including Blue Jays’ supporters) knew that Hopkins was lucky to only be down by two goals at the break. When the second half began, there would be no response by the Blue Jays, only more Garnet aggression as sophomore Sophia Stills put the game away in the 50th minute. Juniors Brittany Weiderhold and Sydney Covitz added insurance goals before the Jays finally broke through with a goal in the 75th minute that served as the only disappointment of the day for Swarthmore, spoiling a magnificent effort by the Garnet defense, who had done everything to earn a shutout.
Swarthmore gets to host the opening rounds of the national tournament, facing St. Joseph’s (Maine) (16-3-0 / 10-2-0), while New York University (10-5-3 / 5-1-1) faces off against Virginia Wesleyan (11-4-4 / 6-0-4) in the other game in the pod.
Scranton (15-1-3 / 7-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR RV / MA Region No. 4
Scranton hosted Moravian (9-5-2 / 3-3-1) Tuesday night in a Landmark Conference semifinal playoff game and came away with a 2-0 victory to move on to the Landmark Championship game. Senior Erica Licari and sophomore Corinne McDonald scored goals in the first half and the Royal defense limited the Greyhound’s chances to one shot on goal in the 69th minute that senior keeper Colleen Barry denied with a diving save to preserve the shutout. The Royals outshot the Greyhounds 17-2 (8-1 SOG) and led in corners 8-2.
Many thought that the game was over when the Royals scored early against Susquehanna (13-3-2 / 5-1-1) Saturday afternoon in Scranton. Freshman midfielder Steph Lowrey put in a Jamie Hreniuk rebound to take a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, and with this season’s stellar performance by the Scranton defense, many thought that the Royals had just clinched their third straight Landmark Conference championship. It appeared that lead would indeed hold, but in the 87th minute the River Hawks scored the equalizer on their only shot of the half. As can be common with many teams this time of the playoff season, the Royals failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities. The Royals outshot the River Hawks 23-9 (7-3 SOG) and led in corners 4-1, but couldn’t convert on several chances, including banging a shot off the crossbar just minutes prior to the Susquehanna equalizer. Scranton controlled play in the overtime periods but could not put in the game winner. Susquehanna converted all five penalty kicks, while Scranton missed one to lose the shootout 4-5.
Scranton missed the automatic qualifier that the Landmark Championship had afforded, but still garnered an at-large bid and will travel to Newport News, VA, to face Arcadia (12-5-3 / 6-1-1), while host Christopher Newport (17-1-0 / 7-0-0) battles Staten Island (12-6-0 / 6-0-0) in the other pod game.
Misericordia (15-2-1 / 7-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 17 / MA Region No. 5
Wednesday night, Misericordia hosted FDU-Florham (12-6-2 / 3-1-1) in a MAC Freedom semifinal matchup and found themselves down 0-1 at halftime. Senior Hannah Larkin and freshman Michaela Fasolino scored second half goals to propel the Cougars into the MAC Freedom Championship game against Wilkes with a 2-1 victory. The Cougars outshot the Devils 20-6 (8-4 SOG) and led in corners 4-1.
The Cougars scored a goal in each half and survived a late Wilkes (9-7-2 / 5-2-0) rally to win their third straight MAC Freedom Conference Championship. Kaylee Sturans and Jeanna Orfanos scored for the Cougars in the 2-1 victory at Mangelsdorf Field. Misericordia outshot the Colonels 15-8 (5-4 SOG) but had to weather a late penalty conversion by Colonel Jessica Egan and rely on a diving save by keeper Alexis Benedetto near the end of the match to preserve the win. The Cougars carry a 10-game winning streak heading into the national tournament.
Misericordia will play in a pod with two other Mid-Atlantic teams, traveling to Baltimore, MD, to square off against Rowan (13-3-2 / 6-1-2) while host Johns Hopkins (17-2-0 / 10-0-0) will take on Cabrini (10-5-1 / 4-1-1).
Arcadia (12-5-3 / 6-1-1) D3Soccer.com NR RV / MA Region No. 6
Arcadia took on Albright (11-4-2 / 5-2-1) Wednesday night in a MAC Commonwealth semifinal playoff game and scored a 3-0 victory to head to the final and attempt to defend their 2017 championship. The Knights dominated play, outshooting the Lions 14-1 (9-0 SOG) and had 4 corners to the Lions’ one. Senior Veronica Pontis scored just before halftime, and sophomores Jules Oswald and Riley Nyhus added second half goals.
The Knights traveled to Grantham, PA, to defend their first-ever MAC Commonwealth championship last season when they defeated Messiah (17-1-1 / 7-0-1) 1-0 in 2OT. This year’s result ended in another double overtime thriller, but the score ended in the Falcons’ favor when Messiah scored in the 106th minute. Messiah controlled possession for much of the match, but the Knights stepped forward to challenge every shot and limited the No. 4 Falcons to just a few good chances. Arcadia was outshot 7-28 (2-9 SOG) and had no corners to the Falcons’ four. Sophomore keeper Brianna Williams registered eight saves for the Knights and MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year, freshman defender Brianna Crowley made several goal-saving stops against the dynamic Falcon forwards.
