South Atlantic Week in Review- Week 10
By D3soccer.com Contributor
The wait is over. It’s time for the National Tournament. An upset or two this week, but no real shockers in this region. Let’s take a look back at the top teams in the South Atlantic and how they fared in their conference playoffs and where (if at all) they’re headed for the NCAA Tournament.
Christopher Newport (17-1-0 / 7-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 11 / SA Region #1
Christopher Newport took care of Salisbury (7-10-1 / 3-4-0) Wednesday night in their Capital Athletic Conference semifinal matchup. The Captains got goals from sophomore Riley Cook and freshman Kristina Toms in the 3-0 win. With her scores, Cook broke a pair of team offensive records: most goals (20) and most points (46) in a season. Senior Gabby Gillis recorded an assist and is closing in on 40 points for the year (38). For the match, the Captains outshot the Sea Gulls 28-7 (15-2 SOG) and led in corners 14-4. The Captains earned the right to host Mary Washington in the CAC Championship game on Saturday night.
The Captains won their third straight CAC title Saturday night, beating Mary Washington (12-4-1 / 6-1-0) by a score of 3-1 and earning the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. Kristina Toms, Carson Pokorny, Abby Zimmerman, and (of course!) Riley Cook scored goals for the Captains. Cook has registered a point in her last 12 games and now has 48 on the season, both team records. CNU outshot the Eagles 26-13 (12-8 SOG) and led in corners 10-7. The majority of the Captains’ shots were registered in the second half, when they pummeled the Eagles with 19 of them. The Captain defense played exemplary and stopped two close chances near the end of the match to preserve the victory.
Christopher Newport will host a pod for this week’s first and second round of the NCAA Tournament, welcoming Staten Island (12-6-0 / 6-0-0), Scranton (15-1-3 / 7-0-0), and Arcadia (12-5-3 / 6-1-1) to Captains Field in Newport News, VA. The Captains will face Staten Island while Scranton and Arcadia face off.
Centre (19-0-0 / 8-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 7 / SA Region #2
Friday night, Centre hosted the Hendrix Warriors (11-7-0 / 4-3-0) in a Southern Athletic Association semifinal and the 2-0 score was not indicative of the play on the field. The Colonels dominated possession and pace, amassing 34 shots to the Warriors’ 2 (14-1 SOG) and took nine corners to Hendrix’s one. Alana Hughes and Meghan Paynter scored goals for the Colonels and their superb defense did the rest, limiting opportunities for the Warriors. With the win, the Colonels earned the right to host the SAA Championship game Sunday afternoon.
Centre won their seventh straight SAA title and earned the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament when they defeated the Rhodes Lynx (9-5-3 / 5-1-1) by a score of 3-0 Sunday afternoon on Amend Field. The Lynx played the undefeated Colonels tough, limiting the high-powered offense to just 18 shots (8 on goal) and keeping the No. 7 Colonels off the scoreboard until the 38th minute. The Colonel attack was too much, though, and eventually scored two more goals in the second half, while the Colonel defense limited the Lynx to a single shot, which was on goal, but saved. The Colonel defense has not conceded a goal in the last 13 matches. The win for the Colonels means that they remain the only team to have ever lifted the SAA Championship trophy, as they are the only team to have won the conference tournament since its’ inception in 2012.
Centre will host the opening rounds of the national tournament, meeting Wooster (13-3-3 / 6-2-0) on Amend Field while Chicago (13-4-1 / 4-3-0) battles Grove City (16-3-1 / 8-0-0). There are those who wonder just how good this Centre team really is - we may find out very quickly if both they and Chicago advance to the second round. This potential second round matchup may be the “Game of the Day” on Sunday.
TCNJ (12-1-1 / 7-0-1) D3Soccer.com No. 8 / SA Region #3
Wednesday night, TCNJ faced off against Montclair State (10-4-5 / 0-0-0) in a New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinal contest and came away with a 1-0 win in the defensive battle. Freshman Nikki Butler scored the game’s only goal in the 54th minute off of a Randi Smith cross, and the Lion’s defense did the rest. The Lions outshot the Red Hawks 14-4 (4-2 SOG) and led in corners 6-1. With the win, the Lions moved on to host Rowan in the NJAC Championship on Saturday.
Defense ruled the night when TCNJ met Rowan (13-3-2 / 6-1-2) in the NJAC Championship game Saturday night. Both teams had chances, but keepers Nicole DiPasquale (TCNJ) and Shelby Money (Rowan) kept their teams from going down a goal. The teams were forced to double overtime and seemed destined to a decision by penalty kicks, when junior Taylor Nolan scored in the 109th minute to give the Lions a 1-0 golden victory and earn them the automatic qualifier to the national tournament. The Lions outshot the Profs 16-11 (7-5 SOG) and held a slight lead in corners at 5-3. The title was the Lions’ 18th NJAC Conference Championship.
The Lions will welcome Western Connecticut State (14-8-0 / 6-2-0) to Ewing, NJ, for their first-round matchup of the NCAA Tournament, while UAA member Brandeis (12-4-0 / 4-3-0) battles Farmingdale State (16-3-3 / 9-0-0) in the other game of the pod.
Lynchburg (18-2-2 / 7-1-2) D3Soccer.com No. 16 / SA Region #4
Lynchburg found itself in an unfamiliar position entering the Old Dominion Athletic Conference playoffs as the third seed. When they faced Washington and Lee (9-5-2 / 6-3-1) Wednesday evening in the quarterfinals, they found themselves in unfamiliar territory again when they surrendered a 1-0 lead to the Generals. This Hornet defense is not accustomed to squandering leads. The first half belonged to the Hornets, outshooting the Generals 6-2. The Hornets came out fast in the second half with senior Kennedy Jakubek scoring in the 58th minute for Lynchburg. Once Lynchburg scored, the Generals gained momentum and outshot the Hornets 8-5 in the second half. The Generals were able to tie the game in the 78th minute. The score remained that way until the second overtime, when senior Caitlin Mertens was taken down from behind in the box and converted the penalty to give the Hornets a 2-1 victory and send them into the semifinals Saturday at Bridgewater, VA. For the match, the Hornets outshot the Generals 15-11 (8-5 SOG) but trailed in corners 3-6.
Saturday’s matchup with Randolph-Macon (11-2-3 / 7-1-2) in the ODAC semifinal wasn’t nearly as exciting as the previous match, as the Hornets pounded the Yellow Jackets 5-1. The first half was played to form, with both defenses playing tightly, as was expected. Up until this game, the Yellow Jackets were sitting near the top of the national goals-against average, having only allowed three goals all season. That changed drastically, as Hannah Olds and Caitlin Mertens each scored twice, and Alyssa Kopsidas added a goal of her own. The Hornets outshot the Yellow Jackets 22-7 (13-5 SOG) and led in corners 4-2.
Sunday afternoon, Lynchburg won their 16th ODAC Championship and 8th in 9 years when they beat Virginia Wesleyan (11-4-4 / 6-0-4) 3-0 at Bridgewater, VA. Caitlin Mertens scored the game winner just one and a half minutes into the game, and Hannah Olds scored twice in the second half to seal the win, both goals coming off of a Mertens assist. Lynchburg outshot the Marlins 18-6 (7-3 SOG) but trailed in corner kicks 2-5. 27 fouls were whistled in the physical contest.
The Hornets will play host to the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, meeting Piedmont (17-4-1 / 7-1-0) Saturday while Emory (13-4-1 / 4-2-1) and Penn State-Berks (15-3-2 / 10-0-1) meet in the second game.
Bridgewater (Va.) (15-3-2 / 7-1-2) D3Soccer.com NR RV / SA Region #5
Bridgewater hosted Ferrum (9-6-2 / 4-5-1) Wednesday afternoon in the ODAC Quarterfinals, besting the Panthers by a score of 2-0. The Eagles dominated possession but couldn’t find the scoreboard until the second half when Catherine Haufe scored for the Eagles. Emily York scored an insurance goal in the 69th minute to seal the win and send the Eagles into the semifinal match against the Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan. The Eagles outshot the Panthers 26-3 (7-0 SOG) and led in corner kicks 4-2.
Against Virginia Wesleyan (11-4-4 / 6-0-4) Saturday in the ODAC semifinals, the Eagles suffered a letdown and couldn’t muster any sort of offensive push against the Marlins. The Eagles were outshot 9-16 and could only manage one shot on frame. The Marlins found the back of the net in the 80th minute and denied the Eagles a second consecutive shot at the ODAC championship game.
Despite the loss, the Eagles were granted an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their program’s history. Bridgewater will travel to Westerville, OH, to face Hope (14-2-2 / 7-0-1). Host Otterbein (16-2-1 / 8-0-1) will play Dominican (18-2-0 / 11-0-0) in the other pod game.
Rowan (13-3-2 / 6-1-2) D3Soccer.com No. 24 / SA Region #6
Rowan faced Kean (5-8-6 / 2-3-4) Wednesday night in their New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinal match and came away with a 3-0 win. Junior Daria Jones scored in the 13th minute and senior Sarah Rosenberg added a goal in the 28th minute to give the Profs a 2-0 halftime lead. Junior Darah Wagner added a goal in the 57th minute to put the game away and send the Profs into Sunday’s NJAC Championship game against TCNJ. The Profs outshot the Cougars 25-8 (13-5 SOG) and led in corners 8-2.
Rowan squared off against NJAC rival TCNJ (13-1-1 / 7-0-1) for their conference final Saturday night in Ewing and fell 0-1 in the double overtime. TCNJ scored in the 109th minute to steal the win and garner the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. Senior keeper Shelby Money recorded six saves in net for the Profs. Rowan trailed in shots in regulation time 10-12, but TCNJ picked up the pressure in the overtime periods and outshot the Profs 6-3 for a 16-11 (7-5 SOG) advantage. TCNJ also held a slight 5-3 lead in corner kicks taken.