The Knights were holding their breath during the selection show but found that they were in and heading to Newport News, VA, to take on the Scranton Royals (15-1-3 / 7-0-0). Host Christopher Newport (17-1-0 / 7-0-0) will take on Staten Island (12-6-0 / 6-0-0) in the other game of the pod.
Penn State-Berks (15-3-2 / 10-0-1) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 7
The faithful fans of Penn-State Berks were beginning to worry that the Lions had lost some of their mojo, having scored only three goals in their last three games, where their record was a mediocre 1-1-1. This from a team that is leading the nation in many offensive categories. Not to worry, Nittany Lion fans, the offensive juggernaut returned Saturday at Keuka, where the Lions faced Penn College (12-8-0 / 8-3-0) in the North Eastern Athletic Conference semifinals. The Lions scored three goals in the first half and two in the second for a 5-0 win and a chance to repeat as NEAC Champions on Sunday against Keuka. The Lions dominated play, outshooting the Wildcats 27-1 (16-0 SOG) and leading in corners 11-1. Penn State-Berks got two goals from Caitlin Golden, and singles from Shelby Baker, Emily Clapper, and Alexis Schoener.
The Nittany Lions exacted revenge against Keuka (13-4-1 / 10-0-1) Sunday afternoon in their NEAC championship match. When these two teams met two weeks ago, the Lions controlled play, but were unable to score in the 0-0 draw. That draw enabled Keuka to win the tie-breaker and host the NEAC playoffs, something that the Lions thought they should be doing as the best team in the conference. This Sunday, the Lions left no doubt, scoring two goals in each half for a 4-0 win and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Alexis Schoener, JoJo Zolli, Karina Raykova, and Caitlin Golden all scored goals in the victory, as the Lions outshot the Wolves 25-9 (14-5 SOG) and led 11-1 in corners. Sophomore keeper Bristol Pizzuto recorded five saves, including two late saves that helped preserve the well-deserved shutout.
Dickinson (11-4-4 / 5-2-3) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 8
Dickinson hosted Haverford (8-6-3 / 5-3-2) Wednesday night in a Centennial Conference first round matchup that seemed destined for penalty kicks. The Red Devils held a slight advantage in shots in the first half, but the Fords were the ones that broke through right before the half, punching in a shot as the Red Devils failed to clear the ball from in front of their goal. Sophomore Tara Dedrickson scored in the 61st minute to even the match and send the game to overtime. The teams battled in both overtimes, but offense was difficult to generate, with only one shot recorded through two overtimes - the game winner. Dedrickson raced in on junior Elizabeth Krause’s header toward the net and sent a brilliant, lunging kick with the outside of her right foot past the Ford keeper. Dickinson outshot Haverford 13-4 (8-2 SOG) and led 8-4 in corner kicks.
Dickinson faced Johns Hopkins (17-1-0 / 10-0-0) Saturday afternoon in a Centennial Conference semifinal match and fell to the No. 3 ranked Blue Jays 3-1. The Blue Jays scored two first half goals in a span of two minutes to take a 2-0 lead. The Red Devils got back into the game just before halftime when junior Eryn McDonald scored on a set piece from 35 yards out. Hopkins added a quick insurance goal in the 47th minute and the Red Devils could never mount much of an offensive attack for the rest of the match, managing only one shot in the second half. For the game, the Red Devils were outshot 4-16 (2-11 SOG) and trailed in corners 1-12.
The Red Devils finish the season with 11 wins, 4 losses, and 4 ties and placed 4th in the Centennial Conference regular season standings.
McDaniel (10-5-1 / 6-3-1) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 9
McDaniel started out quickly against Swarthmore (14-2-2 / 7-1-2) when they scored in the 21st minute in their Centennial Conference semifinal matchup at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field. Freshman Hannah Schepers scored first for the Green Terror, but the Garnet answered with two goals of their own to take a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Kathryn Dixon tied the game midway through the second half, but then a misguided own-goal header by the Green Terror off of a Garnet free kick put Swarthmore ahead for good. The Garnet added two late goals for a 5-2 win. The Green Terror were outshot 11-22 (6-12 SOG) by the Garnet but led in corners 4-1.
McDaniel finishes their season with 10 wins, five losses, and 1 tie. They finished third in the Centennial Conference regular season standings.
That’s it. The end has come for this column for the 2018 season, now that the National Tournament has begun. Continue to turn to D3Soccer.com for the best coverage of DIII Women’s Soccer in the nation. We hope that we have brought some consistency and exposure to the beautiful game that our wonderful young women bring to the pitch each and every season. Hope to see you back here next season!
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