Emory (13-4-1 / 4-2-1) D3Soccer.com No. 23 / SA Region #7
Saturday, Emory needed to impress the committee with a win at Rochester (9-7-1 / 2-5-0) to help make their case for an at-large bid to the national tournament. The Eagles didn’t disappoint. Sophomore Caroline Moore scored in the 17th minute and the Eagle defense rode that lead into the break. Senior keeper Dani Staffin preserved the lead in the 54th minute when she first denied a Yellow Jacket penalty kick attempt and then the subsequent rebound. The Yellow Jackets continued to press and scored the equalizer in the 55th minute. The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the 68th minute when freshman Lindsey Breskow scored off of a deflection sent in by junior Shivani Bell. Sophomore Samantha Hilsee scored the insurance goal at the 83rd minute to seal the win. The Eagle defense shut down any attempt at a Rochester comeback, not allowing a single shot on goal over the last 28 minutes. The Eagles outshot the Yellow Jackets by the thin margin of 15-13 (9-3 SOG) and led 7-2 in corner kicks.
Most thought that Emory had done enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but nerves were starting to fray as pod after pod was announced Monday afternoon and the Eagles’ name had not yet appeared. Then, in the last group of 16 at the bottom of the second pod, there it was - Emory facing Penn State-Berks (15-3-2 / 10-0-1) at Lynchburg. They had made it. The host Hornets (18-2-2 / 7-1-2) will face the Piedmont Lions (17-4-1 / 7-1-1) in the other game of the pod.
Randolph-Macon (11-2-3 / 7-1-2) D3Soccer.com NR / SA Region #8
Randolph-Macon held a huge statistical advantage over Shenandoah (9-9-1 / 5-5-0) Wednesday night in their ODAC quarterfinal match but could only manage one goal. That score had come on a sophomore Meghan Skevington goal in the 49th minute when she dribbled through the Hornet defense and buried a shot to put the Yellow Jackets up 1-0. Randolph-Macon continued to press but could not add to its lead. With only two minutes left in regulation, the Yellow Jackets turned the ball over and fouled a Hornet 35 yards out from the goal. Shenandoah’s Rebecca Collimore buried the free kick past Yellow Jacket keeper Edye Carr to tie the game and send it to overtime. Randolph-Macon continued to control play in the overtime periods, taking eight shots to the Hornets’ zero, but could not put one in the goal. Penalties ended at 4-3 in favor the Yellow Jackets, sending Randolph-Macon into the semifinal game against Lynchburg.
Randolph-Macon had a great season, and one of the brightest spots this season was the steady play of the defense. Up until the last match, the Yellow Jackets led the nation in goals-against average, allowing only three goals the entire season. It all fell apart against Lynchburg (18-2-2 / 7-1-2) Saturday afternoon in their Old Dominion Athletic Conference semifinal game. The Hornets stung the Yellow Jackets for five goals, nearly doubling the amount that they had allowed all season, handing the Jackets a 5-1 loss and effectively ending their season. The Yellow Jackets were outshot 7-22 (5-13 SOG) and trailed in corners 2-4.
Randolph-Macon’s name was not called Monday afternoon, as they did not receive one of the at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. The Yellow Jackets finished the season tied for the conference lead at 7-1-2 and were the number two seed for the ODAC playoffs.
Virginia Wesleyan (11-4-4 / 6-0-4) D3Soccer.com NR / SA Region #9
Virginia Wesleyan squared off against Roanoke (7-6-4 / 6-2-2) in the ODAC quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon and came away with a 1-0 win. Freshman Camryn Terry scored in the 54th minute to send the Marlins into the semifinal match against Bridgewater Saturday. The Marlins outshot the Maroons 19-5 (9-1 SOG) and the defense prevented any real chances by the Roanoke offense.
The Marlins stuck with the same theme on Saturday when they faced #1-seed Bridgewater (15-3-2 / 7-1-2) in their ODAC semifinal match, walking away with a 1-0 victory. Junior Alex Davidson provided the game winner this time, scoring in the 78th minute to propel the Marlins into the championship game against Lynchburg on Sunday. The Marlins outshot the Eagles 16-9 (8-1 SOG) while corner kicks were knotted at 3 apiece.
The Marlins gave up one goal in the first half and two in the second against Lynchburg (18-2-2 / 7-1-2) in their ODAC final Sunday afternoon at Bridgewater, losing 3-0 to the Hornets. The Lynchburg defense stifled the Marlin attack, limiting Virginia Wesleyan to 6 shots (3 on frame) while producing 18 shots (7 on goal) of their own. The Marlins did win the corner kick battle, taking five corners to the Hornets’ two.
Despite the loss, the Marlins are headed to the Swarthmore campus in Pennsylvania to take on the New York University Violets in the NCAA Tournament. Host Swarthmore faces the St. Joseph’s (Maine) Monks in the other pod game.
The NCAA Tournament is upon us, signaling the end of another season. It’s hard to believe that we only just started this journey 10 weeks ago. We hope that you have enjoyed our extended coverage of the women’s side of DIII soccer this season, as this is our last installment of our South Atlantic Week in Review. Make sure to follow all of the tournament action here on D3Soccer.com and tune in again next season to see what’s going on in the hot ‘n wild South Atlantic - Y’all come back now, y’hear?
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